One small indulgence I give myself is
watching the food shows. Some of my favorites travel from city to city and state
to state visiting diners and little holes-in-wall. I’ve always preferred a
local greasy spoon to a high-end steak joint. So naturally I gravitate to these
shows. Every so often I get drawn in to the explanation by the chef as they
describe the recipe and how to’s in putting a dish together. I’m never afraid
to try something in the kitchen, and by watching these shows, I will give these
new dishes a shot.
Every so often though, just when I’m getting
excited about a new food item, the chef blurts out – it’s a secret sauce (or
secret ingredient), and my frustration kicks in. How dare you get my taste buds
so excited and then shut me down. Then I laugh and move on to something else on
my honey-do list.
I thought about these food shows the
other day when being solicited by a “sales coach” who wanted to pitch me on
using his services. He wants me to hire him to bring a “secret sauce recipe” to
my sales team. Once again I laughed and moved on to something else on my (business)
When it comes to sales, there is no
secret sauce, and you will be hard pressed to prove otherwise. Don’t get me
wrong, I do believe there is a time and place to seek sales training, but even
with the biggest sales training programs out there, think Sandler Sales
Institute as an example, the training is based around management of real world
processes in business. Sandler doesn’t necessarily have a secret sauce, instead
they have a teaching style, and those who learn from Sandler learn methods that
can be applied in a variety of sales settings.
Although I am Sandler trained, I’m not a
spokesman, rather an observer of the sales world around me. Over the course of
my 23 year career I’ve had the opportunity to be involved in a variety of
third-party training programs and I’ve also taught many on my own.
Selling, at its core, is about building
a relationship with someone. Nothing more, nothing less. Is there a secret
sauce to dating? Is there a secret sauce to starting a new school? Is there a
secret sauce to interviewing for a new job? Some may say yes, but I say no.
Implying that you need a secret sauce to be successful in relationships, at least
to me, is a sad testament to our culture. Instead, I would prefer to guide
sales people toward training that is grounded in openness.
A short post this week, but one I felt
the need to write. Not only have I been contacted lately by the snake oil
salesman pitching his secret sauce to sales training success, many of my colleagues
have as well. Successful sales people can be trained. Successful sales people
can learn new techniques. But, truly successful sales people, the ‘A’ level
sales people, know there is no secret sauce. Their success comes from building relationships
with their prospects and clients, managing those relationships with care, and
sticking to traditional fundamentals of selling. Remember the old saying, if it
seems too good to be true, it likely is.