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Sales Cliche – ABC – Always be…..

ABC is one of the best known sales cliché’s.  Featured heavily in the iconic 1992 movie Glengarry, Glen Ross, featuring Al Pacino and Alec Baldwin.  The cliché is symptomatic of the 90’s and an old style of selling.  I will sell you the product that I have; I’ll be pushy, not listen to you and run through my repertoire of sales closes, until you get tired of my persistence and sign on the line.  Then you’ll never hear from me again.

So in the Social Selling environment of the current era, does ABC still exist?

In his excellent book To Sell is Human– Dan Pink states that ABC now stands for




In the modern environment, Pink believes we all sell.  That doesn’t just include the modern work environment.  Although he uses the terms persuasion and moving people, not selling.  We are all persuading, be it getting our children to bed, our desire to have a raise, even attempting to persuade someone to allow us to have a meeting room that is already booked.

Daniel Pink uses statistics from both the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics to show that 1 in 9 Americans is employed in sales – America’s salesforce outnumbers the entire government workforce on a scale of 5:1 and also a series of academic studies to prove his points.

I was at a conference recently and was taken aback by a presentation – full of noise, bluster and waving arms by the presenter – until I suddenly realised I had hopped aboard a tardis and been time travelled 15 years back in time.  This was what it used to be like.  So the world of selling has changed dramatically.  The growth of the internet as a research tool, has enabled the purchaser – domestically and corporately to have access to a huge amount of information.  57% of the buyers journey is completed before the engage with the companies, who can provide the solution that they are looking for.  Pink refers to this though as the Rebirth of a Salesman, not the Death.  Nowhere does he illustrate the change in selling, than in the sales of cars.  He spends a day in two garages selling cars, one that has not changed in 20 years, and one that definitely has.  The first car lot has about eight potential clients all day and sells two cars.  The second garage has eight potential clients in through the doors within fifteen minutes of opening.

The second garage, aware of the provision of information on cars, not only encourages clients to bring reviews, but has a bank of computers available for use, if there is anything else that needs to be searched and printed off. Funnily enough, there sales were considerably more the first garage described.

So Pink illustrates change in the world, shows how the winners have changed and then also gives some techniques for us all to use.  The best point about Daniel Pinks books are that he uses the basis of good selling to make his point – he uses lots of stories. There’s also the point that whilst many environments welcome the move to a new way of persuading, there’s nothing wrong with being sold to in a professional manner – people love being sold to by a professional.  The point is run a mile, when see the salesperson’s arms start to wave.

Published by on August 18, 2014. Comments Off on Sales Cliche – ABC – Always be…..

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