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Have salespeople forgotten how to sell?

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Have you noticed in recent years that the standards of selling have spiraled downward alarmingly? The quality of skills being displayed is now worse than I have ever witnessed, and companies are investing less and less in their front-line sales teams while expecting higher levels of achievement.

Have we become over-reliant on technology and sales processes? I think we have. Rather than using all these new tools to complement what we already had, we have forgotten why people actually buy. And we most certainly have forgotten to take into account how our customers and prospects want to buy.

Eighty percent of sales content these days refers to social-media activity, prospect attraction, lead management, etc. Less than 20 percent offers advice on developing sales skills. It’s almost as if it has become passé to mention such things.

So here’s a wake-up call for all front-line sales professionals. It really doesn’t matter how efficient your lead-tracking system is or how organized your CRM system has compelled you to become or how much time you spend cultivating your Twitter/LinkedIn presence. If you cannot sell, you are going to fail sooner rather than later.

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Jonathan Farrington is a globally recognized business coach, mentor, author, consultant and chairman of The JF Corporation and CEO of Top Sales Associates. For more information and tips from Jonathan, visit, or go to his blog at