We live in a world of instant gratification. Hungry? Grab some fast food. Want to read the news? Check it on your smartphone. Want to make more sales?… Aah, here’s where the allure of quick fixes kicks in. We are so conditioned to expect instant results that the attitude carries over to our selling efforts. Is it possible to make a single change and have profound results?
Tip #1: Take it Slow
We live in the age of slow buying. In the past, it was absolutely possible to make a (small) sale on the first phone call to a prospect. Now with sales resistance higher than ever, it can take dozens of contacts before a transaction is made. Building a relationship of trust becomes essential to the sales process. Furthermore, most sales require more than one decision-maker, further slowing the buying cycle. To expect instant results in an age of slow buying is unrealistic and harmful for your selling efforts. Be patient, don’t push, and establish trust before asking for the order.
Tip #2: Build Little, Build Often
“Rome wasn’t built in a day.” As human beings, we are capable of making only incremental improvements on ourselves. The key is to be disciplined enough to read a few pages of a book, listen to a podcast, or watch an instructional video every day. The effect over time on your career will be exponential. Rather than expecting a single seminar to change your life and career, make small deposits to your intellectual bank on a regular basis. By the way, there’s a Japanese word that specifically describes this practice: “Kaizen.”
Tip #3: Unblock the Pipes
There is an exception to the rule of slow improvement. Every now and then I’ll hear stories about sales consultants skyrocketing their success from a single change in their sales process. Their results were like a blocked pipe. They were performing excellently in every area (most likely built through incremental improvement) except one. When they had their breakthrough, it removed the obstruction, allowing all of the sales to flow through.
What are your areas of weakness? If you are strong at every aspect of sales except prospecting, you will never achieve your goals without first unblocking the pipe. Make a commitment to improve in the areas you are weak at to unlock your success!
We sell in a market where buying decisions are slow. We must be patient and take the time to build relationships with our prospective clients. When looking to improve ourselves, we must also be patient and improve just a little every day. Finally, working on our weakest sales skill will unblock the pipe of success. Remember that patience is a virtue!
Music credit: “Clear Day” – bensound.com