"Without hard work and discipline it is difficult to be a top professional"
There is no free ride to success. There is no easy button to press. Without hard work, dedication, an extreme tolerance for frustration and setbacks you can never become a sales champion.
If you really want it, then you must be willing to back it up by taking action. I am concerned that far too many in sales lack a basic understanding of what’s really necessary to become a sales professional.
Interview a professional athlete, and they will share with you they had an athletic dream; a dream of making it big.
What professional basketball player didn't want to be like Mike?
While every professional basketball player craves the success that a Michael Jordan had, many aren't willing to do what is necessary to get there.
The success strategy is quite simple, it's not very glamorous and all in your mind. It’s a four-letter word called WORK!
“If you do...
"The odds of hitting your target go up dramatically when you aim at it"
In today's environment, sales team are being faced with monumental and daunting challenges.
They’re wrestling with major changes in their markets brought on by information-empowered buyers, digitization within the sales channel, and adapting to selling in a virtualized world.
Competition is everywhere, from well-established companies to tech savvy start-ups, coupling this with uncontrollable events; and this has placed added pressure on sales margins.
How open minded are you to change?
In order to grow, you must retool parts of the sales process around a different model, one which calls for new approaches, new positioning within the marketplace, new client experiences, and new business growth; all centered on a...
"No one really sees pro athletes behind the scenes. They don't know how hard they work. They don't see how you work on the basics. They couldn't possibly know. You wouldn't think that someone who hits like Alex Rodriguez needs to use a tee every day. But that's how he stayed on top of it."
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
Let that quote sink in for just a moment.
Now, think about the following question... Could you enhance your sales results and become more successful, if you consistently learned how to master the basics?
Vince Lombardi, the legendary Green Bay Packers coach, once said that football comes down to only two things: Blocking on offense and tackling on defense, and those are the basics his teams spent 80% of their time on in practice.
How many of you spend 80% of your time practicing the sales basics?
Here is my concern, too many of you are wasting time chasing shortcuts, automation magic and excuses; before mastering the fundamentals.
The greatest skill in...
"People spend too much time finding other people to blame, too much energy finding excuses for not being what they are capable of being, and not enough energy putting themselves on the line, growing out of the past, and getting on with their lives."
The coming of a new year... a renewed commitment to an exercise plan, another new diet, another new sales compensation plan and another year full of promises.
I firmly believe the New Year is also a time to break bad habits.
Habits... they're simply behaviors that impact the decisions we make about how to spend our time, our sales activities and resources.
Over time, you accumulate experiences and knowledge which influences your outlook along with your ability to effectively manage what you do on a daily basis.
From the most tenured of salespeople to the less experienced, recognizing what's a good versus bad habit, this is the first mission critical step in understanding why you do certain things while avoiding...
"At the end of the day, it’s not what you say or what you do, but how you make people feel that matters the most."
How many of you understand what your top clients want? How many of you understand what they desire?
Are you even relevant in their eyes? Would you even know?
Right now, at this very moment, how many of you can honestly answer these questions?
Gut check time, isn't it?
I would like all of you to think about your top clients, got it? Think about how much they mean to you and your company. Think about all the potential business opportunities, referrals and relationships.
What would it mean to you and your company if you lost your one of your top accounts?
If I had a dollar for every time I've heard these statements, “We service the heck out of our customers. They’ll never leave us.”, "They love me, they're not going anywhere." Here is the best one, "I own this account." And then all of a sudden, a cold dose of reality sets in, a...
"To acquire knowledge, one must study; but to acquire wisdom, one must observe."
Marilyn vos Savant
In my last article, you were asked the question, What are the attributes that allow you to outperform your competition?
To find your lasting competitive advantage, you must look for something your competitors cannot easily replicate or imitate.
What is your competitive advantage?
We're going to take this one step farther...
According to Tettra,
"Institutional knowledge is the combination of experiences, processes, data, expertise, values, and information possessed by company employees. It can span decades and comprise crucial trends, projects, perspectives and that define a company’s history."
Here is the sales spin...
With institutional client knowledge at their fingertips, sales professionals can better understand their client's operations and help them to make more informed decisions when it matters most.
Deep institutional client knowledge is a game changer.
We all have the...
"The greatest competitive advantage in the modern economy is a positive and engaged brain."
According to Wikipedia, competitive advantage is defined as, "The attribute that allows an organization to outperform its competitors."
Let's drill down on this one more layer... What are the attributes that allow you to outperform your competition?
You see, to find a lasting competitive advantage, look for something your competitors cannot easily replicate or imitate.
What is your competitive advantage?
Each one of you have a competitive advantage. How many of you know what it is?
Let's face it, there will always be someone better than you. This applies to your personal and professional life.
Jack Welch said it best,
"If you don't have a competitive advantage you do not compete"
The clear, defining and...
"As connected as we are with technology, it's also removed us from having to have human connection, made it more convenient to not be intimate."
Social platforms have become the hot spot for distortions, where the real versions of who we are remain backstage. We take selfies, photoshop, curate and upload the best we got.
Then we hold our breath and pray for some attention.
Think like your client or a buyer for a moment... do ever wonder if this runs through their mind?
"Stop trying to impress me. I can make up my own mind about whether I like you; trust you; or even believe you. You don’t have to make up my mind for me."
Many of you are fighting to been seen but how many are truly breaking free to be heard?
On the flip side of this, successful sales professionals build extremely valuable social networks. They develop, nurture, cultivate, listen and invest considerable time in humanizing them.
Let's all stop and think for a moment...
When it comes to the use of...
“Assumptions are the termites of relationships."
I'm deeply concerned many in sales have taken their clients for granted.
They continuously struggle with building, nurturing and growing their relationships.
Building relationships with your clients is not a light switch you turn on then off. It's the emotional, human and the heartfelt connection you make with each and every one of them.
Curious to know... when is the last time you asked one of your clients what they thought of you?
Now, I would like for you to reflect on the following statement...
Whose fault is it that you're being pigeon-holed as a commodity?
It doesn't matter how excellent you think you are; your success depends first and foremost on how you are perceived in your clients’ minds when responding to their ever-changing needs.
John Mackey (CEO, Whole Foods) nails it,
“For us, our most important stakeholder is not our stockholders, it is our customers. We’re in...
"I believe we can accelerate our acumen, performance and success by leveraging our associations and spending time with people better than us."
If you wish to sit with executive decision makers at the business table, you need to learn, consume and mirror their characteristics.
Don’t Expect a Seat if You Don’t Bring Anything to the Table
Granted, not all will require C-level or executive access. However, engaging at this level is critical if your goals are to build strategic client relationships, be perceived as a trusted professional and to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Just a few years ago, Ulrik Juul Christensen in the Harvard Business Review, wrote that... 20 to 40 percent of employees are “unconsciously incompetent” in areas critical to their performance, and even more are “consciously incompetent,” meaning that employees realize that they are lacking the necessary skillset for their role.