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Sales Paradox: More Experience, Less Sales

One would think that with experience, the selling would come much easier, and yet in some cases we can find situations where experience isn’t proportional to actual sales. One of the sales paradoxes is that you can find experienced mature sales people who simply cannot keep up selling with the younger inexperienced sales people.

I recently had a discussion with a sales colleague, older than me who has been in the field for over 30 years. However his sales numbers simply no longer match up to the ones of his younger inexperienced colleagues, which has put his job at jeopardy. This is not as rare phenomenon as you would think.  

Some speculation would be that it would be because of their age, their patience level becoming lower, their charisma isn’t there anymore, their enthusiasm wasn’t as high as it once was, or simply because they are tired of trying to sell. Due to the nature of my job, I get to observe and monitor many sales professionals on how they interact with customers, and this has helped me in better evaluating and understanding what really creates this decline.

What I have come to realise, is that experienced sales people come to understand the sales process and the time that needs to be invested before establishing trust and certainty that will then lead to the sale. After a certain period of time and experiences, the sales people attempt to look for ways to shorten this process, look for shortcuts, and here is where they go wrong with the sale. They tend to focus on the goal and not the process, which most of the time results in losing the sale.  

To understand the true underlying problem here, we need to go back to “Sales Basics 101”. Step #1 is to LISTEN. By listening and asking the right questions you gather the necessary information in order to engage properly in further conversation and lead it towards the sale. With years in sales most people tend to shorten the “Listening” period and increase the “Talking” period. Remember that as sales professionals our job is to listen and ask questions 80% and talk only 20%.

If you ever find yourself at any stage in your career as a sales professional, that your closing rate has taken a downturn, all you need to do is revisit the sales foundations and start again from the very first step which is “Listening”.

I hope you have found this topic interesting and useful. What do you think about it? All feedback and comments are welcomed

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