This time of year there is a buzz with back to school and back to business. As you probably know the school year was established around the harvest season, yet it has not changed as our country has evolved into a more industrial age.
Watching successful sales leaders, one of the first questions I ask is “What books have you read recently?” There is never a hesitation to share a title or author. Every day delivers an opportunity to learn something new if we have the Wonder. The Wonder is the first step of change.
We have to ask ourselves, “I wonder how I could shorten my sales cycle; I wonder how I can increase my closing ratio; I wonder how I could get in front of more qualified prospects; I wonder what it would take for me to have that house on Lake Minnetonka (NOT, I cannot imagine what it would be like to live in that house – don’t worry it will never happen).” If we don’t have the Wonder, we accept the complacence that leads to stagnation; the plateau of mediocrity and having what we have always gotten.
Learning is a commitment to consistent improvement. Growing and acquiring information and knowledge that is applied the next time the opportunity presents itself. As the saying goes, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”
Sales is leadership. As a salesperson, how do you lead a prospect? By sharing a common goal and following a process to fulfillment. You need to help the prospect discover THEIR goal, not yours. The way you do that is by asking the right questions.
“People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come in to the mind of others.” Blaise Pascal.
When it is their goal and not yours, they will buy for their reasons, not yours. Don’t let your personal buying process interfere with theirs. After the goal is established, determine the buying process and change it to include you. If you are not part of the process, you have to get in it or you will never make a sale.
Each step of the sales process has a goal. Understand the goal, share it with the prospect, get confirmation and move to fulfillment of it. Remember the movie Moneyball? The goal was to get on base. Your goal is to make it to the next step. Like in golf, you won’t hit the green from the tee box on a par 5. Play the hole and play the process.
Each step in the sales process is a chance to learn to improve it next time. But the key to selling is taking action and prospecting every day. Stop getting ready to get ready. You will find and learn the answers along the way, as they may change with experience versus just basing them on theory. This is how you stay current and don’t live the same day, week, month or year over and over. Same salespeople have 25 years experience, but it the same year, relived each year.
Go out and make a difference. Find a prospect and lead them to their solution.