Can product knowledge get in the way?  YES!

A friend and past mentor, Ron Willingham, once told me that all salespeople sell with some type of focus.  That focus can be one of these …

– Product focus
– Quota focus
– Ego focus
– Value focus

“product focus” causes a salesperson to wax on eloquently about product features and perhaps benefits that have no bearing on the needs of the person being sold. Oftentimes, sales training is really product training.  The trainer teaches product information and does not teach salespeople how to identify needs, problems, or wants filled for new customers.  As a result, sales trainees do not develop good questions to use during a face-to-face meeting that bring these out.

“quota focus” causes a salesperson to see the prospect as no. 4, or no. 8, or no. etc… or as some amount of sales dollars. This focus keeps the salesperson from understanding needs or even knowing the prospect’s name. It also causes the veins to bulge out in his neck as he attempts to close the sale under a quota pressure.

An “ego focus” causes the salesperson to be preoccupied with looks, or pride, or what others think. As a result, this focus hinders a salesperson from caring about the prospect – their satisfaction or their needs.

Finally, the best focus is a “value focus,” through which the salesperson wants to exchange value in the transaction. The salesperson seeks to understand a prospect’s situation, needs, and problems relative to the prospect’s product or service purchase. The salesperson wants a fair exchange of value and wants the new customer to be delighted with a solved problem, filled need, or satisfied want.

Let’s coach salespeople to sell with a value focus and not a product, quota, ego, or PRICE focus.  Lance.

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