Frequently I’ll talk to a business owner who say “Our sales team is very experienced, some of them are very good, others not; they’ve been around for a long time and are resistant to change.”
They ask if we’ve ever worked with any salespeople like that and if we were able to make an impact? The answer is “Sometimes we can and sometimes we can’t; it depends on you, it depends on them.”
It depends on the same owners and managers because let’s face it, the salespeople don’t work for us, they work for them, just like we do. If leadership doesn’t create a trust atmosphere that allows the reps to become self-motivated and open to future possibilities its pretty hard for us to do it because people who are afraid of unknown and suppressed possibilities won’t leave the comfort zone of their unconscious. Everyone wants to be successful and to a degree many of them are, but where people fall down is opening up to change and doing what it takes to achieve it. People hold back in order to protect their egos from damage and stress, but that is where the growth comes from, opening up. In order to be truly successful you’ve got to continually change, to work to ever higher ends. As John Wooden, the most successful basketball coach in college history said about Success,
“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of being.”
Are you doing your best to become the best that you are capable of being? I apologize for asking such a daring and difficult question but until you are ready to take a personal stand to move in that direction how can anyone help you?
Let’s face it, over the years things have changed. The “cheese” has moved; it isn’t in the same corner any more. And if it is, there’s a fair likelihood it won’t be there tomorrow. As sales professionals we have to always work to raise our game. The prospect and customer is asking this question: Does doing business with this person help me achieve my personal goals, solve a personal problem or achieve a personal priority. The salesperson has to ask why should my prospect be willing to outsource whatever product or service they need to me?
- Am I willing to take responsibility over what I control to ensure the desired end result my customer or client seeks?
- Do I really understand their business goals?
- Am I willing to represent them and my company equally, one to the other, ready to fight for each side to make sure everyone gets what they need and in a fair transaction?
I don’t believe most salespeople look at their responsibilities in that light, that most punch the clock and stay close to the shoreline. How many times have you said silently or out loud, “Not my fault” “Too hard” “We’ll never go for that” “Not my responsibility”, etc? That is the safe course.
“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” – William Shedd
And so it goes for salespeople, as well. If you stay “safe” in your protected ego cocoon you will not risk failure, you will not grow, you will not earn; you will not win. Never forget that in life one cannot eliminate risk. One must manage it. Risk success, not failure! Are you safe in the harbor or out at sea seeking the prize?
C’mon Sparky, go for it!
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