AUDIO: To boost sales, return to the past says expert
April 21, 2008
• George Dudley says the ‘soft sell’ doesn’t work
• Are your salespeople really just ‘professional visitors?’
Who says the “soft sell” approach to sales works? Not George Dudley, a researcher and business consultant who contends U.S. companies are crippling themselves with that approach.
Mr. Dudley, a behavioral scientist, says the soft-selling approach has produced a generation of conflicted, over-trained “professional visitors” who are emotionally cut off from the traditional vigor of their profession.
“You’ve got people who are in sales who are radically confused abut what their role is supposed to be. They’ve forgotten that selling is essentially advocacy,” says Mr. Dudley, co-author with Baylor University professor Jeff Tanner of the new book, “The Hard Truth About Soft-Selling.
“The buying public has become very cynical and very wary of the methods that sales people use when they try to act, for example, that you ’re their best, long-lost friend that is only trying to help them reach a solution,” he says.
(George Dudley talks about his research and how companies can solve their sales woes in today’s CVBT Audio Interview. Please click on the link below to listen or to download the MP3 audio file to your computer or iPod.)
Mr. Dudley says the sales profession has lost its way -- and perhaps its mind. Business cards no longer feature up-front designations like “agent” or “sales” but rather “relationship manager,” “account manager” and “product advisors.”
Truly ethical salespeople don’t have to apologize for who they are or what they do, he says.
“There’s nothing inherently wrong about being called a sales person,” he says.
Mr. Dudley is chairman and co-founder of Behavioral Sciences Research Press in Dallas, Texas.