According to U.S. News & World Report, 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. I think I know why. People set some unrealistic, overly drastic goals that have little chance of being kept. You might be leaning to making some dramatically different, challenging new Year’s resolutions. Instead, how about I challenge you to think about these ideas? They might not be your resolutions, so perhaps you could make some New Year’s Considerations????
Work with a coach.
I recently read about Elmo Shropshire. He’s an 83-year-old award-winning long-distance runner. His time of 29 minutes and 44 seconds earned him first place in his age group at the 2019 Masters 5K Cross Country National Championship. He ranks second in the U.S. and fourth in the world in his age group for the 1-mile distance.
Do you think Mr. Shropshire was a life-long running star? He wasn’t. He said, “It took me more than 20 years to discover I could be competitive at shorter races.” How did he do it? He got good coaching. Mr. Shropshire said, “I’m not as genetically gifted as many of my contemporaries, but good coaching has helped me do things that previously seemed out of reach.”
You may not be as naturally gifted in sales as some of your peers. You don’t have 20 years to boost your sales career. It’s not too late to make yourself more successful in sales. A good coach can guide you to bring more confidence to your sales calls. A talented coach can help develop the skills you need to get better sales results. Your sales success depends on both the strategies you implement in your selling as well as your skills. A good coach will guide you in both areas so you can be more successful.
How do you find a good sales coach? Hopefully your manager is your coach. If not, there are Sales Coaches. Ask about results delivered and determine who you feel comfortable working with. Check references and make your decision.
Make sure your prospects have potential.
You may have once bought something from the successful QVC shopping channel. QVC was founded by Joseph Segal who was a successful entrepreneur. Along with founding QVC, he launched what became Franklin Mint Corp. Not all of his entrepreneurial ventures were a success. One company, PermaColor Corp, offered technology to prevent color photographs from fading. You would think that company would have been successful. It wasn’t. Segal said, “I found that very few people besides myself are concerned about what happens to their pictures 10 years from now.”
Why not ensure that this year all your prospects have identified the same concerns that you have for their business that your products or services can address? Remember, that what you think doesn’t count. Your prospect must say that he also cares about the problem or concern you have identified. Unless your prospects care, you will find yourself like Mr. Segal did with his PermaColor Corp. which was watching a company flop.
Be more like a politician when answering questions.
Have you ever noticed that when a politician is asked a question that he doesn’t always answer it? Some of the times they answer a completely different question because that serves their purposes. I’m not advocating dodging your customers’ questions. I am suggesting that you answer them differently.
Jeffrey Hirsh is the editor of the Stock Trader’s Almanac. The research done for the Almanac includes analysis of election years going very far back. He was asked in an interview how far back the research goes on elections, election cycles and the stock market. How he answered enlightened the interviewer. Hirsh responded, “Some research goes back to 1833. But what you are really asking is whether everything we see in history is actually still relevant today, and the answer is no.”
Your job in sales is to remember that customers often don’t know what customers don’t know. They might ask a question based on misinformation or the lack of information. Your job is to know which questions are fundamentally flawed and to answer in a way that keeps your customer “whole” and better informed. Politicians simply answer the questions they want to answer. Your job is to start thinking like a politician to answer questions to serve your purpose which is to build a strong relationship with your prospect. Frame your answers like Jeffrey Hirsh when you answer the questions.
You may think that none of these ideas are possible for you to implement. But, would you at least consider them? That could be your New Year’s Resolution. Just remember, if you consider them before February, you won’t have broken your New Year’s Resolutions.