The end of a decade
As we come to the end of this decade, some say it’s a good time to farewell to the habits, practices, items, (and in some cases people), that no longer serve us so that we don’t bring them into the next decade.
It requires a bit of self-reflection and decision making.
So, if we apply this to the sales space, what is it that you need to leave behind? Is it procrastination? Is it an over-reliance on email communication? Or is it time to stop playing small? Maybe all of the above!
In case you’re struggling to start your list, I have a few you can use directly or as inspiration for your own…
4 things to stop doing:
ONE: Stop Playing Small
What do you really want next decade? How can your role be the vehicle for you to achieve that? What learning can you actively seek out for your professional and personal development in order to land intentionally this decade where you want to be?
All too often we limit ourselves by not extending ourselves beyond our current environment and experience set. We stop doing things that are going to propel us forward faster because they’re a little bit scary. These are the very things we must embrace. Live a bigger life next decade: discover what you’re truly capable of.
TWO: Stop telling – it isn’t selling!
The best sales people I’ve met know the outcome they want from a meeting, ask planned questions, and then listen to understand deeply. Contrary to common parlance, those with the gift of the gab aren’t the best salespeople. Stop winging it. Master the art and technique of professional conversation, of conducting an outcome driven conversation. Turn pro in 2020.
THREE: Stop being transactional
Not all sales are equal. When you’re stuck in a cycle of transactional selling, it’s really hard to break because your sales targets always seem to be a stretch for you. The pressure can drive behaviours like discounting, jumping at the first sniff of a sale (thereby leaving opportunity on the table), selling the wrong solution (especially when the customer has told you what they want) when you know it won’t deliver the outcome the customer is really after, trying to force solutions or conversions….you get the picture. So, stop it. Start playing the long game. Build lasting relationships with customers, potential customers, referrers, collaborators…so that it’s not about eating today at the expense of starving in a week. Build a pipeline that will continue to nourish you well into the future.
FOUR: Stop showing up to get
But, hang on, we’re in sales, right? Isn’t it all about getting a deal, a sale, a contract, a sign up? Well, yes but if that’s all we understand about our roles, we’re missing the real opportunity. Sales is a result. It’s how we go about it and what else we open up as a result of truly being of service. We start the process of reciprocity when we show up to give as our primary focus. Giving can be as simple as listening, looking for opportunities beyond your role to add value to the other person’s role or company (eg. People in your network, personal contacts that may be helpful). Go in with your metaphorical arms open wide to hold the space. Watch what happens when you come from that space.
What you stop doing is just as important as what you start doing.
Clear the slate now.