The Peter Principle in Modern BusinessTimes
‘People buy when a compelling need is met by a credible solution that offers perceived value’.
Simple. Too simple? Well, as Jim Collins claims in his book Good to Great, “Freud, Darwin and Einstein all had one thing in common. They took a complex world and simplified it.” And Single Principled Salespeople do just that. They understand that selling doesn’t have to be complicated. They simply make it easy for a customer to buy.
It’s one of the two things they have The Pareto Principle Meets the Peter Principle in common. They are customer centric, not sales centric.
The other thing that Single Principled Salespeople have in common is that they never follow the 8 myths of selling. Simply never.
The 8 myths of selling were taught by well-meaning sales managers, eager to pass on the wisdom and knowledge that their sales managers had passed on to them. Like a cult, however, no one had questioned whether they were true. The 8 myths may have worked in their day, but they simply do not work today.
Do you remember how you felt when you discovered there wasn’t really a Santa Claus? I remember it well. It was the 12th December 1971 and my (so called) best friend Johnny Harrison broke the fateful news to me over a Curly Wurly. I felt like I had been had. You don’t question what you are told as a kid; you just believe it to be true.
Well, that was also the way I felt the day that I discovered that everything that I had been taught up to that point in sales was a complete lie; all myths. They were theories that had no substance in the modern world.
Walk onto most sales floors and you’ll see the 8 myths of selling proudly displayed on the wall (probably next to the target and the ‘Inspiration’ poster):
“Attitude Sets Altitude”
“People Buy People”
“Always Be Closing”
“Customers Like to Talk about Themselves”
“It’s a Numbers Game”
“Sell the Sizzle not the Sausage”
“Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail”
Be honest, you believe in at least half of the 8 myths yourself, don’t you? You are not alone.
Most salespeople will quote them as the ‘sales gospel’. Suggest that they are myths and they will think you have gone mad.
On the surface the 8 myths look perfectly reasonable. In fact, set inside a picture frame, each one looks positively motivating. And I am sure they made a lot of sense, at the time. But things change. And so has selling.