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You may not know until you ask?

We were sitting at the Kitchen table and a song I had heard was on the radio. It was a song like so many others today, catchy, and popular. My wife always has the radio on in the background and the same few current hit songs play over and over again all day, every day. I am not sure about you, but I love music of all types. I love the tunes, the melody, and the catchy nature of the songs. The one issue I have with current music is that I never know what the singer is saying. Most of the singers appear to have excellent voices but for some reason, I just never get the words. Might be because of my age, or it might be because of the style of the singing, regardless, I never have a clue what is being sung.

Recently, I was having a business conversation with a prospect for sales training. From the outset of the conversation, the prospect was adamant that the Value training we offer was not for them. Their contention was that they had been selling in the B2B space for years with price and service. And that if they could get the price below 2%, they felt they had a shot to get the business on Card. I probed a little further as to what happened when the Supplier still thought a sub-2 % rate was too expensive? For a moment there was silence, then he piped in, “Well, I don’t close those.” I tried to explain to the prospect that Price is not a value lever, and what we in the industry consider to be lower rates, still may appear to the prospects to be unacceptable costs, particularly if your supplier thinks their own collections costs are zero.

Seeking out sales training of any kind can be and should be beneficial to the salesperson on both an informational and tactical level. Informational, to build your knowledge base using the expertise of others who have acquired the information you need to know, where the trainee acquires it in a much shorter period than it took the trainer to acquire it. Tactical sales training should be the follow-on to show those that need it the practical use of the information they have just acquired and how it is put into practice in the live sales environment. You must have the informational side before you can progress to the tactical side. Think of it like this, as a pitcher in baseball you need to know where the batter is, and where the plate is. You need to know the shape of the plate and the strike zone in order to throw pitches to strike the batter out. If you don’t have that information, then developing a curve ball has little point. Sales is a lot like this. You can dress the part and talk your way in the door but when it gets down to the information that needs to be shared, you may be like my prospect selling price, when price was not the real objection. It was the prospect’s denial about their current real costs and my prospect was not leading them to this discussion, talking about his price.

Working as I have in Corporate America I was often amazed by training courses that were followed by questions and answers sessions, if indeed the trainer had left enough time for that. When they did, most of the time it was deafeningly silent. It was usually a combination of, afraid to ask, did not care to ask, did not want to be first to ask, or hoping someone else would ask. If it was not for those reasons then it was usually because someone was not paying attention to the training, so did not know what to ask. This is an absolute shame that a culture could be created where this is the case, particularly when so much effort and cost were put into the training. So why is this?

My take is that in today’s world, no one wants to look bad. No one wants an image to be created of themselves that might be negative or make people believe they know less than they actually do. I believe it is a strength to be able to ask for information or even to seek it out. By contrast, remaining silent or denying yourself the ability to improve by interacting with others could be seen as a weakness. No one ever wants to admit they know less than they do, you are never too old to learn something new. I take great pleasure in learning new information every day from a variety of people and sources with different experiences than I have in business and in life in general.

That catchy tune once again is playing on the radio. What is the singer saying? I ask my wife, and kind of matter a factly she says, “Watermelon Sugar High.” Makes perfect sense now, I had thought he was saying something completely different. Good Job I asked.

Roger McNamara Bio:

Roger is a 25+-year veteran of the Payments Industry, most recently as the Director of Business Development with American Express in the US. He has worked on the largest Acquisition targets for acceptance across multiple Industries and across the globe that include: Airlines, Communications, Technology, Cruise Lines, Entertainment, Fractional Jet, Freight, Government, Healthcare, Insurance, Oil & Gas, Residential Rent, Restaurants, QSR’s, Retail, Services, Supermarkets, Travel, Vehicle Sales, B2B and Wholesale. Over that time, he has sold more than $200 Billion worth of Card processing and became an expert in Bankcard Interchange and Discount Rates, how they are calculated and what merchants pay to accept Credit, and how this is dramatically different from what they believe they pay. He is an expert in Merchant Statement analysis and payment processing and the rules and regulations associated with payments and the associations. Roger has also developed the insight for Merchant Services Salesforces and salesforces, in general, to be able to better position their products and gain share, particularly in B2B. Let him show you how you can too. He can be reached at

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