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Five Classic Situations That Trip Up Sellers ... And How to Avoid Them

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In our research, we discovered something buyers rate much higher in importance than do sellers. It's the link between core values and actions. When sellers have aligned their values and actions, they will strengthen their credibility, improve the buyer's experience, and find greater sales success. See five classic situations that can trip up sellers and learn how to avoid them.

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Five Classic Situations That Trip Up Sellers ... And How to Avoid Them

  1. 1. 5 Classic Situations That Trip Up Sellers… Jim Kouzes, Barry Posner, and Deb Calvert DEB CALVERT is the founder of People First Productivity Solutions and The Sales Experts Channel, and author of one of HubSpot’s “Top 20 Most Highly Rated Sales Books of All Time.” JAMES M. KOUZES is the Dean’s Executive Fellow of Leadership, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University, and according to the Wall Street Journal, one of the twelve best executive educators in the United States. BARRY Z. POSNER, PHD, is the Accolti Endowed Professor of Leadership at the Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University, where he served for twelve years as dean of the school. Jim and Barry have been working together for more than 35 years, studying leaders and researching leadership. They are the coauthors of the bestselling book The Leadership Challenge and over a dozen other books on leadership. …And How to Avoid Them Little White Lies On occasion, sellers tell ‘little white lies’ to save face when they skip or reschedule appointments, miss deadlines, or fail to deliver on promises. No Accountability When buyers are dissatisfied, they don’t care who made the mistake. They don’t want to be blamed or met with a defensive reaction. They want sellers to follow through, to make it right, and to deliver what was promised. Self-Serving Choices Sometimes sellers make choices that negatively impact buyers, like upselling an unnecessary feature to earn additional incentive pay or delaying an order so the revenue counts in a later quota period. Divulging Confidential Information Some sellers divulge confidential information about a buyer’s competitors to create a sense of urgency, to capitalize on the fear of missing out, or to demonstrate the popularity of their product. 1 2 3 4 5 No Price Integrity Buyers will sometimes delay decisions in anticipation of more favorable terms (like month-end deals). When price concessions materialize, buyers wonder how much lower the price could go and why sellers first tried suckering them into a higher price. 1 2 3 Clarify Your Values Identify the values you use to guide the choices and decisions you make. Your values are your internal compass, helping you know when to say “yes” and when to say “no” even in high-stakes selling situations. Find Your Voice Find your own authentic way of talking about what’s important to you. Connect what you believe with both what you say and what you do and authentically communicate your beliefs in ways that uniquely represent who you are. Buyers want to know the real you. Affirm Shared Values Help your buyers and internal partners to articulate why they do what they do and what they care about. Build consensus with them around values, principles, and standards, and make sure people adhere to agreed-on values and standards before, during, and after a purchase has been made. These actions are aligned to the first of The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership® , Model the Way. Learn more about The Five Practices today. These situations are easier to navigate when you know your guiding principles and when what you say and do reflects the “real you”, not a version of you that sets aside ethics or ideals to sell. Being a credible leader means you must consistently live your values. That’s why, in selling, it’s essential that you: In our groundbreaking research with more than 500 B2B buyers, we discovered something buyers rate much higher in importance than do sellers: the link between core values and actions. The following five situations can trip up sellers who haven’t identified their own values and consistently aligned their actions to demonstrate those values. Discover more about our latest research and explore the leadership behaviors that provide a blueprint for greater sales success. BECOME A SELLER WHO LEADS