As sales reps, we are our own worst enemy. The mind cannot tell the difference between what is real and what is imagined. What that means to us is that what we dwell on, contemplate and stress about becomes our new reality. It was Henry Ford who said, “Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right.” If we think our outlook is negative, it is. If we think our outlook is fantastic, it is.
Win the battles that take place in your mind
We may not be able to control the weather or even the actions of other people, but we can control our own reaction and attitude to what’s happening around us. It is our decision to be grumpy in the morning and we choose to have a bad attitude towards someone who annoyed you. As sales reps it is our choice to have a positive outlook despite the challenges we face on a day to day basis. If we decide to be in a bad mood because we lost a potential client – how is that attitude going to impact other prospects you interact with that day? It’s a snowball – we can allow a single problem to impact our mindset and ruin other opportunities, or we can look past a situation and choose to have positive outlook.
We need to win the battle in our relationships.
No matter if we are looking at family, friends, co-workers, or business relationships – there is usually a relationship that needs attention. Talking about our spouses, children, parents, relatives of all kinds, we sometimes take them for granted. At funerals, some of the most common phrases heard center around “I wish I had told them…” or some variation of that. Don’t wait for a funeral – tell your loved ones now, this week, how special they are to you.
In business we also tend to take certain people for granted. It may be our employees, co-workers, or even our clients. We may pay full attention to our star sales people, the head of marketing, or our biggest clients. But do we keep up with our lower level employees, our administrative people, or our small clients?
It turns out that every employee is vital to our success, any of them can make a relationship with a customer stronger or destroy it with one careless word or action. Everyone on the payroll is in sales. So thank them.
I’m reading a book called “Strengths Finder” by Tom Rath, about employees being engaged or disengaged. The surprising statistics were that if the manager of an employee ignored him, the chances of the employee being disengaged at his work were 40%. If we focused on their weaknesses and mistakes, the chances of being disengaged were 22%. If we focused on their strengths, the chances of them being disengaged were just 1%.
This logic correlates closely with clients as well. If we are not keeping up with our client relations – they tend to disengage and utilize our services less, or not all. Remember – out of sight, out of mind.
We need to win the battle that takes place in our own behaviors
The things that we do, we realize we shouldn’t, and the things we don’t do, we know fully well we should. We procrastinate, we spend time on things that are not important, and we don’t finish the job. Starting today, resolve to complete the project. Focus on the things that matter. Value time as importantly as it really is.
Here is a five step plan to sales success:
Get your hands around one small idea, one small topic, and solve it. Maybe it is procrastination. Get a day timer, start filling out your Google calendar, put dates in your phone. Do whatever is needed to finish the projects on time.
Stop trying, start training
We all need more education. School is never out for the professional. Admit that you cannot do it yourself, get some training, and apply it this year.
Be more vulnerable
Be more open, less guarded. Less on edge, more receptive to others, and their ideas. As sales people we interact with many people on a daily basis – having an open mind towards others opinions will no doubt helps us have sales success. If we are open – others are more receptive. We may just learn some new things.
Education is a life-long process. Just because you know the tricks of the trade, don’t think you know the trade and what it takes to master it. Business is constantly evolving, we must as well. We can always improve. If we are not getting – our competitors are.
Seek out people who disagree with you
See what the project looks like from the other side of the table. If you surround yourself with people who think like you, it is possible that you will get a slanted view, they may tell you what you want to hear. We need to seek out folks who are at a different experience level, ones who have seen and felt things we may not have, and get their take.
People constantly tell us it can’t be done. Don’t listen to that. Accept the fact you may need more information, more training, more skills, and remember anything we put our minds to can be accomplished. Just because it hasn’t been done yet doesn’t mean it can’t be done.