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Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
It's Only Common Sense
By Dan Beaulieu
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It’s Only Common Sense: Stop Telling Me What You Can’t Do
It seems that suddenly the salespeople I work with can’t do anything. Our calls and meetings are filled with negative statements like, “I can’t get appointments,” “No one answers the phone,” “Everyone I used to know and work with is gone,” “Nobody wants to see suppliers,” and “Some companies don’t even give their purchasing people phones.” (That last statement seems a little hard to believe.)
But the reality is that business is down right now, and people don’t know why. Sure, everyone has a theory based on their own personal opinions, like it’s the other party’s fault, or China’s fault, or we didn’t put enough in the collection plate last Sunday, or it’s China’s fault, or it’s the component shortage, or companies ordered too much last month, their kids are going to college, August is a vacation month, or it’s China’s fault. I think you get the picture.
Well, it’s my job to turn a deaf ear to this kind of thinking (or should I say whining). True or not, I choose to ignore it. When I hear whining and excuses like this, I ask myself: What would Ricky Roma do? What about Ross Perot, Zig Ziglar, or Seth Godin? Those guys would not sit around having a pity party. They’d be drinking coffee meant for closers, not losers. Those guys would find a way. They would figure it out and come out on top in the end, like they always do. If they can do it, then we all can. It just takes the right attitude, ambition, and creativity.
If you’re a salesperson who’s stuck in a funk, read on. I have 12 ideas to get things moving again.
- Do something. Anything. This is pretty obvious but stop whining and do something. There is an age-old sales axiom: If you do something, something will happen.
- Self-reflection and analysis. Take the time to assess your situation. Look at how you are doing things. Are you doing everything you should or could be doing? Be honest. Figure out what you could be doing better.
- Reconnect with past customers. Look for old friends, people you know will see you. Top salespeople know the value of nurturing existing relationships. Offer them new solutions. If they don’t have any business, ask them for referrals.
- Market research. Re-evaluate your market’s demands. They might have changed. Maybe you can offer them something they want now instead of yesterday’s solutions. Look for shifts in your customers’ preferences and find a way to meet those shifts.
- Change your value proposition. Re-align your offerings. Ask the customers what they need and then come up with a way to meet those needs. Find new products and services that resonate with the customers.
- Skill enhancement. This is one that salespeople almost never do. Work on yourself. Learn new skills, read books, take an online course, listen to motivational speakers. Study what others have done to be successful and copy them.
- Network. Turn to your own network. Talk to other salespeople. Now, beware of the pity party because you don’t need that. Talk to positive people about positive ways to get things moving for both of you. Collaborate with others in your network. Maybe you can come up with a total solution by combining your products and services. This can be very powerful.
- Creative prospecting. Get out of that box. Stop doing things the way you’ve always done them and find new and innovative ways to do things. Be brave, try unconventional tactics, and surprise your customers with your creativity.
- Goal setting and planning. Set accurate and specific goals and then follow them. Create doable milestones that will take you down the path to success. As you accomplish each step you will gain momentum that urges you to take the next step and then the next.
- Persistent follow-ups. This is one of those hard ones that do pay off. I know this can be tough because it means phone calling, checking in, and often rejection. But it all works, and it is really what being a salesperson entails. Do it every single day and it will pay off.
- Have a routine. Get up every day with a plan for what you’ll do that day. Follow it diligently. Make sure your plan is productive and will lead to getting the right things done. Before you know it, things will start to happen.
- Psyche yourself up. Get into a positive state of mind by whatever method you can. Read an inspirational book or watch an inspirational movie. Listen to loud and exciting music that will get your blood flowing and make you feel like you can conquer the world. You know what I’m talking about; we’ve all been there. There is no better time when you are down to find a way to psyche yourself up.
If you follow these 12 suggestions, you will get out of your doldrums. Stop listing the things you can’t do, and start replacing them with the things you can do on your road to success.
It’s only common sense.
Dan Beaulieu is president of D.B. Marketing Group.
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It’s Only Common Sense: What Makes a Great Leader?
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