Sometimes the key to greater sales lies not in the discovery of new ideas, but rather in getting rid of some old ones. Too many people in selling have the wrong ideas about how to get the right things. So, let’s identify these misconceptions and frame them in their proper perspective.


1. Give your buyer lots of choices.

This misconception is rooted in the belief that the more choices offered a buyer, the more likely they are to spend money. In practice, the reverse is true. The more choices offered a buyer, the more likely it is that they buy nothing. Psychologists call this “tyranny of choice,” a condition resulting in no action due to being overwhelmed with options. 

The solution? Offer no more than three choices for a customer to consider. If you do a great job uncovering needs and determining budget, you should know the best course of action for the prospect.


2. Great salespeople make great sales managers.

Spend any length of time with anyone employing salespeople and you’ll hear the tale of a great salesperson that was a lousy sales manager. Here’s why: we all believe that talent in one area will automatically transfer to another area. Yet the skills required to be successful as a sales manager are dramatically different than the skills needed for success as a salesperson. Coaching, counseling, team leadership and more is required of a manager but not from a rep. 

The solution? Hire sales managers who have the skills necessary for success in that role.


3. Some people are naturally born to succeed in sales.

This is a dangerous misconception. Believing this is like believing Michael Jordan was born to be the best in basketball, that Tiger Woods was born to be the best in golf or that Tom Brady was born to be the best in football. These athletes weren’t born to be the best — they worked to become the best. They had teachers; there were avid learners; they practiced more than others; they honed their craft to become the best. The best salespeople are made. 

The solution? Work at being the best at sales you can be. Hone your craft through learning, practice and repetition. 


4.  Top performing reps don’t need help or training.

The success of star athletes depends on a long-term, consistent commitment to quality practice and learning. Sales professionals are no different; all levels of sales pros benefit from training, and all levels benefit from advice and counsel. Even the best of pros get “stuck” with an account. Brainstorming can be an effective way to break through roadblocks to move towards a sale.

The solution? Do what professional sports teams and athletes do: train, train, train; coach, coach, coach; and learn, learn, learn.


5. You lost the deal because someone beat your price.

Let me share something with you, Buttercup: you didn’t lose the deal because of your price. Your ego may want to believe that, but trust me when I tell you the deal was lost for some reason other than price. Most likely, you didn’t show enough value or reasons to act now. Most deals are lost because you didn’t show enough value, they didn’t trust you or they didn’t feel that you could do the job as well as the other guy.

The solution? Use trust elements to show value to the prospect in ways your competitors can’t.


6. Great salespeople only care about money.

This misconception is perpetuated by media and shady salespeople with low earnings. My experience is that high earning salespeople care more about people than they do about commissions. They focus on helping people achieve their objectives, and they develop repeat customers and referrals. True pros focus on building relationships.

The solution? Help other people get what they want, and you’ll get what you want.