So you’d say you’re a good salesperson? Then you ought to be extremely worried.
We live in the effortless information age. Buyers are doing more research on their own, contacting salespeople later and later in the buying process…and sometimes neglecting to contact them at all.
As a b2b sales manager, I am of course biased when I say that not working with a competent salesperson is a bad idea, but I do believe my opinion is the truth. These buyers could be costing themselves potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in wasted materials, lost labor savings, throughput decreases, and so on.
At the same time, I can’t say I blame them. Many salespeople are so low value that its hard to want to even give one a chance…especially if you’ve had a bad run with a few. As one of the few true all stars, this is your #1 obstacle and also your #1 opportunity.
I was listening to a really great Tony Robbins talk a few years back where he discussed the results people get in life from the effort they expend. The scale went like this:
If you’re POOR at what you do….you get pain. You get BAD results.
If you’re FAIR at what you do, you get POOR results.
If you’re GOOD at what you do, you get FAIR results.
If you’re GREAT at what you do, you get GOOD results. (Are you seeing the trend here?)
Then he said the thing that has stuck with me to this day:
“So we have a decent sized jump from poor to fair, then an even bigger jump from fair to good. Finally you have a HUGE leap from good all the way up to great, but there is just one more level just a TINY, LITTLE bit beyond that:
It’s called OUTSTANDING….and this is where ALL the MASSIVE success and rewards are. It’s totally unbalanced. It’s totally unfair; and I LOVE IT!”
I felt like I was told a profound secret there.
I realized then, and it has certainly been proven to me many times since then, that being a good or even a great salesperson is simply signing yourself up for the upper end of mediocrity. You are susceptible to attack. You can be beaten. It is only a matter of time.
I know what an unbeatable competitor looks like. I know a guy that will win more than 30% of the time he approaches an opportunity, and he will lose less than 5% of his existing accounts to attacking competitors. Do you realize how much income he’s been able to generate because of the results of his near perfect approach? Millions of dollars. Millions.
It’s possible for each of us to develop that kind of sales skill, relationship skill, work ethic, inner drive, you name it. It’s a process. It’s not a switch flip. Jim Rohn said, “You can’t change your destination overnight, but you CAN change your direction.”
Take a look at your business today. Look at your approach. How do you speak? How do you dress? How do you follow up? Does your LinkedIn profile read like a million other salespeople? Does your voicemail sound like EVERY other voicemail a buyer may hear? How do you DELIVER on what you say you’ll do? What do you do that sets you apart? How can I possibly ascertain that YOU are something special?
If you can’t answer these questions correctly, your business is in danger. You’ve been warned. Are you clearly the best? Why shouldn’t you be? Why else would you spend any time on this career? To generate less than maximum return on your time investment? To help someone else win?
Do yourself a favor. Commit to being the best salesperson in your market. Then change your habits and behaviors to align with that goal as quickly as you can. It may not happen overnight, but you can get there sooner than you think. If it took you 5 years, wouldn’t it be worth it?
My final admonition: once you think you’ve arrived on top, never stop looking for ways to improve or someone will be sure to prove that you’re the first arrow pictured above.