I stopped by Paul McCord's blog recently and this post really caught my attention: "The REAL Dirty Secret about Selling that Will EXPLODE Your Sales Career". I thought - what have I missed all these years?
The gist of the post was that every day we are exposed to ads that promise to deliver the "secret about Selling". Paul argues that this is a cycle: us wanting an easy road to success, and somebody more than happy to promise quick fixes.
Think about the first time you worked with that Rep, the one who kills their number every quarter, seemingly without breaking a sweat. Was it because they have a better territory? The best accounts? A tested, honed and proven process? Nah, they must have figured out the secret.
I guess it's human nature to hope such secrets exists. The discussion reminds me of all the products geared towards hitting weight loss goals quickly and easily. I'm no dietician, but the consensus seems to be consuming fewer calories and exercising works. We can call that the boring little secret.
So, what about the secret about Selling? According to Paul, top producers:
- Learn successful processes for identifying, finding, and connecting with quality prospects. There are a number of very effective prospecting and marketing processes. Learn and implement several. Don't let anyone tell you there's only one way to find and connect with prospects.
- Learn and implement a dynamic, proven sales process. Again, there are several highly effective processes. Find one that fits your personality, your market, your product or service. Learn it, implement it, and perfect it.
- Commit yourself to learning the essentials of being a successful seller - how to communicate; how to negotiate; how to manage your time in order to give your prospects and clients a purchasing experience that keeps them loyal...
(Laurie here: Remember, your professional development is your responsibility not your employers.)
- Learn to walk away when you can't perform as a prospect demands or when your product or service isn't right. Knowing when to walk away is just as important as knowing when to fight for the sale.
Here's my take on the secret - selling is hard work which requires focus and commitment. We know the old saying "time is money". That holds especially true for sales people. Ask yourself, "Are all my activities focused on generating sales?" It's easy to become reactive when you have dozens of activities coming at you, but if those activities aren't progressing the sale they probably aren't necessary.
Here's a final word from Paul:
The secret to becoming a top producer (is) investing the time, energy, and dollars required to learn, implement, and perfect proven processes to find, connect with, sell, and service great prospects, and then committing (yourself) to getting dirty by getting in the trenches and doing the hard work of turning those processes into a successful sales business.
So you see the dirty little secret is YOU. You have to commit to the hard work, dedication and passion that make people the best at what they do. You're in charge of your destiny - so get out there and explode your sales career!
(Photo credit: ianus & Tim Dorr)