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Sales Training: 7 Sales Myths You Need to Stop Believing

Sales Training: By Kelly Robertson, May 16, 2010

During my career as a sales trainer and keynote speaker, I have been able to interact with thousands of salespeople and I have discovered that many of them still believe some myths about sales and selling.

Here are seven of the most common myths.

1. Price is the primary reason people make a buying decision

I will never argue the fact that price is a factor in every buying decision. However, it is seldom the primary reason people make a buying decision. It is important to note though, that people will default to price if you fail to demonstrate the value of your product or differentiate yourself from your competitors.

2. Do whatever you need to do in order to get the sale

Manipulative, aggressive, high-pressure sales tactics work. But, they don’t create loyal customers and clients. You may win the sale, but in the long run, you will lose the customer.

I once had a participant in a workshop proudly claim, “I don’t care what my customers want, I’ll sell them what I need to hit my quota.” {{{shudder}}} I don’t know about you but I take serious offense to this mentality and type of behavior because it casts all sales people in a negative light.

3. Buyers are liars

I’m still shocked by how many salespeople use this expression.

Do people mislead salespeople?

Of course. But it’s usually because the sales person has failed to earn that person’s trust.

Gaining someone’s trust means focusing your attention on THEIR situation rather than trying to close the sale. Earning trust means treating people with respect and dignity even if they are not prepared to make a buying decision right now.

4. Anyone can be persuaded to buy

This may be true for small purchases but in today’s business world, buyers are more savvy than ever before. I once heard someone say, “If you have a strong case you will clarify it. If you have a weak case, you will try and persuade the other person.”

The real key is to determine whether or not the person or company you are speaking to has a genuine need for your product or service. If they do not, then your best strategy is to move on to someone who does need AND want your particular solution. Even if a company could benefit from your product but they are reluctant to give you the opportunity to discuss, your time is better spent looking for other prospect.

5. What works well for one person will work for everyone

Countless books have been written about one sales strategy or another and I have read dozens of them. In this search, I have discovered that we all have our unique personality and what works well for someone may not work as effectively for us. However, instead of discarding that particular idea you should look for a way to integrate it into your natural style and approach.

6. Close the sale as quickly as possible

This is one of the craziest beliefs.

Yes, it’s important to move people towards a buying decision. Yes, it is important to gain commitments along the way. Yes, it is important to include a call to action in your proposals and conversations. But, it is also important to recognize that not every sales decision will be made quickly. Decisions can be delayed for a number of reasons, and in certain situations, trying to rush the other person to a commitment will actually cost you the sale.

7. Close the deal at any price

Too many people feel they have to close every deal, even if it does not make good business sense to do so. I have spoken to countless sales people who will accept a deal that has virtually no margin just so they can get the sale.

I recall talking to a store owner who quickly matched the prices of her competitor in order to prevent people from going to her competition. However, this seldom creates loyalty and only conditions that customer to continue asking for a better price.

Decisions like this cost you or your company money.

If you are not making your desired gross profit on a particular sale, then you need to consider whether it makes good business to accept it. I know small business owners who will offer substantial discounts to a large company in the hopes of generating additional business from that client in the future. Unfortunately, they end up giving away their services and expertise because they don’t get any more business from that company. They neglected to negotiate an upfront agreement.

Selling is an honorable career and sales professionals need to avoid falling prey to these myths.


To Discuss how these Solutions will add value for you, your organization and/or your clients, Affinity/Resale Opportunities, and/or Collaborative Efforts, Please Contact:

Tom McDonald,; 608-788-5144; Skype: tsmw5752

sales training, McDonald Sales and Marketing, LLC