Welcome to another Front Line Friday with my remarkable guest, Bridget Gleason. On this week’s episode, Bridget and I focus on one of the bad habits in sales, which I refer to as “sales biases”. I think we all have filters that we use to judge certain situations. And in sales, one of the most common biases sales people have is when they encounter a new prospect and think “oh, these guys are just like this other company I dealt with, so I’m going to do the same thing here that I did there”. Once you start looking at situations, or people, through a filter, you stop really being alive to the possibilities of what’s different and what value or insight you can bring to the prospect that help differentiate you. And help you close the sale.
Join Bridget and I for this episode of Accelerate! to learn how to identify your own sales biases, and how to minimize their impact on how you approach each prospect.
[2:18] Bridget thinks pattern recognition is still important in sales, but that it can sometimes be taken too far when it goes beyond recognition and turns into a bias instead.
[2:56] No two prospects are ever precisely alike, so Andy believes that relying too heavily on this pattern recognition to deal with a prospect can hinder salespeople.
[4:50] Bridget raises the point that the push towards automation by management makes it challenging, even confusing, for sales reps to treat each prospect differently.
[7:22] Andy says the act of selling to a prospect changes the prospect as they become more educated and informed, and that being alive to the possibility of this change puts a salesperson in a leading position with competitors.
[10:09] You want to be careful when a pattern turns into a bias, which can create some blindness, preventing you from seeing what the different alternatives, possible solutions, and possible paths are.
[13:22] One of the best examples of a sales bias is how sales reps think that all marketing generated leads are crap.
[14:35] Andy and Bridget discuss how to identify these sales biases and how to minimize their impact when dealing with prospects.
[18:02] Selling is a deliberate process, it’s not a robotic or an automatic process — you have to make decisions every step of the way and that’s what makes it interesting.
[21:34] Bridget and Andy discuss a curiosity mindset in sales, and how one of the most effective techniques to fight sales biases is to ask questions, be attentive to the answers, and carry out post-sale analysis to learn from won and lost sales.
[27:37] Bridget shares her final words of wisdom on identifying a sales bias.
Bridget was most recently VP of Corporate Sales at SumoLogic. Prior to that her recent experience includes being VP of Sales for Yesware and SVP of Worldwide Sales for Engine Yard. She can be contacted at email@example.com.