Wednesday, October 14, 2009


from Jill Konrath's blog:

Preventing SADD: Sales Attention Deficit Disorder

Posted: 28 Sep 2009 09:44 AM PDT

Aboutus_colleen Today's blog post was written by business development expert Colleen Stanley, President of Sales Leadership, Inc.

Corporate America is losing thousands of sales dollars to SADD - Sales Attention Deficit Disorder. Salespeople pride themselves on their ability to multi-task, however, don't realize they are multi-tasking themselves right out of relationships and sales.

Here are a few tips for decreasing SADD and increasing revenues:

1. Turn off your Blackberry.

No, you don't need reading glasses. You read the statement correctly. Turn off the electronics. An old adage in sales says, “People buy from people they like.” And guess what? People like people that pay attention and make them feel important.

When people feel important they say things like, “I felt like I was the only person in the room,” “He made me feel so important,” or “She was listening to every word.”

Salespeople are starting to remind me of dogs on shock collars. The minute the PDA rings or vibrates, they feel compelled to answer or check it, regardless of what they're doing or who they're with. For example, a salesperson is calling on a prospect. The salesperson is doing a very good job of building rapport. The prospect is feeling comfortable and thinking that the salesperson really does care about his/her problem.

Until the salesperson's cell phone vibrates. The salesperson looks down to check who is calling him and rapport is broken because the prospect receives the real message: I am important, but not more important than an incoming call.

A colleague shares a story of a breakfast meeting with a possible referral partner. They were ten minutes into breakfast when the possible referral partner took a phone call. This was not an emergency call, just a phone call.

As my colleague sipped her coffee (alone), she made a mental note to put this possible referral candidate in the “just doesn't get it” category. My colleague scheduled an hour out of her busy day to meet this person and expected full attention during that hour. The phone-addicted salesperson lost an important opportunity to build a relationship.

2. Love the one you're with.

The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. This selling scenario often occurs at networking events and looks something like this: ou are talking to an individual and throughout the conversation he/she keeps looking around the room to see if there is someone else more important they should be meeting.

Actions speak louder than words and the message is clear…you are important; however, the grass may be greener on the other side of the room.

Some salespeople still practice the crazy networking principle of speed networking. This salesperson's main goal is to meet as many people as possible in an evening. Quantity is the goal, not quality. They carry an invisible time clock that rings after two minutes (hey, they have a room to work). They politely excuse themselves and move onto “greener pastures,” (at which point their cell phone rings and they answer).

Speed networking or “working the room” is working yourself right out of a potential relationship. Savvy business people spot phonies and phony intentions. People that are serious about building business relationships take the necessary time to build that relationship. They know processes are efficient and people are not.

3. Listen, record and respond.

Harvey Mackay, author of “Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive,” and president of the Mackay Envelope Company, is a master at listening, recording and responding. Mackay knows that envelops are a commodity product; one that can easily fall prey to the price shopping game. He decided early on that he would not compete on price but he would compete on paying attention and knowing more about his clients than any of his competitors.

All of Mackay's salespeople are required to complete a questionnaire on each one of their customers. “The Mackay 66” customer profile asks 66 questions ranging from personal to business. With this data, the Mackay salesperson is equipped to make their customers feel important by remembering special anniversaries, asking specific questions about their children, or sending articles of interest on a hobby or passion.

Get rid of SADD. Turn off your electronics, be present, and be professional. Paying attention is a great selling skill.

COLLEEN STANLEY is president of SalesLeadership Inc., a business development consulting firm specializing in sales and sales management training. The company provides programs in prospecting, referral strategies, consultative sales training, sales management training, and hiring/selection. She is also the author of Growing Great Sales Teams: Lessons from the Cornfield. Reach Colleen at 303.708.1128 or visit

Sphere: Related Content

No comments: