The internet is full of content, much of it designed to capture attention—and clicks, likes, and shares. The more controversial the idea, the more attention it is likely to garner. The most commonly used strategy is to describe something as “dead” as a way to drive traffic, infecting those who are susceptible with the idea they should avoid doing the work required of the result they seek.
Here are eight sales myths that destroy growth.
- Cold Calling Is Dead: Why not start with the biggest lie in sales, told only by those with a “social selling” offering to sell? The idea that cold calling doesn’t work began its spread across the internet during the birth of the social channels. The loudest voices suggested you should use inbound exclusively or connect with people on the social channels, decimating pipelines by convincing salespeople to stop doing what is necessary to create new opportunities. Not only is cold calling not dead, but it also exhibits no signs of even being a little under the weather.
- Relationships Don’t Matter: The recognition that success in sales depends on your business acumen and your situational knowledge, the “advice” part of a consultative sales approach, caused many to spread the idea that relationships are no longer critical to success in sales. Whenever you are confronted with the idea that one thing replaces another, ask yourself if the two concepts might not be in conflict, and verify that both might be more powerful when combined. Relationships still win, especially when you create value.
- You Don’t Need to Be Likable: The confusion over the difference between being likable, something beneficial to winning deals, and the desperate need to be liked, something detrimental to sales results, has caused many to believe that their bedside manner isn’t part of the buyer’s decision-making process. If your prospective client is going to have to work with you, there is no benefit from being a difficult personality—especially when you compete against people who are equally smart while also being inherently likable.
- Never Be Closing: Terrible thinking or an awful framing of an idea. The idea here is that if “always be closing” caused salespeople to have badly, then “never be closing” must be a better idea. In consultative and complex sales, there are too many commitments for one to believe that the ability to gain commitments is a bad idea. You should always be closing for the next commitment your client needs to make to move towards the decision they need to make and the better results they need.
- Leads Are Better Than Targets: Once inbound marketing gained traction in B2B sales, a qualified lead became a name and phone number acquired when someone downloaded a piece of content. The person who disclosed their information in trade for the content must be interested to have filled out the form. Not that you shouldn’t call on leads, you are still better served by calling your shots, creating a list of your dream clients and professionally pursuing them over time.
- B2B Buyers Have all the Power: The buyer has always had the power to choose whom they buy from and whom they want as a partner. The myth of buyers having more power stems from the idea that the internet provides them with all the information they may need to make a good decision. There is a difference between knowledge and wisdom. When you are ill, you can go to a website to diagnose yourself, but visiting a doctor might serve you better. Only salespeople who know nothing suffer from information parity, meaning both them and their clients know what their website says.
- Technology Drives Efficiency: The idea that technology makes one efficient is not to know what efficiency means. An email would be something less than a phone call, even if it took less energy. A phone call is often something less than a face-to-face meeting, even if it meant not having to travel. Efficiency means producing the result while using less time, energy, or resources. When technology saves time without obtaining the outcome, it is inefficient. Some mediums for sales calls take more time and energy because they are more efficient.
- Sales and Marketing are Merging: Some pretend to be in sales when in their hearts, they are marketers. Marketing is one-to-many. Sales is one-to-one. The nurture tools salespeople use that can help become known don’t make them a marketer any more than sending an automated set of emails makes a marketer a salesperson. The social channels and ability to share doesn’t indicate a merging of the roles; it merely means salespeople are using modern tools to support a modern sales approach, something the marketing team provides. If you are in sales, you should sell.
These myths lead to weak beliefs and the accompanying lack of sufficient activity necessary to succeed in sales and win big deals. Be wary of anything that goes against what you know to be essential to your success in sales.