Sales Force Follies:

by Jacques Werth, Founder of High Probability Selling.  © 2005

The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed on from one generation to the next, says that when you discover you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

In many sales organizations, the heavy investment in existing sales practices makes dismounting unfeasible, and these creative strategies are adopted instead:

  1. Providing motivational seminars, tapes, and group sessions, to encourage riders to stay on their dead horses longer.
  2. Threatening riders with termination when they can't get their dead horses moving.
  3. Providing riders with stronger whips.
  4. Determining how more successful organizations ride their dead horses.  Then, adapting those methods as the company's new “Best Practices.”
  5. Determining that riders who don't stay on dead horses are lazy, lack drive, and have no ambition - then replacing them.
  6. Appointing an intervention team to reanimate dead horses and assure that all riders are in compliance with approved riding standards.
  7. Awarding professional certification plaques to riders who learn the best techniques to stay on their dead horses for long periods of time.
  8. Reclassifying dead horses as “living-impaired.”
  9. Directing management to find new and better ways to inspire riders to charge their dead horses into battle.
  10. Teaming several dead horses together for increased speed.
  11. Donating old dead horses to a recognized charity, thereby deducting their full original cost.  Then using the savings to buy new dead horses.
  12. Proving that the reason for diminished sales results is a combination of macoroeconomic circumstances and increased competition from other dead horse teams.
  13. Developing contests and incentive plans to reward the best dead horse riders.
  14. Enacting a strict dress code so that their riders look “professional.”
  15. Prohibiting riders from purchasing and riding their own live horses since that is not in accordance with the company's time-tested methods.
  16. Promoting the most persevering of dead horse riders to manage and train new riders.

Did you chuckle as you read this?  Salespeople stuck riding dead horses need a good laugh.  Sales managers who read this and laugh in embarrassed recognition need to abandon their dead horses - now.

If you're ready to abandon the “tried and false,” if you're ready to commit to a sales process that really works, you're ready for High Probability Sales Training.