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Sales Training - Clarify

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I’ve heard prospects tell me something that, at first pass, seemed to mean one thing.  But upon closer inspection it turns out it wasn’t at all what I had thought they meant.  For instance, “We’re weak in lead generation.”  In sales and marketing the term lead generation means lots of different things to lots of different people.  Does it mean?

·         We don’t do enough advertising.

·         We don’t have enough people making cold calls.

·         We don’t know what to do when a lead comes in.

·         We don’t act quickly enough on leads that come in from the web.

Get the idea?  You cannot afford to guess what your prospect means when they use terms, phrases and business jargon.  If your prospect or customer says something like, “We need a tool or service that can give us a 360 degree view of our distribution system”, say “Lilia, the term 360 degree view means different things to different people.  What does it mean to you?”  By asking this question, not only are you getting clarity on their meaning of the word or phrase, they’re telling you exactly what they want from your product!   By asking this simple question you’re now in a position to match your product to their belief of what they want from a product. 

You have to pay close attention for these nebulous words or phrases.  In other words, you have to LISTEN.  If you’re too busy thinking of what you’re going to say next you’ll miss it.  Focus on what your prospect says and seek clarification.  Let’s be perfectly clear on that!


Sales Homework – List three words or phrases in your industry that prospects use in different ways for which you have to ask, “The term ________________ means different things to different people.  What does it mean to you?”




Sales Managers
– Compile a list of these phrases and include them in your Sales Playbook.  Make sure when your sales reps hears one of them they seek clarity.  Otherwise, you run the risk of your reps working on ideas and proposing solutions that have nothing to do with what the prospect was truly seeking.

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