What’s your strategy?
Today, when I am in conversation with persons they may remark that I make an excellent sales person. As flattering as this remark may be, it is as a result of hard work to develop an attitude towards sales where I have made it fun. Even though it is fun, you have to have the ability to be serious, and this may even sound like a contradiction. Of the many sales persons that I have been in contact with, they all seem to have some technique to be successful. Even in those persons who told me that they were not sales persons I have helped them unearth the ability to strategize. It is during this phase of strategizing that the sales person gets excited about their product and recognize why they can be successful in delivering the product to more and more customers and therefore expand their customer base. This excitement leads to the “game plan”, which lets you have serious fun in its execution. Even when the strategy does not roll out effectively, the excitement of creating an alternative strategy to salvage what happens should be a fun process. It is from this point that sales become easier.
Whenever I meet a new sales person who wants to join my sales team, I immediately spring into action. As far back as I can remember I have personally met each person with a barrel of excitement, almost bursting but yet oozing. In order to get into my sales team, I usually use a tactic to see if the person can have serious fun, as well as to get them to reveal their strategy. You cannot win your sales game without a strategy; it is almost as going in to a hostage situation and shooting blindly.
Getting ready to have serious fun to some people may mean getting ready to make lots of money in commission. Research surveys continue to prove that money is not a motivator (1)[rb1] , but, I can almost bet that if you work on plotting a sales strategy and it is successful, the amount of motivation to achieve goes through the roof and you look to conquer the world with the next challenge. What you should be asking yourself even at this point is “what’s my strategy?” In addition it does not hurt to bounce that strategy off of your colleagues, friends and relatives who should be your biggest critic. It gives you a chance to practice, and practice makes practical, such that you deliver smoothly, effectively and you put in your own “you” into the sales process. Excellent sales people know how to have fun, and when you chat with them see what makes them tick, and that “ticking” will give you a glimpse of the strategy they use.
In many cases it becomes like one big game, where you lose some and you win some, and you have a heart where you are comfortable to take a risk though calculated, and try some new technique. You must take responsibility for your actions when you take risks. In order to work a strategy, you must be honest with yourself.
What is your final objective?
§ Selling x-dollars of your product
§ Making y-dollars in sales commission
§ Building yourself a network of persons who will recommend you
§ Meeting and exceeding your target
§ Keeping your competitors guessing
Initially your sales strategy will need some tweaking but, just think about it and build a strategy that works for you, and remember that it should be fun. If it is not fun you will not enjoy the process, and it will become a concrete block around your ankle while you are trying to swim.
I needed to close a relatively big deal on a restaurant owner. During the sales cycle while quoting for the project I found out the owner loved rum & coke. Later on as I was about to close the deal, I took a group of sales colleagues with me to the same restaurant the same time I knew the owner was there. We ordered food and drinks and the owner’s favorite drink. He said that I practically brought the whole company down, needless to say – I won the deal. To this day, the owner still calls and feels comfortable consulting myself, on similar projects.
[rb1]Practical Leadership from Inspiration to application by J Clemmer