Achieving Maximum Sales Results in 2024: It's About The Basics.

Jan 08, 2024
Achieving Maximum Sales Results in 2024: It's About The Basics.
"Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying the basic fundamentals."
Jim Rohn

As we kick off our time off together, I must ask... How much internal fortitude and discipline do you have to soar to new sales heights in 2024? 

Could you significantly increase your sales results and become even more successful, if with radical consistency you mastered the basics?

In referring to the basics, I believe it's about allowing yourself the grace too reset.

Without a shadow of a doubt, the basics are ultimately the foundation for disciplines and initiatives. Without the basics, how could you hope to accomplish anything requiring greater attention and energy?

You must become a master at the basics first to cultivate what you have now and then for any amounts of sustainable improvement.

In every discipline there is a starting position. And in sales there is a starting position.

Getting back to the basics serves as your starting point and quite possibly your reset point.

The Urban Dictionary defines, Getting Back to the Basics as,

"If you talk about getting back to basics, you are suggesting that people have become too concerned with complicated details or new theories, and that they should concentrate on simple, important ideas or activities."

In this crazy technology driven, app driven, hack driven and microwaved driven society, I would like for you to reread the above definition and then ask yourself... 

Have I overcomplicated my approach to sales?

THE FUNDAMENTALS WORK!

"I wasn't real quick, and I wasn't real strong. Some guys will just take off and it's like, whoa. So I beat them with my mind and my fundamentals."
 Larry Bird

Basic skills are ultimately the foundation for most disciplines. The same applies to the sales world.

Learning the fundamentals becomes the key to sales mastery.

Right now, some of you might be saying to yourself that it's boring to practice the basics, or why should I bother learning the fundamentals when there are so many advanced techniques to explore? 

My friends, the answer is quite simple, mastering the fundamentals provide a strong foundation that'll support your future learning.

If you struggle to do the foundational things correctly, you'll struggle to do the bigger things correctly.

Fundamentals as defined by Dictionary.com is: a basic principle, rule, law, or the like, that serves as the groundwork of a system; essential part.

Therefore, fundamentals become the building blocks upon which more advanced knowledge is built.

Improving the fundamentals is essential to your sales success. It's the difference between stagnating and thriving in 2024.

Without mastery of the basics, how could you hope to do anything which requires greater attention, energy and effort?

When you snub your nose to the basics, you've turned your back on yourself.

Check out this quote courtesy of Idowu Koyenikan,

"Opportunity does not waste time with those who are unprepared."

How prepared are you for what 2024 has in store for you?

How prepared are you for what your clients may have in store for you in 2024?

How prepared are you to grow your sales in 2024?

Success in 2024, it's about embracing the basics and the fundamentals.

Being a sports junkie, I would be remiss in not sharing a story with you to drive home the importance of fundamentals.

Sixty-three years ago, Vince Lombardi, the legendary Green Bay Packers coach, walked into training camp and stood before 36 athletes who, just months prior, had watched their championship dreams slip through their fingers in 1960 to the Philadelphia Eagles.

It was the summer of 1961, coach Lombardi started training camp holding something that needed no explanation and as he said these infamous words, 

“Gentlemen, this is a football.”

With those five words, he drove home his point, "If you want to be successful, we’re going to remember the basics and make sure we’re executing the fundamentals. You never graduate past the basics. Yes, you build on them but you never move past them."

To continue, coach Lombardi, uttered these famous words, "Football comes down to only two things: Blocking on offense and tackling on defense.", and those were the basics his team spent 80% of their time on in practice.

What soon followed was the systematic compliance to those fundamentals. The Green Bay Packers learned to block and tackle. They studied the entire playbook, no exceptions and no excuses. All of this culminated in 1961, as Green Bay defeated the New York Giants 37-0 to win the National Football League championship.

Question for all of you...

"How many of you spend 80% of your time practicing the basics?"

FUNDAMENTALS ARE HARD FOR MANY

We live in a society that worships big wins, the overnight success, and the rags to riches story. 

The attraction of instant success often overshadows the power of consistent effort along with small, meaningful actions. It's about the daily habits, the steady grind, and the choices made consistently over time that truly shapes your lives. 

The bright lights might shine on the big moments, but it's the foundation built by the small steps that supports those grand achievements.

Fundamentals require consistent effort and dedication, and they might not yield immediate or flashy results. It can be challenging to stick to routines when the outcomes aren't immediately apparent. 

Salespeople who commit to the fundamentals will create long-term sales sustainability.

STOP THE EXCUSES IN 2024!

The legendary UCLA men's basketball coach, John Wooden once said,

“Champions are brilliant at the basics.”

It concerns me that the sales world is full of impatient, short-sighted and all about me people. Way too many of you love chasing shortcuts, automation magic and excuses; before mastering the fundamentals.

Does anyone teach, preach and hold salespeople accountable to the basics?

Coach Wooden had a trio of rules,

"Don't whine, don't complain, and don't make excuses. Do your best. And when things go wrong: don't whine or complain or look for blame, just keep moving forward."

In 2024, the greatest skill you can master is simple... just do the work. And it is for this reason, most of you don't need more time, tips, or tactical strategies. You just need to do the real work and master the basics.

Time for some stone-cold truth... 

Most of you will avoid the fundamentals just like the plague because you don't have the guts to become great at them.

This requires you to check your ego at the door, set aside your fear, turn a deaf ear to what is being said inside the sales bullpen, and for that matter, stop listening to all the social guru noise.

Amazing things start to happen in your life when you eliminate the unnecessary crapola and excuses.

I encourage you to stop the magical mystery sales tour in 2024. Stop letting your ego and excuse making get in the way of what must be done.

I know how hard it is for you to say,

“I’m focusing on the basics, but guess what, I haven't made much progress on them yet.”

How many of you will commit to doing the foundational things necessary to overachieve in 2024?

THREE BASIC FOUNDATIONAL IDEAS TO HELP YOU SUCCEED IN 2O24

I want all of you to stop for just a moment, look into the mirror, and recite... I will make the basics nonnegotiable in 2024.

Regardless of the sales language of your company, the company culture, the products, or the industry; mastering the basics becomes the key to your sales success.

Hold yourself radically accountable to the basics.

Basics, the universal language of businesspeople and language many in sales must comprehend.

Basics provide the foundation for all sales success.

I believe applying the basics in 2024, will allow ordinary salespeople to achieve extraordinary results. It paves the way for sales reps to become sales professionals.

Believe in the basics, execute the basics, and succeed with the basics.
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FOUNDATION NUMBER 1 - READING

In last week's newsletter, I posed the question... Can harnessing the power of reading enhance your conversational competency? 

Reading is one of the most important habits you could possess. Reading plays a pivotal role in one's life.

Reading impacts your ability to learn new things, think in a different manner and enhances your knowledge. It expands your mind with facts and informational pieces.

  • Reading is essential.
  • Reading strengthens your brain.
  • Reading improves your vocabulary.

Imagine what you can learn through reading.

As you read, your mind becomes engaged. What you read can influence your conversations.

Think about how this can help you drive better business conversations with your clients and advance new opportunities.

I'm a simple math kind of person...

Let's say you read 30 pages a day, now follow along with me... This equates to...

210 pages per week - Let's say each book is 225 pages.

People... Do the math! This a book a week. By the end of the year this is an astonishing 48 books. 

Leaders are Readers, Readers are Leaders, Readers take action on what they read.

How well are you leading your clients and future clients into business betterment?

Feeding your brain will kick start conversations. 

Let's take this one step farther... Start reading the books that the people you want to communicate with read. How do you find this out? You simply ask!

An educated mind brings ideas to the forefront and thus gets invited to the business table, isn't this what you want?

Sales reps sell products. Sales professionals deliver ideas. Ideas come from reading.

Imagine the conversations you could start with your clients... Imagine the knowledge you could impart on them... Imagine how they would view you. Imagine the additional opportunities you could uncover?

A mirror moment for you...

  • Are you driving engaging conversations with your clients?
  • Are you reading to learn? Or reading to brag?
  • Are you sharing what you're reading?
Reading provides sales professionals the fuel they need to engage in competent conversations.

Give your clients a gift in 2024. Give them your knowledge and insights based upon the books you read. Watch what starts to happen next. Will you commit?

FOUNDATION NUMBER 2 - WRITING

The legendary American author, Stephen King, once said, 

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”

Why is writing essential? It’s the fuel that drives communication. Writing is the framework of communication. Clear communication combined with good writing facilitates how we connect with others.

Good writing enables you to express yourself effectively, conveying your emotions, and opinions. 

Writing becomes a vehicle through which you share your ideas, connect with others, and contribute to the broader conversation with your clients and future clients.

How well you communicate becomes critical to your sales success. How well you write about catapults your success.

A few years ago, Josh Bernoff, author of "Writing Without Bullshit" published this article on the internet, "Bad Writing Costs Businesses Billions" -

"I emphasize the importance of writing by quantifying the annual cost of poor writing to U.S. businesses at $396 billion—and that could be an understatement of the effects of poor writing skills."

Need I say anything else about writing?

Here's an idea that you could put into practice immediately...

Gather the top questions you're asked, or you hear from your clients during your meetings and answer them in short format social posts or create short articles.

Lastly, think about all the notes you take during conversations (I sure hope you're taking notes)... Turn these into short bite-size stories as you enter them into your CRM.

Potential opportunities could open as those doing research online could end up engaging with your content.

There is power in reading, when combined with writing, this becomes a 1-2 growth catalyst.

Rise above the noise. Rise above mediocrity. Rise above all those unwilling to do the work. And most of all, rise above the empty suits.

FOUNDATION NUMBER 3 - BECOME AN ATTRACTION MAGNET

My promise to you, this foundation will all start to make sense as we apply the Merriam-Webster definition of attraction:

  1. : the act, process, or power of attracting: personal charm
  2. : the action or power of drawing forth a response : an attractive quality
  3. : a force acting mutually between particles of matter, tending to draw them together, and resisting their separation
  4. : something that attracts or is intended to attract people by appealing to their desires and tastes

Questions become... 

How are you going to attract the attention of crazy busy executives and key decision makers as you appeal to their business desires and tastes?

How are you going to leverage the foundations of reading and writing to attract executives and key decisions makers into conversations with you?

I know what some of you might still be saying, Larry... How the heck is attraction a foundational and basic skill?

Well, let's all pause for a moment and think... Where does trust and credibility sit inside the sales world today? People, it is anemically low. Your reputation and how you carry yourself with congruency, both online and face to face becomes a magnet, a true attractor.

As my dear friend, Mark Hunter (The Sales Hunter) in his bestselling book, A Mind For Sales so eloquently shares, "Your reputation arrives before you do".

I would like for all you to think about the following - inside a digitally driven, highly connected and socially networked business world...

  • How well are you leveraging attraction and influence to assist you in kick starting business conversations?
  • What are you doing to attract people into conversations with you?

You must leverage content as conversation bait to help facilitate business conversations.

How well you reel in conversations will determine what happens to your sales funnel.

All this content comes from the ideas you get through reading, then sharing the ideas through writing.

What can you do with the law of attraction? How does this fit into your prospecting approach? Position yourself and leverage the power of social to kick start conversations.

Gandhi once said,

"A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks he becomes."

As you connect and engage with your community; share with them what you're reading, educate them through your writing and guide them in the right direction. And this would be towards you!

Point them to your LinkedIn profile. This is where you can share your story, how you have helped your clients and what somebody can expect when they engage with you.

The transition to fruitful conversations blossoms.

Are you willing to do the work?

THE BASICS AREN'T SEXY, THEY'RE FOUNDATIONAL!

Mastering the fundamentals forms a solid foundation for your success in 2024. It takes humility to acknowledge the importance of basics, dedication to consistently work on them, and discipline to keep refining those skills.

It's like building a house, you need a rock-solid foundation before you can construct something amazing on top of it.

Practicing the basics, it is easier said than done. Quite often, the basics are, well basic.

Chasing shiny bullets, short cuts and get rich sales schemes on LinkedIn with the least amount of work, doesn't pan out in the long run.

Reframe your attention in 2024, get back to the basics.

I will leave all of you with this quote from Garrison Wynn,

"Most of us forget the basics and wonder why the specifics don't work."

My challenge to all of you... will you be willing to refocus your effort? There's work to do and it starts with sales 101.

Originally published on Larry Levine's LinkedIn.

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