This post is about creating a reality where short term cares melt away and long term sales success becomes effortless. You may want to read it twice.
Last week I was having a conversation with one of the salespeople on my team. We were discussing his plan and desire to get two specific accounts open on an upcoming day of sales calls. He mentioned that the last time he went to these places, he thought they would have ordered, but for some reason they didn’t.
“I just have to get these accounts open on this next call,” he said.
So I asked him, “What’s your plan when you go there?”
He listed off a pretty standard call agenda: He was going to arrive and conduct a little personal time, and then get down to business by following up on his past quotes and asking for an order.
That sounds like most sales calls right?
That’s the problem.
Most sales calls are terrible.
He left off THE MOST important part of the call: value creation.
For All-Star salespeople, making a contribution of value is the REAL reason to make a sales call.
Terrible salespeople tend to just show up (or call up :/ ), ask how things are going, talk about current events, ask if they can “help” with anything(which is really just professional begging)…and through this “hard work,” some sales will get made.
What they don’t realize is this: If they don’t bring a legitimate purpose to all of their calls, they are leaving the door open for a competitor to walk in and fulfill this need. It’s often a need a buyer doesn’t know they have….because they’ve never had a sales rep execute effectively. You didn’t know you needed an iPhone with visual voicemail either…until you saw how it worked….then you realized you couldn’t live without it.
Most people are still waiting for a salesperson to come give them this type of experience…and they’ll be waiting a long time.
I pointed this missing value creation piece out to my rep and he said “oh yeah…of course, I’ll do that part too,” but his true base motivation had already been revealed. He was thinking about how he could gain a benefit(opening the account), instead of looking at it from a place where he could contribute to the client’s business.
Which brings us to the “secret” of closing more sales effortlessly.
When your primary goal in your sales life is to make contributions of massive value, your sales will explode. Your income will skyrocket. People trust you. People feel less pressure because they know you’re looking out for them. Selling just got…easy.
Conversely if “making a sale” is the primary goal in your mind, you’ll find it more difficult to make sales. The more you “need” to make the sale, the more difficult it becomes! Buyers can sense desperation. I know you think you can mask it…but people’s true motivations are never that hard to discern.
This is the strange paradox that most salespeople find themselves in. Some never figure this riddle out. They struggle mightily with poor to mediocre results because they’re trying to make a sale any way they can: price discounting, being aggressive or pushy, outright begging. Sales remains difficult when you sell this way. You can’t be in control of your business.
The good news is, if you can be one of the few that figure this out, you’re well on your way to excelling in your marketplace.
If this makes sense to you, take today and shift your focus from making a sale to making worthwhile contributions to your customers’ lives and businesses. If you can’t think of how to actually make a real contribution, this should be a HUGE red flag for you.
When you bring massive value and contribution, people will take notice.
They will trust you and they will become raving fans.
Here’s another crazy benefit. When you devote 100% of your energy to helping other people do better, you feel better about doing your entire job! Even forms of drudgery and “necessary evil” busywork become totally worthwhile when you view it through the lens of serving someone else.
This mindset leads to an outward demeanor that happens to be highly attractive to the people that you are looking for; the people who appreciate a hard working, high value salesperson. I promise you they are out there. They are the best customers in the world. You only need so many of them to be successful! There are more out there than you need.
It’s hard for decent buyers to resist salespeople that are genuinely looking after their best interest. Even if they are rightfully suspicious at first, (as they must be with all salespeople) they will soon be won over. Your process and your consistent contributions of value will help them overcome their cynicism towards you.
Your next step is to never violate the trust you’ve earned.
Work to be a constant stream of new ideas.
NEVER stop looking for ways to be high value.
You’ll become a person they can’t live without.
They will ASK YOU, “What else can I buy from you?” (That’s a great feeling by the way.)
When your clients find themselves in a place where they can’t see themselves living without you and the contributions you provide, “sales” becomes astonishingly easy.
So the the next time you find yourself wanting to “make a sale”, picture yourself rattling a tin cup in their office.
Now stop doing that, and start making valuable contributions.
“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”
– Zig Ziglar