Updated: Nov 5
Imagine you're having a home built for you. You meet the contractor to go over the floor plan. In the contractor's office, you notice a book on a shelf. The title of the book is: "Shortcuts to Home Construction." Consider any professional whose work is important to you—a mechanic, lawyer, professor, architect, pilot, dentist, or any of numerous other professions. Imagine those professionals being interested in "quick and easy" solutions to their work. How does that idea make you feel – uneasy? If so, then why are you interested in quick and easy solutions?
If you work in sales, you know firsthand the challenges of the profession, which are topics addressed in annual reports published online by several business and sales organizations. There is a disconnect between the challenges of those in the sales profession and the solutions for those challenges. The pursuit of “quick and easy” solutions is one of the primary causes of these difficulties. Why are such solutions sought?
Unfortunately, many sales professionals lack a substantive or comprehensive knowledge about sales. They merely go through the motions of a routine sales process without much thought. In fact, one of the greatest problems for the sales profession is this fact: sales is not the intended career choice of nearly half of its professionals (HubSpot statistic, 2019). The lack of interest among sales professionals in sales has had a negative impact on the profession. That condition must change in order for the sales profession to improve and for salespeople to reach their greater potential.
If you are looking for easy success with fast solutions, maybe you're in the wrong profession. Consider this first tip: question your knowledge and assumptions about sales. Did you expect sales to offer you easy success? It likely will not. If this news disappoints you, find a profession that you enjoy, are willing learn, and in which you can take pride as one of its professionals.
If you are determined to succeed in sales, here's tip two: improve your knowledge about sales and sales-related subjects (such as productivity and communication). As mentioned, most of those who work in sales lack objective knowledge about the profession. Worse yet, most people who work in sales lack a basic knowledge about the profession. And, often, the knowledge they posses is outdated or impractical for the particular sales situation they face. Here are a few suggestions to direct you toward worthwhile sales knowledge:
1. Instead of seeing sales as a numbers game, consider the approaches and skills that produce those numbers. Increased activity is not a viable solution. Discover how to achieve your "numbers" through a process that yields reliable results.
2. Have one clear objective for each step in your sales process. Don't get ahead of yourself; focus on success with the step most directly in front of you.
3. In your process, know the points where a prospect advances toward becoming a client and then develop strategies that support that progress.
4. Be able to explain how the operational (your preparation to sell) and executional (your effort to develop and secure sales) aspects of your sales operation work synergistically. Greater success in sales requires all aspects of sales to work harmoniously.
5. Know the four cornerstones of the sales profession. The cornerstones encompass everything that is done in sales work. They are: Structure, Process, Strategy, and Management.
6. Identify and develop the skills that are critical for greater success from your work. (You may find some helpful insights here)
7. Be aware of the essential sales concepts such as the Gestalt Effect, Stage and Position, and Peripheral Selling (details available here)
8. Know what data is critically important in order for you to improve productivity.
9. Understand how intrigue—the single most effective means by which to connect with and advance prospective clients in a sales process—functions.
10. Question the value of industry knowledge over sales expertise (more on that note is available here).
You might have guessed the final tip: Avoid quick and easy sales solutions for greater sales success. Take your charge to sell seriously and develop meaningful—truly valuable—sales knowledge and skills. Invest in your development for long-term and optimal success in sales. Pursue comprehensive solutions that take into account your uniqueness, specific challenges, and resources.
If you are among the many sales professionals who do not enjoy sales work, consider this: sales work may be daunting when it lacks cohesiveness, a plan, organization, and steps to success. Clarity about your work—how to achieve worthwhile progress—will make sales work much more enjoyable and rewarding. Learn how to sell more effectively with a complete, synergistic approach to your work. Save your interest in “quick and easy” for something less important than your career.
Copyright © 2020 Steven Robert Young. All rights reserved