The benefit of listening to some people is that they steer you away from making avoidable mistakes. If you find yourself saying, “I would have liked to know that before I made that mistake,” here are some things you might want to think about.
- Endless negotiations are costing you profits.
One very smart salesman once told me that his philosophy on selling was to close the deal–now. Endless negotiations meant that he was losing sales. He went into a meeting prepared to close the deal. Yes, it helped that he was a senior leader in his company so he had the authority to negotiate prices. What about you? Are you prepared to negotiate to close the sale the next time you sell to a prospect?
What do you need to bring to the meeting so you can close the sale right then?
- There’s no point in making enemies.
I once worked with a salesman whose career took off like a rocket. Was he special? Not really. There were a lot of smart people in the talent pool. He was just as smart as any of them. He worked hard, but so did most everyone else who were being considered for a promotion. What set him apart? Everyone liked him.
Here’s what I think it takes to be liked. You maintain an external focus. You realize that everything isn’t about you. Be a good communicator so it’s clear what you need and want to get the job done. That way you are setting other people up for success, not failure.
You are grateful for the people who help you with the work you do. You show gratitude to the people you work with by thanking them. Remember to compliment people by giving sincere compliments. This salesman did all that and more. He made his customers look like stars, too. They helped him when he needed extra orders. Is it any wonder why he had a team of supporters to champion his career success?
At some point in your selling you will need other people’s help. Avoid being overly critical of others. Watch your temper. Don’t reduce the pool of potential help by creating enemies. It’s just not worth it.
- Just do it.
Nike was right. Just do it has value for selling. Do I think all planning is bad? Of course not. There are some salespeople who make elaborate sales plans for their business, but never get around to making the sales calls. There is balance between using your planning to make excuses to not make a sales call and just doing it. Sales professionals should realize that call reluctance is a very real issue. I think that the way to overcome it is to follow the ready, fire, aim school of thought. You have some preparation, but you execute and then learn from executing.
Why is this so helpful for selling? Because in sales you will learn more from real-world experience than you will from your carefully thought out plan. You gain real confidence when you think on the fly to address a customer concern. You learn what works and what doesn’t when you give a customer an explanation of your proposed ideas. You couldn’t get these results unless you executed in real time.
There’s another subset of just doing it. I believe in asking for forgiveness instead of permission especially if you work in a large organization. See rule #1. Anything that slows your selling down should be avoided. Your implementation of this rule will depend on your organization and the speed of your getting the answers you need. Some organizations are better than others. Know that if yours is slow, that you can always ask for forgiveness.
You have the choice of taking or leaving the advice that others give you. I hope this advice saves you time and makes you more sales.