So you thought success in sales came from having terrific phone skills or being an ace closer? Sure, those skills are part of the complete skill package but, let’s face it, those elements are about as critical today as learning how to parallel park. The ultimate secret to success in sales, if you’ll pardon the expression, is all in your head!
If it almost seems that the textbook ‘selling process’ is only a small part of a bigger picture, you’re absolutely right. It’s madness. Coping with life demands outside of work and keeping a balance of home and work. It’s madness. Customer problems and complaints. Issues that have to be fixed right now…if not yesterday! There’s little leniency. It’s madness.
I think you see now the real, low-down ultimate secret to success in sales. It’s managing the madness. The person who can wrap their arms around the bigger issues and keep them together will find incredible success. The salesperson who can deliver outstanding customer service while consistently building new business while supporting the support staff and keeping their home life in line will find and incredibly rewarding career. In every workday, there are revenue-generating tasks, revenue maintenance tasks and time wasting tasks.
I had a rather lengthy phone conversation with a man who was getting frustrated with his middle-of-the-pack status in his company. I let him talk through all the usual excuses…the economy, bad territory, high prices (heck, I feel that I made up most of them myself, and should get royalties every time they’re used by someone else!).
Then he brought up one more: time. “My manager wants me to both sell and service! They’re both full-time jobs! How can I be expected to do both?”
We’re most profitable to ourselves (and our company) we’re eyeball-to-eyeball with people who pay our bills.
I talk a lot about the importance of time management but, here in the real world, it’s just not that plain and simple. Stuff happens. Fires start. And interruptions? You know the drill. There’s always someone who needs a piece of your time…. right away!
The inside staff. We want (no, make that demand) that the company’s support staff think, feel, breath and work as hard as we do…. to be as committed to the customer as we are. They’re not necessarily going to share it. That’s not a criticism, just a fact of life.
That’s why it’s more important than ever for us to be great at managing the madness. Planning the Good Stuff, being on the lookout for Time Bandits (which EVERY company has) and having an Action Plan for keeping the revenue-generating activity first and foremost, no matter what.
Take a hard, cold look at daily activities. We must give awesome service to our current customers. BUT…. low levels of future business development will eventually put you out of business. Be creative. Know when and how to delegate. Do what only you can do, first. Using technology to stay in touch and as a part of your customer service mix
The madness of the demands on your time that will sometimes stretch into the evening hours (heck, once in a while, all night!), the madness of answering the bell every day, that means up in time, more than just a cup o’ Jo for breakfast and leaving for the office before the absolute last minute. The madness of
This certainly does not mean let’s all pity the poor salesperson. Every job has taken on new dynamics. Fewer jobs are ‘permanent. ’ More and more workers find that their job is there as long as the role they fill is needed and, when it’s gone, so are they. That’s the cold reality.
One of America’s hottest sales trainers, Joe Guertin has 25 years of outside sales experience, specializing in new business and customer relationship development. As a sought-after speaker, and consultant, Joe has worked with thousands of salespeople, managers and business principals, targeting specific areas of development, including internal sales systems, customer development strategies and team skill-building. His firm, The Guertin Group, conducts customized corporate sales training, both live and online.
Visit The Guertin Group at http://www.guertingroup.com to receive his monthly ezine newsletter. Joe can be reached at 414-762-2450, or firstname.lastname@example.org