executive with hand over earsI met with two large companies over the past week and talked to them about sales training. Both companies were B2B so they relied heavily on relationship and personal selling. Many of the newer salespeople had a hard time getting traction as far as developing a new client base. I told them I would have to hear what the companies value proposition is. Surprisingly I heard from both places fractured value propositions, meaning neither could nail this down.

There are many reasons why buyers or decision makers do not call you back. It can be anything from, you are the 5th rep. from this company to leave a message this month. The buyer has a gatekeeper who is doing their job, to a myriad of other reasons.

I tell people all the time, that I think their product is highly commoditized. Unless it is software, more times than not this is true. What I mean is everyone is selling the same widget. This is why decision makers have become increasingly immune to even the slightest hint of self-serving salespeople who fail to understand their market. Second, new businesses are starting up all the time with your same services (copycats). Lastly technology plays a big role in this. Decision makers are surrounding themselves with technology, to protect their time, prevent interruptions, and as I do educate themselves.

So how does one get through all of this? It can be a complicated process, but the bottom line is stop sounding self-serving, stop the I will throw every offering up against the wall and hope something sticks, and salespeople need to develop new sales approaches to break these barriers and it all starts with a good value proposition.

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