Why is the business of selling such a struggle? I’ve seen so many people over many years get worn down working long hours, getting stressed, and becoming annoyed with their results. Often it’s not because they weren’t working enough, they were simply not working on the right end of the problem.
The old adage, “sales is a numbers game” is hugely misleading. There’s no question you’ve got to continually make new contacts and find new opportunities but that’s only step one in the business development process.
Years ago I worked in a sales bullpen with six other guys. I’d hear them say things like,” well, he (the prospect) will give up before I’ll give up!” From there they would spend countless hours and days doggedly pursuing an order from that person. Sometimes they’d get an order just to go away. It usually wasn’t substantial but they got to wave the order around in the sales room as a sign of their power to persist. My question is, did they develop a relationship for future business?
Another old quote comes from Woody Allan. It states, “80% of success comes from showing up.” Lazy people love to buy into this one. Anyone can simply show up and if you’re in the right place at the right time you may even get to pick some of the low-hanging fruit. However, it’s a tough way to impact your success. I believe it’s harder to take the frustration of showing up and hoping you’ll get lucky than to work systematically at preparing, strategizing and executing your plan. That’s why world-class athletes, musicians, and business people work at their craft to become the best. They don’t just show up.
Finally, why try to push a rock up hill. That’s exactly what you do when you spend time and energy trying to get someone to buy what they don’t want, don’t need or can’t afford. There are thousands of prospects, people who need what you have and are looking for a professional with whom they can work to help solve real problems. The key is to find them. There are systematic processes to make the business of selling less work and more successful.
There are no awards for working extended hours, developing high blood pressure and ulcers. Sales is a great career if you do it right.
Copyright 2012 Sandler Training and Insight Sales Consulting Inc. All rights reserved.
John Glennon is the owner of Insight Sales Consulting Inc, the authorized Sandler Training Licensee for the Interior of British Columbia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, toll free at 1-866-645-2047 or view his website at www.glennon.sandler.com