Conversations, Combat and Happy Talk

by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Sales Wolves embrace conflict. 

Ever heard a salesperson get into a combative discussion with a prospect?

Frightening, right? 
Your best salespeople embrace conflict through the Challenger Sale.jpg

If you are frightened by this thought, please go here.

I get excited by Challenger-level conflict. I mean really excited. 

I am excited thinking about Challenger-level conflict right now...

Positive dialogues are those that advance understanding and value for both the buyer and seller. Call me and debate with me. If you are increasing my understanding and creating value, I am going to engage you.   

The need to be viewed as nice is a serious barrier to winning in most sales environments. It is pounded into our heads at a young age and throughout our professional lives, "the nice guy/gal finishes first." 

Tweet: Be a Challenger and not an Order Taker #sales @therainmakerBe a Challenger and not an Order Taker. 

Tweet: Conversation, Combat and Happy Talk #sales @therainmakerConversations, Combat and Happy Talk

With rare exception, it is the role of a salesperson to challenge the status quo, not to order-take.

Let your competitors play the niceness games and speak happy talk. The salesperson / company who is nicest gets second place (no set of steak knives).

A true Sales Wolf embraces conflict as an opportunity. A true Sales Wolf dials up the tension.

By "conflict" I do not mean conflict for the sake of conflict. That's what sales posers do. Sales posers mimic the tactics and language of Sales Wolves.

Conversations vs. Combat.

Colleen Francis is the inspiration for this post. She recently wrote the article, "Conversations vs. Combat".

It's a nice article. With all due respect... The real question isn't "conversations or combat".Tweet: The real question isn't

Following are two questions that must be asked:

  1. Do I have the right salespeople capable of having a real conversation and unafraid to push the Prospect the way the Prospect needs pushing?
  2. Do I have the right Prospect or am I dealing with someone incapable of understanding my value proposition?

True Sales Wolves know how to turn up the heat.

I strongly believe in Challenger Selling. I also strongly believe few salespeople are capable of Challenger Selling. The result is debate that is often offensive to the Prospect as well as true Sales Wolves.

It takes true Sales Wolves to deliver the Challenger Selling approach.Tweet: It takes true Sales Wolves to deliver the Challenger Selling approach. #sales @therainmaker Sales posers look like idiots trying to Challenger Sell.

Many salespeople I engage are fundamentally incapable of being a Challenger. Many are order-takers hoping no one notices they are order takers. Many believe they are Sales Wolves when they really are posers.

Most salespeople do not have requisite sales personality to ask the hard questions. For these salespeople, their "A game" is to be nice and ask the nice questions and to listen nicely.

Strong recommendation: Hire true Sales Wolves and train them to ask the hard questions sales posers see as combat.

A "Get It" Prospect wants to hear the recommendations of your Sales Wolves.

A "Get It" is a Prospect or Client that has the capacity to understand you. A Get It gets your value proposition and will invest in it if you have done your job correctly. Get Its push back with intelligent questions. Rather than becoming offended by assertiveness, they are grateful for the expertise a Challenger Sales Wolf brings.  

A Get It would rather you leave if you are going to dispense warm fuzzies. They know how good they are. They want solutions, not ass kissing. Happy talk frustrates Get Its. 

There are few Get It Prospects. Most don't truly value solving their challenges. When they are willing to invest, they focus on price to get the cheapest instead of the best solution.

True Sales Wolves know how to identify a Get It Prospect. True Sales Wolves know how to run away quickly when they are not engaged with a get it.

Strong recommendation: Clearly choose your target personas, Then train your Sales Wolves how to know one when they see one. Train your Sales Wolves to run very, very fast from everyone else.


Do not let this be yet another article you shake your head in agreement to and then do nothing.

That's not what Sales Wolves and Get Its do. They take action.

Take action.

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