The Paradigm Shift: Now it's on YOUR side of the table!
Apr 01, 2019
Have you ever watched those videos that tell you things like (please, use a funny low voice while you read) "I will help you triple your sales," "here is my 4-step blueprint so you can become a sales master," "sell 9X, 99X, 999X what you are selling today"?
Let me tell you something: That is NOT how things work.
Selling is exquisite art combined with science. And no quick magic can create it; the real magic arrives WHEN YOU CLOSE the deal you want to close. So, whoever is offering you INSTANT MAGICAL results, is...(sorry to say) lying to you.
Instead, REAL and SUSTAINED better sales results are achievable, indeed. And yes, you can begin TODAY. But guess what: Change and Personal Sales Transformation are now on your side of the table. And the reason is straightforward: You can not wait anymore for someone else to train you in sales, nor to deliver onboarding for you. No one (but you) can make you DO the things you learned either.
It's in your hands now. And it has always been.
Let me walk you through a simple step-by-step set of suggestions on how to change sales behaviors, fueled by yourself. I call them "The Real Key Success Factors for Personal Sales Transformation."
THE REAL KEY SUCCESS FACTORS
- The low hanging fruits. Transformation is a process. There are things you can do today to start your process QUICKLY, and there are things that you need to work on slowly, and in a disciplined way. There is ONE, maybe TWO things, areas, skills, behaviors, competencies (consider these synonyms) where you should start your work (a.k.a. Sales Workouts). Find them (self-assess yourself, or get specialized support for that) and start there. Most of the time, WE ALREADY KNOW where we can (need to) improve. But take a minute, look around and make a bold decision.
- Exercise. A simile with a fitness center is a great idea to help you understand this message: Salespeople are not born, but are made. And "making" yourself a successful sales professional requires discipline, practice, and sweat. Where to start? The truth is that you need to learn something first. ONE thing. Focus, and then exercise. All right, ONE thing, but "HOW do I exercise"? you might be wondering.
- Start with a motivator. Think about something that makes you uncomfortable. Pause and get your answer. Remember how you behave in that particular situation and what do you DO. Do, do, Do, dO! ... (these are not typos ... we are emphasizing the word "DO" to have you thinking on how you BEHAVE). "When was the last time that you ..." is a typical power question that can make you uncomfortable. Do not "let it go". Asking yourself a powerful question has a purpose, and it is a crucial component of sparking your development.
- Understand and Learn a Sales Tool. Sales knowledge is out there; books, videos, podcasts, sales training materials, you name it. That's a lot of trees that could potentially block you from seeing the forest! And that forest you need to conquer can be summed up in one word: HOW. "How do you _____" (How do you respond to that specific objection: how do you start a conversation with that specific customer; how do you address the customer that had a previous bad experience with your brand...). The advice here is: FIND A SALES TOOL that solves the HOW. Make it simple and do not accept solutions that over-complicate an already complicated forest. With that, your job will be to LEARN whatever the tool tells you.
- Do your homework (Practice the learnings). Remember the word "Exercise"?. Well, if you challenge yourself with homework, it will help you confront your learnings on the battlefield, and with your customers. ONE key learning, applied SEVERAL times, is the best recipe to acquire sales skills. No doubt.
- Observe and get observed. You can self-observe, or you can have someone observing you 👀. Ideally, you follow an observation guide (WHAT to observe). Remember: Creating good magic requires a magician performing at high standards. Get an audience that observes you, just as the audience who participates in the magician show and CAN TELL how he did it. NOT how the magician reasons, NOT what the magician knows, NOT how engaged or motivated the magician is. NO!. The audience sees HOW THE MAGICIAN BEHAVES. Where is the money? The money is on the actions, not in the sales professional's motivation, not in the acquired knowledge.
- One step at a time leads to a BIG TRANSFORMATION. Every time you embark on learning and practicing something new in Sales (we call that a Sales Workout) you set a goal. For example, some Sales Workouts are meant to help you ditch old-fashioned ways you approach customers. Some others may give you the strength you need (motivate you, take your fears apart, just to mention a couple). So, choose a Sales Workout, and get the max out of it. Practice and work-it-out for, let's say a week (maybe you NEVER STOP practicing it). And once you are done, go and set a new goal. One step at a time.
- Get new Sales Tools, permanently. Time brings changes. To your market and to your customers' priorities. Time brings new competitors and new challenges. The market is (always) uncertain. So, if you do not take care of yourself of finding and acquiring new top-of-the-line Sales Behaviors, nobody will. Learning is not a one-day, or one-week process. It's a permanent challenge. Especially for professional salespeople.
- Never Stop Changing. Maybe you have heard this before: "Continous improvement." "Permanent Transformation." There is a reason for these popular phrases. They will allow you to keep growing your sales abilities (we call that to Get in Sales-Shape), or help you maintain your gains (we call that to Stay in Sales-Shape). If you can change, there will ALWAYS be some other behaviors where you can improve. There is no "perfect" sales pro; there is no "fully achieved" sales master. Not even us. In your case, every area of future improvement means one thing: More money in YOUR pocket. Better Sales results bring cash to your pocket.
A NEW SALES LIFESTYLE
Substantial research shows that we, as humans, learn and forget almost immediately. Numbers differ here: Some say that within an hour, you already forgot 50% of what you learned, others say that within a month you forget 80% of what you learned. Whatever the precise number is, it is clear that forgetting means that you do not retain all the knowledge you acquired. And here is where targetting a NEW SALES LIFESTYLE becomes relevant. The solution is to avoid learning that vanishes (if you ever pay for that type of learning, that would be like pouring liquid money into a glass with a hole).
A lifestyle change is when you can change your daily routine, revisit your Sales Workouts, and challenge yourself with the new ones. You get feedback. You get observed.
Welcome to YOUR new SALES LIFE.