Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Defeating SADD in Corporate America

"Corporate America is losing thousands of sales dollars to SADD – Sales Attention Deficit Disorder," says sales trainer Colleen Stanley. "Salespeople pride themselves on their ability to multi-task, however, don't realize they are multi-tasking themselves right out of relationships and sales."

Here a tip from Stanley for decreasing SADD and increasing revenues. We'll look at two other tips next week.

1. Turn off your Blackberry.

No, you don't need reading glasses. You read the statement correctly. Turn off the electronics. An old adage in sales says, "People buy from people they like." And guess what? People like people that pay attention and make them feel important. When people feel important they say things like, "I felt like I was the only person in the room," "He made me feel so important," or "She was listening to my every word."

Salespeople are starting to remind me of dogs on shock collars. The minute the PDA rings or vibrates, they feel compelled to answer or check it, regardless of what they're doing or who they're with.

For example, a salesperson is calling on a prospect. The salesperson is doing a very good job of building rapport. The prospect is feeling comfortable and thinking that the salesperson really does care about his/her problem. Until the salesperson's cell phone vibrates. The salesperson looks down to check who is calling him and rapport is broken because the prospect receives the real message: I am important, but not more important than an incoming call.

A colleague shares a story of a breakfast meeting with a possible referral partner. They were ten minutes into breakfast when the possible referral partner took a phone call. This was not an emergency call, just a phone call. As my colleague sipped her coffee (alone), she made a mental note to put this possible referral candidate in the "just doesn't get it" category. My colleague scheduled an hour out of her busy day to meet this person and expected full attention during that hour. The phone-addicted salesperson lost an important opportunity to build a relationship.

Colleen Stanley is president of SalesLeadership Inc., a business development consulting firm specializing in sales and sales management training. The company provides programs in prospecting, referral strategies, consultative sales training, sales management training, and hiring/selection. Learn more at

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