Do you know the difference between a good sales leader and a GREAT sales leader?
What does a GREAT sales leader do that a good one doesn't? If you're lucky, you've worked for a least one GREAT sales leader, but have you ever stopped asked why she was GREAT and not just good? In most cases we will say it's because they had vision or were good communicators or because they were great sales people, or because they are fun to be around or they were good motivators. These are all good traits but good sales leaders do all of this too. The difference between good sales leaders and GREAT sales leaders is great sales leaders get more out of their people than people can get out of themselves. Great sales leaders are force multipliers. Great sales leaders see things in us that we don't see in ourselves and can bring those strengths to bear. Great sales leaders reach us in ways that get us to bring more to the table than we originally thought we could. They don't allow us to short change ourselves. They expect us to deliver to our potential and get us to believe our potential is greater than we knew.
Good sales leaders do all the stuff great sales leaders do, but great sales leaders go further, they get us doing more than we could do alone and that changes everything. Are you great a sales leader?
Can you get more out of your people than they can get out of themselves?
I think you can, if you try.
Why should I be excited to work for you? No, really. Why? Why work for you as opposed to any other sales leader out there? Please- whatever you do, don’t tell me it’s because you’re a good guy or girl, fun to work with and because you support your team. It will make me throw up in my mouth.
I need more than that. And frankly; so do you.
That’s not enough. I want a vision. I want to be inspired. I want to know we’re on a mission. I want to know we’re part of something bigger than just slinging widgets.
And I want to know YOU can lead us there.
I want to know you can get more out of me than I can get out of myself. I’ll work for you if you create a culture that gets me excited to come to work. I’ll work for you if you have the vision that can make us the best sales organization in the world. I’ll work for you if you set us on a mission that matters.
I’ll work for you if you’ll LEAD.
If all you’re going to do is support me, keep it. You won’t know why you’re supporting me so it’s a waste of time. If you’re a good guy or girl who’s fun to work with- Great! Let’s have a beer. But I’m not going to work for you. I have enough friends.
You see, none of this matters to me if you don’t know where we are going. If you have no vision, if we have no mission, if you can’t build a culture worth a hill of beans--- I’m not interested.
I’ll work for you if you can inspire me to bigger and better, if you can lead us to accomplish great things, if you can create a culture of greatness, if you can help me grow in to a person who can be a critical part of that vision then YES! You’ve got me!
So--- is that you?
You want to know where the biggest opportunity for sales growth is today? Do you want to know what is the one short thing you can do to blow out your numbers and crush the competition?
It’s to turn your sales organization in to a teaching organization.
Times have changed and so has your job. As a sales leader it used to be you had to build a sales organization that could sell by telling, pitching and closing.
But those days are gone. Over.
Telling is not selling. No one wants to be pitched. And closing will happen by itself if the sales person sells right. Here’s the deal.
Let me drop some mad wisdom on you:
- There is way too much information on the web.
- Your customers and prospects are way too busy to waste their time on a “pitch”.
- In most cases they’re 50-60% through the buying cycle before they’re even talking with one of your sales people.
It’s a different world my friend. The days of talking AT your client are over.
Today sales people have to be able to teach their customers and prospects. They have to be able to educate them. And as a sales leader it’s YOUR job to teach them how to do that. You have to build a teaching organization. You have to build a sales organization that has more information than your customers AND your competitors. You have to build a team that can teach their customers and prospects something they didn’t know. Like: how to solve a unique set of problems. What solutions may be available to them. What risks lay in wait. Where the market is going and more….
You have to build a sales organization that is known for its tremendous knowledge and insight---- not its product expertise. If you want to have a sales organization that can kick ass and win in todays selling world, stop building "selling" teams and start building "teaching" teams because THAT’S where the win is.
It’s not that you can’t get ahold of the CEO.
It’s not that you can’t make Presidents Club.
It’s not that you can’t find more “A” players.
It’s not that you can’t penetrate that big account.
And it’s not that you can’t get your team to use a CRM.
It’s that you haven’t yet; and that is an entirely different situation. The minute you say you can’t it’s over. Done. Put a fork in it. Give the fat lady some roses because she’s singing.
Can’t is final. It means exactly what it says---- You CAN’T.
So why keep trying?
I have three daughters. In my house we’re not allowed to say we can’t. What we CAN say is “I don’t know how”, “ I need help”, “ I need more time”, “ I need to figure it out”, “ I need to try something different”, “That didn’t work”, “I’m stuck”.
But we can’t say “I can’t”.
What should you say instead? How about “I haven’t yet”. YET. When we say I haven’t yet, we keep trying. We accept the journey isn’t over and that we need to try new things. We persevere. We put in the work. And we get it done. We don’t stop.
It’s not that you can’t. It’s that you haven’t. And that’s okay. Don’t say you can’t; because you CAN. You just haven’t YET.
So, where are you on this social media thing?
Do you have a Twitter account? Are you on LinkedIn? Do you use Google +? Or are you one of those people sitting on the sidelines still trying to figure out why social media even matters, because you have too much to do to be bothered with what someone is eating for lunch. Let me help you out. Consider this a Sales Guy Public Service Announcement:
Social media makes quota!
Yup, it's pretty much that simple. Sales people who use social media out sell those who don't by 72%. So, if you aren't using social media right now, odds are you are getting your ass handed to you by 72% of the sales people who are using it.
Let me drop a little more wisdom on you. Sales people who use social media exceed 110% of quota 23% more often than those who don't. These are the people going to President's Club. 54% of social media users said they can track at least one deal directly to their use of social media. Twitter or LinkedIn has made them money. 10% of people using social media say it directly contributes to their business and have closed over 5 deals last year as a result. These people are making a lot of money with social.
Non-social media users, those of you who think Twitter is a waste of time, well they missed quota 15% more often than social media users. These people aren't going to President's Club and aren't making money.
The argument is over. Social selling works, but even more alarming is that it's no longer a competitive advantage; it's become part of the price to play. Sitting on the sidelines is no longer about missing an opportunity; it's about falling behind. Don't fall behind any longer. Get social.
Go! Go join Twitter or something...times wasting.
Do you know what you're paid to do?
Do you know why companies pay you?
They pay you to think.
I know, pretty simple concept uh?
With that said, I'm amazed how little many of us think today. We are quick to ask for help. We expect companies to give us direction, to create a paint by number environment for us. We expect training, sales enablement, scripts, objection responses, etc. We expect so much of our thinking to be done for us. That's just plain crazy!
I've got some news for you, even if your company makes it easy, you still have to think. I have sales people ask me all the time what they should do. Do you know what I say? I ask them what THEY think they should do? I don't provide answers right away. Why? Because, most of the time they haven't thought it out yet. They just hit a wall, stopped and started looking to others for answers. They are not thinking.
Stop asking people what you should do and start asking yourself what YOU think you should do. Think. Use your brain. Be creative. Get those synapsis firing. Ask yourself tough "what if" questions. Identify your options. Weigh the pros and cons. Look for alternatives. Do the research, and make assumptions.
But what ever you do, THINK!
(If you aren't thinking, then why are you here?)
Are You Creative Enough
I am constantly amazed at the complete lack of creativity in sales people. Sales people are the extreme athletes of the business world, yet for some reason too many of us subscribe to the heard mentality -- doing what everyone else does. The problem with doing what everyone else does is ONE, it's boring and TWO, it lacks creativity. Making it in sales requires creativity.
I promise you, the majority of people who are on the Presidents Club trip right now, didn't do things like everyone else; they got creative. Being creative means doing something other people haven't thought of. It means pushing the envelope. It means looking at a problem from a totally different angle.
Being creative means, not accepting traditional results. Creative people get creative because they want more and don't settle for the what the herd can get. The herd all eat the same grass.
Do you want to be eating the same grass as everyone else?
To be more creative consider these 4 things:
1) Have the courage to be different, it takes guts to be creative, your approach shouldn't be like everyone else's and that's the point.
2) Broaden your awareness of your environment, your products and your customers. Creativity requires more knowledge than the heard.
3) Switch up your environment, put yourself in different places -- change inspires ideas. Read books, blogs and industry mags you normally wouldn't. Force your brain to play nice with others.
4) Accept anything is possible.
If you start with, "It can't be done", you are right and everything stops. Creativity is a commitment to do things differently. Why eat the same grass, it's a big field.
Break from the herd!
The ONE (or 50) Things You need to Know to Get Your Customers Attention.
There are a million things sales people need to do to get the customers attention and make the sale. But there is one that is far more important than any of the others. What is it?
It's knowing, ahead of time, what problems your customers are struggling with. I'm constantly amazed
at how often sales people reach out to a customer with no clear understanding what problems their customers COULD be dealing with.
Here's a test. Right now, write down 5 key problems your customers could be facing that your product or service can fix. How long do you think it would take? Can you do it less than 30 seconds? Are you struggling to list 5? If you want to get your customers attention, you need to be an expert in THEIR business and that starts with knowing what they are struggling with before you even pick up that phone or send that email.
Before you engage with your customers or prospects make sure you've got these three things covered:
* Know what problems they could be struggling with
* Know the IMPACT of those problems, what pain do the problems create
* Understand the root of the problems, what causes them,how to address them and why they exist in the first place.
If you can do these three things before you ever talk to a customer, you're more than half way to the sale. A customer can have one problem or 50 problems and the more you know about them, what causes them and how to fix them, they more in demand you will be.
So, what are your customer's problems?
Hard Work is A Bitch
Tiger Woods hits 1,000 balls AFTER each round in a Major. Lindsey Vonn spends 8 hours a day in the gym, 5 days a week. Michael Phelps spent 40 hours a week in the pool, and that didn't count his gym time or road time.
Hard work is a bitch and the truth is you have no idea what hard work really is. If you want to make Presidents club, if you want make a lot of money…. If you want that promotion to Sales Manager or to Chief Sales Officer, you need work your ass off. You have to put in unrealistic effort.
Here's the problem, we've been conditioned not to work hard. We're pounded with things like Work-Life Balance, or terms like Workaholic suggesting that working too hard is a bad thing. We're told that working hard is the way to success but then told if we work too hard, we're not being healthy.
We celebrate superstars who achieve greatness, yet chastise those putting in the time to achieve greatness. That's one hell of a paradox we've created isn't it? Here is the deal, no matter what it is you want, if you want to be the best -- you have to work your ass off. You have to learn what hard work really is, because I can tell you right now, if you're like most people, you have no clue what hard work is. Most people find hard work to be unreasonable and they are right. Hard work is unreasonable and this is where the win is.
Hard work takes more effort, time, pain, focus, and sacrifice than most of us are willing to put in and that's the beauty of it all. Be happy most people think hard work is unreasonable, because they won't do it. Those who think hard work is unreasonable, don't work hard - and that's your in.
Now go bust your ass!
The most destructive emotion a sales person can have is fear.
Fear will kill a deal in two seconds. Fear will drop the price of your product or solution 30% in the blink of an eye. Fear is the nemesis of good sales organizations. When sales people sell afraid, they are out of control. To avoid selling with fear:
(a) Build enough value in what your selling so the customer is the one that has more to lose
(b) Have a healthy pipeline so not everything relies on one deal
(c) Don't need the commission check (have money in the bank)
(d) Know you are a good sales person
Selling scared is a train wreck. Your customers and prospects can smell it. You lack confidence, you don't hold your own and your customers go for blood. Value, solutions, and anything productive gets lost in the feeding frenzy of reducing price out of fear you're gonna lose the deal. Don't be a train wreck. Know the value you bring to the table and stand tall, because if you don't, selling scared will crush you.
Don't sell scared!