What Are you Doing Every Day to Get Better at Sales?

Sales Is Hard

I’ve covered that before, and I won’t shy away from it in the future. And for those who accept the challenge and take it head-on, the rewards are incredible (and they’re more than just financial).  But there’s a lot of work that goes into the process.  Being good at selling requires a more holistic approach.  You have to address needs, solve problems, and help to achieve goals- your prospect’s goals, not just talk people into buying things that they may or may not even need.  It’s a different game, and the rules keep changing.

Sales Is Uncomfortable   

The constant change in the sales game requires growth, and growth happens when you get out of your comfort zone.  Sometimes that means picking up the phone and dialing.  Sometimes it means you’ve got to send an email to someone and keep their attention long enough to inspire them to reply.  It always means that you’ve got to tailor your message to your specific customer, and that almost always means you’ve got to do more homework than you’re doing right now.

You have to get better if you want to survive… but you’re just not that interested, are you?…

“Do You Get Paid For What You Do?  That Makes You A Professional…  Act Like One.”

My mentor used to say that.  I’m sure he still does.  The testament of statements like that is their staying power, and how they seem to be applicable in so many situations…

Yep, you can keep doing the same things and get the same results.  You can keep the same crappy attitude (“I’m fine”), report to the same mediocre boss (“but he’s a nice guy”), manage to keep your head above water (treading does not equal swimming), and keep your (unfulfilling, but familiar) job.

Sounds awful.

I suppose if you got into sales because it was your only option left, then I can understand the lack of enthusiasm.  But I believe that anything worth doing is worth doing well, and the fulfillment of a job well done is worth more than the paycheck you get for doing it.  So in that sense, just doing enough to collect your check is selling yourself way short- literally and figuratively.  You’re capable of more, and you owe it to yourself to demonstrate that, let alone your customers, your company, and your peers.

Most Salespeople Are Way Below Average

How is this possible?  Wouldn’t most salespeople fall somewhere in the middle of a bell-shaped curve? 

Nope.

The fact is, the best are so good, they wreck the curve for the rest of the class. 

But here’s a dirty little secret… A mere fraction of them have more talent that you, or are doing anything that you can’t do.  Think about the very best salespeople you know.  They’re just a little bit better at all of the fundamentals than you are. 

They may be way better at something (great perception… an uncanny ability to say exactly the right thing at the right time…), but you also have world-class talent where they’re lacking (a fresh approach.… comfort and familiarity with modern tools and tech…).

But the difference between their level of mastery and yours is their mastery of the little things…  Their preparation, their passion, their confidence, their attitude, their environment…  You know, all of that stuff that you have 100% control over.

Ultimately, the thing they have that you don’t, but you need, is experience, wisdom, and relationships.  The way you earn and develop those things is by getting out there and learning what works, what doesn’t, and why. 

You can’t do it their way, because you’re not them, and your customers can smell a fake from a mile away.  So you have to be genuine and authentic.  Put yourself out there, and test the boundaries.  Understand that “this might not work” also means “this could be the next great thing.”

But there’s that comfort zone again…     

What Are You Doing Every Day To Get Better?

Hundreds, if not thousands of messages are hurtled at you every day.  Which do you listen to?  Which do you ignore?  You have a choice.  Chances are, you spend a lot of your time processing information that does not help or even encourage you.

No, I’m not going to tell you to stop watching TV.  Go ahead, live a little…  But I am going to ask you to examine what you spend your time watching and reading.

Is your social media activity actually making you better, or are you getting sucked into a vortex of selfies, kid pictures, and cat videos?

Do you need to watch your favorite Simpsons rerun again, or are you actually avoiding something more important?

Is your Inbox full of web-only coupons and flash sales, or are you subscribed to daily messages from thought leaders who remind you to challenge the boundaries of your comfort zone, while reminding you that the challenge is worth accepting?

There’s a ton of great information out there to be found, which also means there’s a lot to get lost in as well…

I’m Not A Football Coach

Don’t confuse me with Al PacinoMatthew McConaughey, or Denzel Washington, rallying the troops before the big game.  This post is not meant to rile you up, but it is meant to challenge you.  I want to challenge you to think about the thing that is holding you back.  99% of the time that thing is you, and it’s time you stopped making excuses.  What separates you from greatness is in the mirror every morning, but you’re not willing to look closely enough.

Take responsibility for your success.  First, understand why you want to succeed.  Take time to understand your strengths, and the things that only you bring to the table.  Then develop the skills to transfer that value to your customers.

It’s really that simple, but only you can commit.

Go out and be great.