Last week we moved our son into his dorm to begin his freshman year of college. The college President’s opening remarks were virtual, so we joined the Zoom stream from our hotel room and listened in. He had some really useful things to share with the new freshmen and while his thoughts were targeted to the students, they apply quite equally to salespeople.
Among the points he made, these seemed to be just as applicable to salespeople:
- Show up
- Do the Work
- Try approaches that you haven’t previously attempted
- You will be uncomfortable but do it anyway
- Ask for help
- Ask lots of questions
- The effort is even more important than the results
- You will be pushed
- Push yourself
- Take responsibility
- Show tolerance of people whose beliefs and opinions are different than yours
- Wear your mask and socially distance
Translating his hopes and expectations to sales, here are 15 things salespeople could do that they may not have been doing, comfortable with or effective:
- Proactively prospect – push yourself – 34% of salespeople do not prospect consistently
- Live in CRM – be considerate of those in management who need to see what’s in there in real time – 90% of salespeople do not live in their CRM applications
- Fill the pipeline – the more that’s in there the more will close – only 35% of salespeople maintain a full pipeline
- Follow the sales process – it’s there for a reason – only 30% of salespeople have and follow a sales process
- Be more consultative, listen more and ask more good, tough, timely, effective questions – this is how you differentiate – – only 27% of salespeople listen and only 25% ask enough questions
- Thoroughly qualify – stop wasting your time – only 30% of all salespeople do this
- Work harder to build solid relationships – get past rapport and be authentic – Only 52% of salespeople succeed at this
- Learn your video platform inside and out – stop being so ignorant – only 30% have done this
- Attempt to schedule all of your sales calls virtually over video – what are you waiting for? Only 49% prefer video to phones
- Have a more tidy and professional background or use a non-distracting virtual background for virtual selling – get with the program – 40% are using virtual backgrounds
- Take an interest and show that you care – don’t be so transactional
- Be a problem solver – not a presenter
- Stop focusing on price and sell value – it’s time – Only 40% are strong at selling value
- Stop giving yourself a pass because you aren’t comfortable – suck it up.
Baseball, basketball and hockey recently restarted – with changes. The changes affect the players, coaches and fans but that’s the way it is right now.
We must adapt!
You might feel that there is risk associated with doing something you haven’t done before. None of these things will get you killed or even hurt, so unless you believe there is risk in having better quality sales conversations with your prospects, there isn’t any risk.
There should be a greater urgency to get our products and services sold to make up for the lackluster second quarter that many companies experienced. There should be even more urgency to make up for the personal dip in commissions from the same time period. And if you took your foot off the gas during March through May because you were uncomfortable asking people to buy and pay then you have only 4 months to make up for your self-inflicted second quarter disaster.
Show the world what you are capable of, stretch, do the one thing you’ve never done before in sales, and start right now!
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