Salem Witch Trials and Sales & Marketing…More in Common Than You Might Think!
My most surprising vacation was to Salem Massachusetts. I had been in Massachusetts hundreds of times and Salem at least 3 times. This time I went with my kids and one of my teenage daughters is a writer and had fixated on Salem Witch Trials. She had told me the details, but this trip opened my eyes and mind.
When you tour Salem there are museums, historic homes, places you have only read about and then there is the courthouse where the trial was held.
When you go into the courthouse you become entangled in a reenactment of the trial. Not in an imaginary kind of way with spirits, but a real reenactment right down to the clothing, the language and a real judge.
I have read legal, psychological, sociological many other types of studies trying to understand why regular people would use “partially true evidence” to convict young girls with wild imaginations of being a witch, with the possibility of being burned at the stake.
On this day I am in a 200 year old court room with school kids, retirees, and a couple of history teachers reenacting the trial and I am in the jury and I know NO ONE is guilty of witchcraft.
The trial starts and for over 30 minutes there is one half-truth after another supported by logical assumptions and all of it solidified by a few observations based on content out of context and tied together by emotional people who are sure they know something “just because” they have been told it is true (with no measurable proofs).
Then there are closing arguments on both sides. I am a CEO, college professor, church member going along with my kids and the rest of the jury voting “GUILTY” and being sure the evidence supports “GUILTY.”
This was a very hard 45 minutes for me. I was not the person I wanted to be or that I thought I was.
From that moment on I had to challenge everything to get to the truth and be able to behave in a manner that gets me the outcomes that are right for me and everyone I touch.
This experience was transformational to my professional life. I realized that the reason I was often angry, stressed or worried (when I was winning or losing) was all those half-truths, content out of context and one-off observations my profession was built on. For a century “Revenue Generation” practitioners have been telling each other things that were not true out of fear or based on myths, or half-truths. Because we didn’t know any better – we lived on “partially true evidence”.
It is the 21st Century and for my profession the “partially true evidence” should be replaced with “Revenue Science”. Just like in 1692 there was more science than “partially true evidence” if you looked and were willing to KNOW the difference.
The following are just three examples of “Revenue Science” vs. “partially true evidence”:
Cold Calling is the best way to get good leads
- “Partially true evidence” – sales is a numbers game. If you call enough people and are persuasive enough you will get appointments and if you have a good pitch you will close.
- “Revenue Science” – in the 21st Century likely buyers are doing research on the problems they have, what they plan to buy to solve those problems, and who they plan to buy from before you know they exist. A pitch vs. a value added buying experience will reduce your win rate and margin while increasing your “no decisions,” length of sales cycle and cost.
You are always closing
- “Partially true evidence” – hard closing, various proven closing techniques and persistence are the attributes of a great sales person. If your sales numbers are low, just close harder starting the first minute, use all the techniques and persist until the buyer submits.
- “Revenue Science” – is about helping buyers to buyer. A great buying process starts with understanding the joint process between you and the buyer regarding the buyer’s problem. This leads to an agreement between you and the buyer for a solution to the buyer’s problem. Once you and the buyer agree to solve the problem together the next process steps are contract (with fair value for both) and delivery of the solution.
Sales is about relationships
- “Partially true evidence” – build relationships and you will win the business. Sales is a relationship business – people buy from people they like so become their friend.
- “Revenue Science” – buyers spend money and take risk because their problem or their need is bigger than the purchase risk and cost. No one buys from a company they don’t trust or from a sales person who doesn’t put the buyer’s needs first “if they have a choice.” If the buyer’s problem is solved, it is a bonus if they “like” the sales person but it is a requirement to trust the salesperson and their company!
For too many of us in sales and marketing we are all about maximum activity based on “partially true evidence”. We saw something that worked once or someone told us something works and we execute our activity based on blind faith!
Make sure you and your team doesn’t get burned at the stake. Learn to apply “Revenue Science” with your eyes and mind wide open, questioning everything not aligned to the Revenue Science.