David A Gammon, Sixth Sense
Friday 21th October 2022
Sales Team members
Whatever we want to call it…the Pandemic wave, boom or dip, is over. The changes in customer demand for products/services and how they acquire them have passed.
It’s ‘antennas up’ time as none of us can predict what kind of business as usual will now emerge.
But one thing we can be sure of is, as Warren Buffett said,
“It’s only when the tide goes out that we see who’s swimming naked.”
This is true of companies and teams, and it’s certainly true for individuals involved in the sales effort. The easy pickings are disappearing, and now we see the difference between professional sellers and order takers.
This distinction is about whether you believe it’s your job to do everything within your control and influence to deliver target and build customer relationships (proactive), or respond to customer approaches and sell them what they say they want (reactive).
This is a choice of attitude to selling that everyone engaged in selling as their chosen career has to make. Will you apply professional discipline, or ride your luck and hope things come good?
Most people think they do the former but ask yourself honestly, what do you do when you’re behind the target or lose a sale? Do you analyse yourself, refine how you sell and organise your days, or explain the deficit with excuses (pricing, stock availability, competition from other salespeople or the quality of leads/shoppers)? The clues are there.
I’ve trained and coached hundreds of salespeople. This attitude is the number one critical distinction between stellar and average performers.
Leaving selling to chance puts responsibility for your performance in the hands of the market and the customer. Yet some people consistently outperform others, whatever conditions exist. These are professional sellers.
Professional sellers don’t wait for conditions to change. Instead, they take every opportunity to engage with their customers (new and established) and do the skilful work that gets them high conversion levels. They do four things:
- Develop a plan of activity that will motivate them to deliver and exceed their target and then do what needs to be done.
- Organise themselves around what’s most important; being in front of customers. They don’t waste their time on minor tasks when they could sell, follow up on sales or keep in touch with their customers.
- Measure and reflect on performance, both WHAT they do and HOW they do it, relentlessly working on their communication, relationship building and influence.
- They strive to bring their ‘A’ game to every conversation, decision and action, attending to every small detail about how they are showing up.
The good news is that you can choose to switch how you view your job. All it takes is a decision.
Everyone has the potential to be a brilliant salesperson and lift their performance from poor to good or good to great. It’s not just about money. In fact, commission, bonuses and pay increases are the least of the benefits.
When you choose to engage in your role as a professional, you change how you show up in the world. As you refine your skills/ability and attitude, you begin to master your own destiny. As you move beyond what’s comfortable and familiar, you grow into the best version of yourself (I’ve always said that being a great salesperson is simply being a high-functioning human being) and realise your fullest potential.
This gives you access to levels of confidence, well-being and results in all domains of your life, not just in the workplace. This is the real prize and can take you places you have only imagined thus far. The question to ask yourself is not ‘could I operate as a professional salesperson?’. The question is, will I?