One of my clients (Ron you know who you are) quoted Dwight D Eisenhower to me “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” I immediately saw the sales application, do you? Of course then I got to thinking about books and things I had heard…Guess what I found – a book I won at a training for engineers on sales Sun Tzu’s The Art of War Plus The Art of Sales: Strategy for Salespeople.
pg 118: Sun Tsu “Small vehicles exit his camp first. They move the army’s flanks. They are forming a battle line.”
pg 119 Gary Gagliardi’s Sales Translation “Your competitors ask a prospect for a number of small decisions. These decisions support their proposal. Expect them to try to close the sale.”
I guess we can learn a lot about sales from war, if these two examples show us anything. Although I feel like there are a few other things we need to keep in mind:
- no one should ever be hurt in the sales process.
- good salespeople should never be shot at by the other side (competition OR prospects).
- your competition doesn’t have to be viewed as the enemy.
- your prospects need not be an opponent, but rather your partner in the process.
That’s all for now, can you think of any other ways sales & war theory are related… or not?