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Today, Knowledge Really is THE Power!


Guest articles > Today, Knowledge Really is THE Power!


by: Jonathan Farrington


During my keynote speech at the One Source/iSell UK launch recently, I made reference to my success formula – you know the one, I mention it often enough – Attitude + Skills + Process + Knowledge = Success – yes, that one. It has become the foundation of all of my work, quite simply because it works. And it works because quite simply, it is simple.

It is simple to understand; simple to coach; simple to apply …

It is wholly relevant – in fact in today’s rapidly changing sales environment, it is more relevant than ever. But what was particularly relevant last week, was the emphasis I place on “knowledge”

In days gone by, whenever anyone mentioned knowledge, there would be an immediate assumption that they were going to discuss “product knowledge” To an extent, that is understandable, because after all, even today, 80% of all training budgets are spent (invested?) on teaching sales teams all there is to know about the “product range”

The reality is that product knowledge is no longer a differentiator, rather, it is a very basic requirement of all successful frontline sales professionals – it is part of the entrance exam, and not a higher qualification.

Today, knowledge really is power, and that means …..

  • Industry knowledge
  • Sector knowledge
  • Competitive knowledge
  • Own company knowledge
  • Business knowledge (acumen)
  • Self-knowledge

As the discussions and debates continue unabated regarding the future of professional selling, one fact is very clear – the relevance of a salesperson in the “buying process” – yes, we have moved away from the “sales process” – is becoming increasingly diminished. This is quite simply because buyers, who are more self-educated than ever, are entering the cycle so much later.

The realization that buyers are already “super-busy and frazzled” – as illustrated by Mrs Konrath in her last book SNAP Selling is obvious, but it is not the main reason why they will not entertain us as freely as they once did. The fact is that they don’t need to. However, her assertion that our interactions need to be wholly relevant, is well argued.

“Wholly relevant” means using our knowledge – our complete knowledge – to justify our right to be part of our customer’s purchasing process.

As we move up the food chain, our ability to use different “languages” becomes increasingly important. We have to become commercially “multi-lingual” because the residents of the C-Lounge rarely use the language of the technical department for example – who naturally have a completely different set of buying criteria.

In the very near future, having the right attitude; a broad range of sales skills and being comfortable with internal consultative sales processes will not guarantee survival: The key will be the extent of our “commercial band-width” and that means our knowledge.

If you wish, you can download and listen to a recording of “The Rapidly Changing Face of Professional Selling” HERE


Jonathan Farrington is Chairman of The JF Corporation and CEO of Top Sales Associates, based in London and Paris. He is also the creator and CEO of Top Sales World and the man behind the Annual Top Sales Awards. More about Jonathan:

Contributor: Jonathan Farrington

Published here on: 04-Sep-11

Classification: Leadership


MSWord: Today.docx

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