I was on a coaching call yesterday with a sales person from one of our technology clients. As is often the case, he wanted all of the answers to his most pressing sales problems...right now! Although I was able to provide some advise that I knew would help, I was also quite sure that the same problem would probably occur again!
In reality, being more successful in sales and making the behavior modifications required is not a "quick fix" proposition. It requires hard work, discipline and a willingness to change. It also requires the application of three basic principles that drive higher success in all learned skill activities (selling skills are learned, not born!).
To understand these principles I often use the game of golf as an analogy. Being more successful in golf requires the application and commitment of these three basic principles:
1. Play- Just playing the game more often will deliver better results.
2. Practice- Practice in golf is done at the driving range or on the putting green. This is where we take new skills and work to develop new "muscle memory".
3. Learning and developing good skills- Taking lessons and getting coached, on a regular basis.
So, how would we apply these principles to the business of sales and could they improve our "sales game"?
1. Play- In sales, the "play" is making sales calls (in person or telephone). Like golf, just making more calls will make you more successful regardless of your level of skill! Remember, selling is a numbers game, the more you try the more you'll win!
2. Practice- The practice in sales is something very few sales people are willing to do...role play! You need effective strategies (created in the third element below) that are learned and well rehearsed. When your prospect/customer says "your price is too high" that's the wrong time to come up with an answer! Your role playing will create "muscle (response) memory" just like the putting green or driving range in golf.
3. Learning and developing better skills- Just like golf, you need to get "lessons" and be willing to learn new skills or selling techniques. Most of the time, you need an outside influence to help you make and identify what skills need to change. The old adage "if you knew what needed to change you would have already changed it" is true.
So, if you're "in a hurry"...sorry. But if you are willing to apply these three principles to your selling career I'm sure you'll be more successful!