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April 12, 2005
How Many Hammers Do You Need In A Tool Box?
The answer to that depends on what you do; are you a roofer, framer, or finisher. Each skill requires the right tool, right process, to complete the right task. That was the issue for Billy Bob. Billy Bob was trained by a Sales Manager who grew up in the old school mode of sales training. The Old School Sales Manager only had one tool in his tool box. This presented a significant challenge for Billy Bob in his new role as a high tech sales person getting his clients involved in complex hardware and software solutions.
Bubba like many before him failed to understand the fundamental difference between a transactional sale and a complex sale which contain many steps, twists and turns. A transactional sale has an extremely short selling cycle where quick decisions are made primarily on price. In consultative selling it is all about selling value first then price. Something to consider, "selling value is not about presenting information." In the transactional sale the consumer knows the product well and is mostly concerned with the price and availability. The salesperson brings little to the relationship, except the ability to agree to a lower price in order to get the order. The complex sale is characterized by longer selling cycle, multiple decision makers and influencers, a relatively large financial investment and a high degree of risk for the buyer if a wrong decision is made. In a complex sale the relationship between buyer and seller is key because it's typically not a one shot deal; the seller will be involved well past the contract signing. For that reason those old school manipulative high pressure aggressive techniques simply turn off the future client and dissolve trust (open communicative relationships). One new variable has come up recently to complicate this transaction to the complex sales model. Most organizations and buyers today are not certain of the actual source of the problem. They find themselves questioning outcomes and rationalize that mediocrity is ok thus trying to draw up a solution to a questionable or poorly defined and articulated problem becomes very complicated. The natural default in most cases is this flight or fight choice results in "paralysis of progress". This manifests itself in a making no decisions, despite the fact that tremendous energy has been spent looking at possible solutions.
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