Do You Really Want To Sell?


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Do you really want to sell? This may seem an odd question–since presumably many of the readers are sales professionals. But over the past few months, I’ve been observing something that is both interesting and a little confusing.

I speak with thousands of people involved with selling and business development every year. Most really want the outcomes that come from selling–they want new deals, they want the commissions, bonuses, recognition that’s part of selling. They revel in the feel of winning the deal. At every event or meeting, I hear of great accomplishments and get involved in many conversations that focus on the outcomes of selling.

But it’s strange–in those thousands of conversations, there are a very large number where the people really don’t want to be selling–they want the result, but they don’t want to go through all the tough work to get the result. They do everything they can to avoid the effort to really sell. They don’t prospect–or do everything they can to avoid prospecting. They complain to marketing about the quality of leads, asking only for those that are ready to order. Rather than take the time to research the customer, to develop and execute a strategy based on what the customer is seeking to buy, they blindly pitch — going from prospect to prospect until they get an order—telling their managers they are making the effort, but failing to produce the result. They take every shortcut they can, not as a thought out strategy to improve their productivity, but as an ill conceived idea to skip everything and go for the close.

Sure these people talk the talk, but they really don’t walk the walk. They hate to do the dozens of little things we have to do to execute our sales process.

There’s no avoiding it–to be a top performing sales professional, it takes thousands and thousands of hours to work. Studies show true mastery of anything requires a minimum of 10,000 hours of work. We watch as top athletes spend thousands of hours training and practicing-we know they never stop, never let up. There are no short cuts — there are lots of tools we can leverage to help improve our productivity, to improve our efficiency. But they are just tools that support is in executing our sales process, in managing our time, our accounts, our territories, our businesses.

Selling is about the preparation, the research, developing and executing sharply focused plans. It’s about prospecting–whatever tools we use to make it more efficient, it’s still about putting the time in to do it. It’s endless hours of coordinating many people–within our company, our customers, our partners. It’s about being rejected but coming back, it’s about failure and learning from it, it’s about always learning and developing. There are no shortcuts. When done well, we get to celebrate the outcomes. But if we really want to sell, then we are signing up for what it takes to sell, not just the results of selling.

Do you really want to sell?

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Republished with author's permission from original post.

Dave Brock
Dave has spent his career developing high performance organizations. He worked in sales, marketing, and executive management capacities with IBM, Tektronix and Keithley Instruments. His consulting clients include companies in the semiconductor, aerospace, electronics, consumer products, computer, telecommunications, retailing, internet, software, professional and financial services industries.


  1. A nice article for those who invest their time in selling strategies
    I agree that it requires time to make a good strategy and sell .it is all about getting rejected and trying again but most of the professionals prefer smart work over hard work so the possibilities of quality leasd lead method can't be ignoredgerd


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