The word paradigm is used to describe a change in basic assumptions. It is contrasted to the word "normal". Example: It is normal in sales just to get an appointment, go and make a presentation and let things either work out or not.
So what? So there are paradigms, and anomalies. Why should I care? The only reason I can think of is better closing ratios.
In the shift from sales person to consultant there are paradigms presented for many, but not all. Selling is defined as the activity of persuading someone to buy. A consultant is defined as an expert who gives advice. Which should we aspire to?
A sort of revolution occurs when experts in sales consultancy encounter anomalies (a deviation from normal) which cannot be explained by the universally accepted basic assumption.
There are anomalies for all paradigms, that are brushed away as acceptable levels of error, or simply ignored and not dealt with. Anomalies however, are many times, baby paradigm shifts waiting to be born.
When enough significant anomalies accrue against the current paradigm (the norm), the discipline where the anomalies occur is thrown into a state of confusion. During this confusion, new ideas, perhaps ones previously discarded, are revivified and tried once again. Eventually a new paradigm is formed, which gains its own new followers.
Paradigms to most of us are actually invisible.
When top salespeople's successful actions (Critical Success Factors) were studied, the same anomalies kept coming up from successful person to successful person. Suddenly, amongst top performers at least, what I looked at as an anomaly, was their norm. They had already made a paradigm shift. They had already shifted to a methodological sales process that was empathy based.
The major paradigm shift for sales is perhaps shared with the new definition of value-added selling as follows:
Value-added selling? (New Definition) It is selling according to the prospect's perceived needs (see: wants, as perceived needs are "wants"). This IS what they value. Remember," sell them what they "want" - deliver what they want and need."
This concept in and of itself is a paradigm shift from generations past. It is a clarion call for listening skills, observation skills and empathy toward the buyer's viewpoint