7 Misconceptions of Lower Third Salespeople

Misconception #3

The single biggest problem in selling...


Ben discusses the 3 activities of selling.


Misconception # 3: Selling is making statements

Question to ask: "How you persuade a prospect to buy?"


The Challenge 

Many Lower Third producers believe that selling is making statements:  

  • Tell prospects enthusiastically
  • Keep telling them (a bit louder) until they say YES. 

As we discussed in the training on Misconception #1, many Lower Third producers have a deep-seated belief that salespeople are pushy.  

Let's explore that misconception in greater detail. How are salespeople pushy? They continue making statements (reasons to buy) until they wear down prospects and "convince" them to buy. 

Your task is to use the question above to discover your salesperson's deepest assumptions about the process of selling.  What is "selling"? How does your salesperson persuade prospects to make a buying decision during the sales call? 

One way to set up asking your salesperson the opening question above is to present a sales scenario: 

"You've just presented our product or service to a prospective buyer. You answered all of his or her questions and yet the prospect still won't buy.  What do you do next?"

Your salesperson's answer will  reveal a lot about whether they become "lost in the sale." 

That means that if the prospective buyer doesn't say YES after the first close... they aren't sure what to do next. 

As an aside, many of your middle third and top third sales producers may frequently become lost in the sale. When their prospective buyers do not say YES after the first close, they will often say the same things over, perhaps a little bit louder, with a touch of fear or irritation, hoping the prospect will say YES.  

Your salespeople in the lower third are probably not doing that. The middle third or the even the top third are confident enough and have a high enough expectations that they will they will persist and be more assertive.  

When your lower third salesperson answers the opening question above, you're looking for some indication that when prospective buyers don't immediately say and they don't have any more questions... the salesperson really doesn't know what to do next.


In other words, salesperson is out of bullets!  

  • She or he has tried everything. 
  • The prospect has not said YES. 
  • The salesperson doesn't want to be pushy. 

When you reach this point in the conversation, it is an opportune time for you to explain the three basic activities of selling.

1. Statements

The first activity of selling is making statements.  Your salesperson will readily agree that statements are necessary in selling because they provide the information needed to make an informed buying decision. 

The challenge your bottom third sales producers have with statements is:

a) They believe making statements is what sales profession is all about. It is a salesperson assertively and persistently make statements about their product or services until the prospect finally says yes.  

b) they believe making statements is "pushy" because it is one person telling another person how to spend their money.   

Your lower third salespeople probably won't say this.  So as you explain this first selling activity,  watch the response of your salesperson and look for subtle nonverbal indicators of agreement.

If your salesperson has this misunderstanding that selling is acheived by making statements, then  he or she will naturally not want to appear as a pushy, overly enthusiastic salesperson who overstates and exaggerates as needed to make a sale. .

Neither would you or I. 

The Solution: Help each one of your lower third sales producers understand that while statements are necessary, the next two activities of selling are persuasive in leading prospects to the moment of buying decision. 

2. Questions

The second sales activity is asking questions. The top selling sales professionals have developed the skills become experts at asking questions that direct the thoughts of prospective buyers to the factors most important in making an immediate buying decision.

Top sales professionals ask questions through out the sales appointment:  

When establishing rapport, ask questions to involve and relax the prospective buyer

  • When gathering information to identify needs so you can tailor the presentation for that prospect. 
  • When presenting because a participating prospect is a buying prospect.
  • When closing, whether directly or indirectly, because that signals the prospect that he or she has enough information to make a buying decision. 
  • When addressing concerns, otherwise you may answer a question the prospect does not have.
  • When negotiating or asking for referrals, it is surprising how often people do what you ask. 

Unfortunately: Many of your lower third sales producers who think that selling is making statements.... don't ask questions at each of the points above.

One of the insights for you to share with your lower third salesperson is that questions are more persuasive than making statements.  

If they doubt this, ask your salesperson which is more persuasive: a statement that the salesperson makes, or a statement that the prospective buyer makes?

Questions are more persuasive than statements because they keep the prospective buyer focused on the key elements needed to make an immediate buying decision. 

Here's even more good news for lower third producers: In sales situations, asking only three or four key questions will go a long way in helping prospects more easily and more quickly make a buying decision. 

More on this in future trainings....

3. Silence

The third activity of selling is silence.

Top salespeople use silence after asking a question: 

  • to get more information 
  • requesting the prospective buyer to take action.  

The two most common mistakes salespeople make when closing is addressed in the final training in this series. 



So those are the three activities of selling on the most basic level. What do you want to discover and to help this lower one third salesperson discover is what they do most often in their selling. Are they only making statements and making very few and asking very few questions.  

If that is the case then they are probably giving the same presentation to different customers to have different specific needs. And although the information they give maybe accurate and just as they were trained to give, it is not as persuasive as it could be because they are not applying it to the specificsituation of the prospective buyer.  

To be clear, this training is not a comprehensive look at how to use Statements, Questions and Silence to increase sales revenues and profit margins. 

Instead, the focus of this training is to help you identify a key core belief about selling that is limiting your bottom third sales producers from using their full selling resources.  

The misconception is that they don't want to be pushy. The source of their misconception is that selling is aggressively making statements to push prospects into making buying decisions they really don't want to make. 

This is a deep seated belief that lower third sales producers will hesitate to share with you.  

The solution, which will be explained more in detail in future trainings in this series, is that they can use statements, questions and silence in an authentic, low key manner, to lead prospects to an educated buying decision. 

Live sales team mentoring

Would it help your Lower Third if I went through these 7 misconceptions of selling with your sales team?  In a live, online sales training, I could cover each one of these misconceptions in detail, answering their questions and enabling them to expand their selling tool kit. 

No travel expenses. A cost efficient, fun, relevant interactive training that includes team discussions, PowerPoint visuals, handouts for notes, and plenty of Q&A!

Clearing up just a few of your Lower Third producers' misconceptions is the first step in moving your Lower Third salespeople up the production chart!

My outcome: helping every salesperson above the current mean average of your sales team. 

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