Salespeople come up against plenty of objections and obstructions each and every week, but one of the biggest barriers is the public perception of the so-called ‘salesperson.’ Many people are more likely to hang up the phone if they suspect the person on the other end of the line is just trying to sell them something.
However, that doesn’t mean being a salesperson, or using selling tactics, is a bad thing. In fact, that’s one of the common myths of sales: that to get your foot in the door you have to pose as something other than a seller.
We asked some sales experts for their least favorite sales myth, and also what the truth actually is.
The biggest sales myths
Founder of Sales Confidence.
Myth: “Sales is all about the money.”
Truth: “Money is useful for motivation early in your career, and it’s an important driver for sales professionals if earned as a result of successfully hitting targets. However, recognition internally, how you feel about yourself and being respected and trusted by customers to solve their needs, is more important. Leading by doing excellent work is also more important than money. Yes, money is part of the equation, but it’s not all of it.”
Founder of Fenek^^.
Myth: “To be successful in sales you have to be a sneaky, untrustworthy person.”
Truth: “The stereotype of a salesperson is that they are a crook that manipulates you into buying something useless that you don’t want. In fact, the most successful salespeople are the complete opposite: they have real expertise in their field and their product, solve real customer needs and develop long-term relationships.”
Founder of Sellit.
Myth: “Using a script makes you sound like a robot.”
Truth: “This is a very common misconception among sales reps. Or maybe it’s an excuse to avoid spending time learning and training. In reality, top sales organizations are usually the most consistent and structured in their customer-facing conversations. They identify best practices and incorporate them into training and onboarding reps. What usually makes you sound like a robot is insufficient preparation, which causes nervousness and prohibits you from listening to the customer.”
Here are 25 cold calling scripts to take your conversation to the next level.
Co-Founder and CRO of Madkudu.
Myth: “Extroverts make the best salespeople because they are comfortable talking to prospects.”
Truth: “Cliches aside, the most important trait of a successful rep is their focus on being helpful. This often starts by listening thoroughly to what customers have to say in order to identify underlying challenges they can solve.
“Don’t be a crocodile salesperson with small ears and a big mouth; act as an introvert and listen.”
Founder of SaaStock.
Myth: “You should always be closing.”
Truth: “I still hear this a lot, but sales has shifted so much more to helping and guiding your prospect through the buyer journey. Listening is one of the most important skills. Listen to what the buyer wants. What are their pain points? What’s their objective? Don’t go straight into the pitch and miss the point.”
CRO of Leadfeeder.
Myth: “You can’t do outbound sales profitably with under $5,000 ACV (annual contract value).”
Truth: “You can if you develop a high-velocity sales process supported by a free trial and automatic onboarding. Trust me, it can be done and it works perfectly alongside an inbound sales model.”
Global Manager of Customer Success at Pipedrive.
Myth: “The best salespeople talk a lot.”
Truth: “The best salespeople are active listeners and understand the customer’s needs. When they listen more than they talk, the higher the chances of them addressing the real issue. It’s not about who talks the most, but who ask the right questions to drive the conversation.”
MD at Spartan Retail Support.
Myth: “In the automotive industry, there’s a myth around ‘tire kickers,’ or ‘time wasters,’ which is simply not true.”
Truth: “To think that someone would take time from a busy life to go and look at vehicles with no intention of ever buying a car makes no sense. It is an excuse made up by salespeople who have failed to manage the inquiry.
“The reality is that virtually everyone who inquires about a car will buy one from someone at some point. If not from you, then why not?
“Everyone’s a buyer, so if we treat all customers as buyers perhaps we will sell more.”
Co-Founder and CEO of pickSaaS.
Myth: “This channel (e.g. cold emailing or cold calling) doesn’t work.”
Truth: “Every channel can work if approached correctly.”
How to avoid the myths
As a salesperson, it can be tempting to revert to the common excuses if we fail to hit our figures: “cold calling isn’t working for me,” “they weren’t going to sell anyway,” “I’m not confident enough.”
You might be right, be these are barriers that it’s easy to overcome—if they’re even barriers in the first place. Recognize the lies you tell yourself to avoid doing the hard work, and you’ll find ways that you can improve and close more deals.