Everyone can relate to the fact that we are all a “walking salesperson”, at all times. Selling our kids on our perception of what is right for them, or while pitching to our boss a new idea. My story will point you in the direction of being mindful of not having an agenda when interacting with others. It provides a simple, yet effective approach to making sure that in the moment, we are truly doing the right thing, serving others, and not our ego.
It’s a popular point of view that being in sales, any type of sales, is for the brave of heart. Why is it so nerve racking and stressful to make a living as sales pro? Why did the profession of sales get such a bad rap? Why does it appear that sales positions seem to attract those who seemingly gave up on themselves? Most of the sales warriors have attended workshops, passed tests, memorized sales manuals and shadowed top guns in action, and yet, the majority of them are struggling to make a living. What is going on? From my many years of experience as sales recruiter, primarily working with those who promote technology products and services, the average job satisfaction rate is about 20%.
So, what is wrong here? It seems to me that most of the currently practiced sales techniques, from SPIN Selling to Sandler’s Submarine, were developed with an emphasis on having a defined system which a salesperson needs to closely follow in order to convert a prospect into a client. In my humble opinion, when one follows a system s/he is actually shooting himself in a foot. This approach of pre-defining the sales process from A to Z, completely limits one’s resourcefulness because of the constant need to keep a given structure in mind, and by doing so, limiting your ability to fully use your own intelligence and innate wisdom to guide your thinking.
Having a structure and a bag of techniques is helpful when teaching others, but in sales, it is unnecessary. What is more important is to condition the sales person to have a clear mind and encourage him to fully depend on his wisdom to create desired results.
My bottom line advice to my fellow sales colleagues is to engage prospects while having no expectations for the outcome. Zero agenda. Before a sit-down with a potential client, make sure you are well rested, in a good mood (a must) and confident in your own knowledge and capabilities to guide you throughout the sales process to where it is meant to go.
Accept the fact that you don’t have to be in control of every detail. Just be fully present, giving the other person all the space they need to express their needs, and the rest (whatever it might be), will happen as it should. Leave something to someone/something higher than you and you will be rewarded with stress free working environment, financial success, and be able to go home early.