By Patrick McManamon
Ideally, you realize that you have some symptoms that are preventing you from functioning at 100%. You then get an appointment with the doctor, they ask you a fair amount of questions about your symptoms and lifestyle, and then they make some recommendations–usually involving a prescription of some sort.
So how would you feel if you just went into the doctor and they gave you some pills without investigating the problems?
Maybe a little skeptical? Craning your neck to see if there’s a medical school diploma anywhere in the office? It goes to show you that as much as we all focus on the solution, we still realize the importance of a thorough, accurate diagnosis of the problem if we want to actually get better.
In a recent conversation with a new client, we discussed a salesperson that was struggling. We decided to call the sales person into the office and sort things out. When we asked the salesperson why she thought the goals were not being met, she shared that she was not comfortable prospecting. After a few more questions about prospecting the owner pointed out that the prior week the salesperson shared that she didn’t like to close.
So, rather than working on prospecting techniques or closing techniques (managing the symptoms) it became very evident that real problem for the sales person was fear (the disease). It was not that she didn’t know how to prospect or close it was the fact the both prospecting and closing represented risk. Until we were able to fix the salespersons’ aversion to taking risks and fear of rejection, treating those symptoms wouldn’t do any good in the long run.
We need to make sure we are working on the right part of the problem! When you go in for a sales training session, be sure to take enough time to clearly articulate and explore the disease behind the symptoms. Once you’ve got the proper diagnosis, you’ll be back on your feet in no time.
Patrick McManamon is a Sandler Trainer based in Jacksonville, Florida.
Illustration by Rob Green