“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.”
Question for all those in sales…
“Whose responsibility is it to ensure you have the skills, knowledge, behavior and tools need to engage in meaningful conversations?”
Personal accountability, it’s the foundation of sales success. How much of your success would you say is up to you? The choices you make, your actions and your behaviors will all make you or break you in sales.
I wrote an article for my friends over at Vendor Neutral, Relationships + Human + Technology = Sales Success. Technology and sales enablement tools, they’re not only helping sales professional’s gain momentum in their marketplace, they’re also changing the way they sell their services.
One of the biggest buzzwords in sales today is ‘sales enablement.’ While we all can appreciate these new platforms, I believe the problem lies if salespeople leverage these tools to help them gain visibility without working on increasing their value, they’ll get vetted out of potential sales opportunities.
Visibility before Value = Vetted
THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES
We’ve heard the phrase, ‘sales is an activity game’ but all of these tools have shed a massive spotlight on the sales community. The masses out there are shouting right back at salespeople,
“Where’s the beef?”
Sales enablement tools help sales teams get visible but the real question I would like to ask is… When you get in front of the right person what do you have to say?
All of this reminds me of throwing someone out in front of crowd who has stage fright, shining a bright spotlight on them and then watching them freeze.
Selling successfully in a digitally driven, highly networked and socially empowered business world takes a new mindset and skill set.
WHAT’S THE MISSING PIECE?
A true sales professional comes to the business table with value! There’s no magic and no silver bullet behind any of this, the layer on top of all the sales technology related tools is self-enablement.
What can you bring to your clients and prospects that they will value?
SALES PROFESSIONALS ARE SELF-ENABLED
Self-enablement is all about the skills and resources professionals develop for themselves, in order to make sure they rock those business conversations when they get a seat at the table.
“If salespeople can’t articulate their value, their story, or hold a business conversation; then they’re dead in the water.”
Learning is at the core of self-enablement. Every time you dedicate the time to increase your knowledge about your clients, your prospects or your industry, you develop a new skill, or you enhance the tactics you already use, you’re upping your chances of sales success.
You might be asking yourself… where do I start? How do I become self-enabled?
Self-enablement starts with you knowing more than your clients and prospects know about your company’s products, solutions or services.
KNOWING MORE THAN YOUR CLIENTS
In order for salespeople to bring value, they MUST know more than their clients and prospects. They must do their due diligence to educate themselves.
Nothing worse than an uneducated sales rep who recites information off the back of a brochure!
Hold yourself accountable to a weekly cadence dedicated to learning. You must learn your client’s environment. You must learn about the trends going on inside your clients industry.
You must be willing to obtain a PhD in knowledge.
Imagine a teacher knowing less than their students. I need not say anymore!
LEARNING FROM YOUR CLIENTS
One of your most precious assets is your clients. I encourage you to spend quality time with your clients. No, this doesn’t mean the dreaded stop by to say hello. I mean dig in deep. Learn something new about their business. Uncover a few key issues going on inside their business.
I encourage you to do this with your top 5 clients. Think of all the learning opportunities you’ll uncover along the way. Think of the relationships you will develop. I guarantee what you’ll uncover will closely mirror that of other potential clients.
Your clients are the greatest source of learning. You just need to ask!
Self-enabled professionals bring their top clients into their office and facilitate roundtable business discussions. This is not a sales pitch. They understand this creates one of the best learning and bonding moments with their clients.
Self-enabled professionals digest pearls of educational wisdom from their clients.
HAVING A WILLINGNESS TO LEARN
Self-enabled professionals have deep burning desire to learn. It means having a real love for discovery and self-development. It’s about being curious and open to learning from failure.
How willing are you to dig in and get messy with learning? Become responsible for your own education. Hold yourself accountable. Do the things to make learning appealing, relevant, useful, and rewarding.
Sales professionals commit to lifelong learning while sales reps find excuses why they can’t
LEARNING FROM MENTORSHIP
Mentorship, it’s about showing an interest in the expertise and wisdom of others. It’s seeing everyone and everything as a potential source of meaningful learning.
Mentorship isn’t just for the new or inexperienced; it’s a lifelong method of personal and professional development. Learning directly from someone who’s mastered a skill is a great way to boost your skills and knowledge with one-on-one accountability and feedback. Mentorship opens up the opportunity for fresh perspectives and new ideas.
PUTTING ON THE BUSINESS BOW
The road to self-enablement will set you apart from the sea of unfortunate sameness. It’s the valuable moments you create through self-enablement that will become amplified with sales enablement and technology.
I encourage you to strive to make self-enablement part of your everyday sales life. Make the conscious effort to hold yourself accountable.
You have choices… You can swim in the sea of sameness with all the other sales reps or become a self-enabled sales professional.
“There are two primary choices in life: To accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.”
Dr. Denis Waitley