30 days of growth, that’s what you see on my chin there. My genes have conspired to keep me from ever being able to grow facial hair in any reasonable quantities. I gave it a month of growth to see how long it would actually take for viable results and also to see if it ever got better. Clearly it didn’t. I have known that I was unable to grow facial hair since I started to get patches on my chin. I know that a mustache or goatee are completely out of my reach.
I have made it known before that I think that at a high enough level, salesmen are born not trained, it is in their genetic makeup. Remember that there are things you are good at, and things that you are not. Surround yourself with people who can do the things you can’t and your life gets to be a lot easier. If only I could outsource my facial hair growth to Sunny.
If you’ve ever had someone teach you to swing a baseball bat, golf club or tennis racket they alway tell you to make sure that you finish your swing with a good follow through. As someone who has swung all three of those to some degree of failure in my lifetime (see above), I know that if I don’t follow through with my swing and stop it halfway (at the contact point generally) the ball doesn’t go where I want or as far as I want. This same thing applies to working with your clients. Don’t stop halfway through your swing with them. Follow through until the ball goes where you want and as far as it can. Just getting a yes isn’t the goal, getting a successful sale is the goal. Make sure that you follow through with every possible thing to ensure that happens.
If you go move half the distance to a goal each time you take a step you’re never going to get there.
Salesmen often get caught up in processes, CRMs, lead services, or other noise which distracts them from where they should really start and finish each day. You start with the customer and work backwards from there.
Without a customer there is nothing else to do. You don’t have any data to fill into your CRM, you don’t have a lead to work, you don’t have a process to follow.
Without a customer you are shooting blindly into the dark and hoping someone hears your marketing pleas.
With a customer you can start to build a relationship, you can talk to them about their needs and how you can meet them. You can start to find solutions for them, and offer things that make their job easier. You can find a way for you two to work together.
After all that is over, then and only then should you worry about processes or putting them into your CRM or talking to them about prices or warranties or contracts.
Start with the customer and work from there.
Photo courtesy of: http://www.flickr.com/photos/basegreen
In negotiation the power is with the side that can walk away. If your client needs your solution, can’t live without it, and you know it – then you know that you have that deal won. If the roles are reversed and they know that you need the sale then it is a lot more work for you. As with many things in sales this often is as much a perception issue as it is a reality.
Your job is to make them feel like you can walk away without their business and be ok, but if they walk away from you then they’re potentially in serious danger. You have to convince yourself that you can walk away from this deal if you had to – and then actually do it when the deal is unfavorable. Buyers can smell a desperate salesman – and they’ll use that to their advantage as soon as they can. This is why a good number of people wait until the end of the month or the end of the year to buy a car – they know that there are plenty of salesman who need to hit a quota or a bonus level.
Don’t show desperation, show that you can walk away if you have to and that they shouldn’t even think about walking away. You’ll win more negotiations and at a higher number than before.
Are you comfortable with what you are doing every day? If so then you aren’t being challenged enough by either your team, your employer or yourself. Comfort leads to complacency – when you don’t have anything snapping at your heels you stop running so fast. A great guy that I work with today bemoaned that he had been comfortable with the project he was on and didn’t want to move to a new one. I was shocked that he wasn’t looking forward to the challenge of a new thing, of overcoming new obstacles and learning new ways to do things. How many people you work with though, or even more importantly are competing against, are like that? Ready to just sit back in their comfort zone and not reach for the next level.
Don’t get comfortable, don’t get complacent, and don’t get caught by all the other people running up behind you.