Sales Fundamentals: Why Learn the Elementary Principles? Analogy X PrinciplesOn December 1, 2021 by blog-admin
Well, I do think there’s a good framework for thinking. It is physics. You know, the sort of first principles reasoning. Generally I think there are — what I mean by that is, boil things down to their fundamental truths and reason up from there, as opposed to reasoning by analogy.
Through most of our life, we get through life by reasoning by analogy, which essentially means copying what other people do with slight variations. – Elon Musk
Every subject or field of knowledge can be mastered.
You can start learning today about how to launch a rocket into space, understanding the physics, chemistry and math behind it all.
However, the most common mistake you make is looking for shortcuts when gaining knowledge.
Honestly, I know what it’s like. We all know…
Much of what we need to learn throughout life does not give us the pleasure needed to understand what is really behind the curtain and common sense or superficial knowledge ends up prevailing.
However, there is an absurd difference between truly mastering and just knowing more than average.
When we learn by analogies, it’s basically as if we understand that something works or doesn’t because we’ve seen it happening. Simple trial or error, with no reasoning or direction whatsoever.
We don’t look for the real cause of something and we don’t even know how to explain the reason for the conclusion we drew.
It’s easy to learn by analogy when we talk about practical situations, like how to kick a ball.
You know that if you hit the inside of your foot, in an inside-out movement, the ball will have an opposite effect, rotating horizontally on its own axis (in a rotation movement).
You can explain it to a child more easily by showing them.
Now why does the effect direct the ball to the opposite side?
How does rotation change a trajectory in almost the opposite direction?
How to optimize this effect without losing power and speed along the trajectory?
A little more complicated, isn’t it?
The difference can be brutal, even in explanations:
A basic explanation can be that of SuperInteressante , which analyzes the principles, but is aimed at those who do not want to go so deep.
On the other side, you can check out this scientific study and understand the impact of the Magnus Effect on the ball’s trajectory. 🙂
It’s the same with sales: we repeat many truths we read or hear, but we almost never know the real reason, or fundamental principle, behind those actions.
Let’s go to one of the most common:
If I asked you why asking questions convinces a person more than explaining something, I’m pretty sure your answer would be:
People have less resistance when they don’t feel that someone is convincing them, changing their minds. It is easier for them to be guided by questions and the reasoning required to answer those same questions will convince them of what I would like.
A little vague, isn’t it?
Let’s go deeper:
Why are we more easily convinced than we are by other people?
In general, we tend to convince ourselves better about problems. We know this because we are exactly like that and we can, by analogy, understand this explanation.
However, indications of confidence about a solution – coming from friends, family, for example – can be more effective in the short term.
People who want to lose weight could learn more about how to lose weight in a healthy way. They could choose to go to a nutritionist to start a diet.
They could start exercising frequently.
However, they often choose to do something that friends or references (celebrities, idols or other authority figures) are doing and this is one of the biggest factors in making a short-term decision.
Is this a rule? Why does it happen?
Blue World City just realized, in an analogy, that there can be holes in an almost sacred phrase among salespeople, right?
This (and a little more) is what we’ll discover by discussing the fundamentals of a sale, asking the real reason behind each statement until we get to the bottom of what we’re arguing about.
And the main thing is that the team of Capital Smart City is going to try to get away from one of the most common mistakes among salespeople: the Dunning-Kruger Effect (or Dunning-Kruger Effect).
The difference between the chef and the cook
The Dunning-Kruger Effect is a result of the work of two researchers who give the effect its name, from Cornell University.
They discovered something that common sense already suggests and I’m going to copy the Wikipedia definition here because I couldn’t describe it better:
The Dunning-Kruger effect is the phenomenon by which individuals who have little knowledge about a subject believe they know more than others who are better prepared, causing them to make wrong decisions and reach undue results; it is their incompetence that restricts them from the ability to recognize their own mistakes.
These people suffer from illusory superiority.
How many people with minimal knowledge of a particular subject like to discuss with a level of arrogance?
Football, religion, politics, for example, are fields full of “experts”. Facebook and Twitter have become a minefield of discussions without any real arguments whatsoever.
On a professional level, we see the result of this effect clearly on LinkedIn and the boom of people posting about their “successful” experiences…
The problem is, people don’t do it for bad. The DK effect (let’s abbreviate for ease) is not the result of anyone’s lack of character, it is simply the way our minds work.
Generally, those who reach the point of arrogance in a specific subject already know more than the average person with whom they live.
I’ve met a number of brilliant but young or inexperienced professionals who share relevant knowledge.
This kind of knowledge is really relevant for those who are a step behind, learning or experiencing what they went through a few months ago.
However, the attention of these people makes us feel special and better. We forgot to look at that there is still a giant ladder, with many better professionals to climb.
Working on self-knowledge, without false or exaggerated humility, is really complicated, but there is a way to stay realistic: you need to try to understand the fundamental principles of ANY subject that you really want to master.
That’s the final difference between a chef and a cook, for example.
While the cook can execute any recipe to perfection, it is over time (and wrong and right) that he learns what can be changed or created.
The chef, in turn, understands the basics of cooking and knows how to create new recipes, harmonize and substitute, improvise.
And as much as cooks are needed in every kitchen, it’s the chefs who really make the place stand out. 😉
How to be a sales chef (or how to master sales fundamentals)?
This series of articles seeks just that: mastering and demonstrating the fundamentals of a sale.
It’s no use knowing how to run a SPIN Selling if you don’t understand the basics behind it.
After all, how many people do you know in the sales market who repeat formulas and phrases that reflect a truth, but never knew why?
Being a “chef” in sales is precisely knowing how to improvise and create. Understand the logic behind each step of the process, know how to adapt and evolve.
Think of it like this:
If the cook lacks an ingredient, but he has other options, he will be lost and will be able to improvise on the feeling.
The chef, however, knows exactly how to replace that ingredient with one that will continue to harmonize with the rest of the dish. He is able to innovate and choose new ways to deliver amazing flavors.
And yes, chefs make mistakes too.
Specializing is crucial and that’s what we’re going to do here 🙂
What principles are we going to analyze
First, I need to be clear: we are looking at how we human beings make decisions.
It’s virtually impossible to predict with absolute certainty that something will be done, but just like poker, selling is a numbers game.
You just need the best strategies and ideas that will get the wind to blow more in your favor than against (but a little luck never hurts, does it?).
Ready. It is not possible to maintain a process with 100% conversion. Do you agree?
After all, our job here will always be to ask the real reason. Remember that logic where you act like a child and always understand why something?
That endless repetition of the same question until you get to the root of the reason.
That’s how scientists work and that’s how we’re going to try to see this sales science.
Let’s explain simple questions that have many “whys” to get to the fundamental principle. And there will still be something to say…
Some questions or “facts” that we’ll work together to explain:
- What does a salesperson need to master to perform well?
- How to train a sales team for high performance?
- How to motivate a sales team?
- What is the difference between a price sale and a value sale? Why do they say it’s better to sell for value?
- What influences a sales cycle?
- Isn’t Solution Selling the solution to all ills?
- What are the best sales methodologies?
- How to sell without discounting?
- How to structure a sales pitch?
- How to learn the best sales techniques?
- How to structure a complete business process?
- How to generate authority in a sale?
- How to break the ice in a cold prospect?
- How to structure the best cadence flows?
And so on…
Now, if you’ve read all the questions above and feel like you already know how to answer everything, there are two options:
- You are part of the 3% that dominate sales like few others;
- You are in the other part of the crowd, the one that suffers from Dunning-Kruger.
Even so, when I miss something, comment there and update the texts. You can’t cover all the material in the world, but I’m going to love content nominations.
This series probably doesn’t have a clear ending, so I’m going to break it down into sections and try to keep everything organized here on the blog.
Focus of articles and sections
In most cases, I will approach or exemplify principles from the point of view of a consultative sale, and generally B2B (Business to Business, or the sale of one company to another).
Summarizing the table above and the reason for choosing B2B: if you need to generate more value throughout a sale, you need to use more refined techniques. Working with a longer cycle also requires stronger engagement, so the challenge tends to be greater and allow for better exploration on our side 🙂
Just as a chef learns more about French, Italian or Japanese cuisine, we need to specialize.
Even so, we’re talking about real-world applications only.
The principles can and should be treated as applicable in other situations.
Whenever I can, I’ll share more scenarios and diversify the way to make a principle tangible, but I’m counting on you to understand the fundamentals of it and help me here in the comments, explaining how you would use it in your scenario, after all I’m a salesperson and nothing better what an analogy, isn’t it? 😛
I will update the texts to put the best ones 🙂
Finally, I will always try to work out a sales principle or foundation with the following logic:
“I think most people can learn a lot more than they think they can. They sell themselves short without trying.
One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree — make sure you understand the fundamental principles, i.e. the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to.” – Elon Musk (again)
I can’t disagree when he talks about how to structure knowledge.
It doesn’t matter if you are an experienced salesperson or a novice, a junior coordinator or a VP of sales.
Discussing principles always opens up space for debate and opinions, but it generates more learning than just repeating or explaining by analogies (although it is more difficult).
Let’s talk about the following points:
- Root and Trunk: these are the fundamental principles, those that explain the real behaviors and reasons for what we do and why it happens that way
- Big branches: how this is transformed into generic knowledge for the whole market (or part of it)
- Small Branches and Leaves: How to Apply This Knowledge to Your Context