Kaizen is the Japanese philosophy of continuous improvement. It is powerful in its simplicity, and has the power to transform your life and sales. If you improve your sales skills just a little every day, the benefits to your career will be exponential over time. Today, I will share with you six tips for implementing Kaizen in sales.
Kaizen in Sales Tip #1: Work on just one new skill at a time
We perform at our best when we focus on one action at a time. When we do this our mind is like a magnifying glass, concentrating the sun’s light enough to start a fire. By focusing on just one new sales skill at a time, you maximise your chances of improving in that area.
What is your weakest skill? This will often act as a blockage in your sales pipeline. You will only be able to perform up to the level of your weakest skill. Concentrate your efforts on improving this area first, being sure to measure your results as you go. Find the best books and seminars specialising on the topic. There is at least one for literally every step of the sales process!
Kaizen in Sales Tip #2: Work on it until it becomes habit
Most people don’t believe they are disciplined, thinking of themselves as lazy. The truth is that we are all disciplined. Did you brush your teeth this morning? That’s a discipline. Did you arrive at work on time? That’s a discipline too. Disciplines are simply habits that we have worked hard to create.
Once you have decided which skill to improve upon, keep at it until it becomes a part of you. Work on that skill until it is an effortless habit. There is no specific period for this to happen, so just keep improving until you are satisfied it comes naturally to you. (By the way, the “21 days to creating a habit” is a myth). Once this is achieved, move on to your next weakest sales skill.
Kaizen in Sales Tip #3: Never stop improving
“If you are not growing, you are dying” – Tony Robbins. The compound effect of Kaizen will only work if you keep at it for the long-haul. Once you have internalised each of the steps in the sales process, there are always areas to fine-tune. For example, you may want to look into sales psychology, personal development, or body language. There are literally limitless resources for you to improve yourself.
New Tips & Updated Video (Transcript)
Hi, it’s Ben Lai from Sales Ethos. Today’s topic is a revisit on one of my blogs that I published many years ago. The topic is “Kaizen in Sales.” Really what I’m trying to espouse here is that as professional sales people, we need to constantly improve. We need to find ways of doing things better than before and we need to become better as a person. This is a great concept that’s helped businesses like Toyota who really maximize their business and is now a global brand. It will certainly help you in your sales as well. What I’m going to do is I’m going to give you three tips on how to embody this concept of Kaizen and fit it into the sales context.
Kaizen in Sales Tip #4: Adopt a Growth Mindset
The first one is about mindset. We have to be a forever learner, we have to have the mindset that I can improve and that I will improve. If you happen to be bad at cold calling, for example, rather than just conceding to that fact, look for ways to improve in that especially if it’s a necessary part of your work, or if you’re not good at presenting them, find ways to improve on your sales presentations.
We have to do away with sayings like “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” because apparently, according to one of my clients who works with dogs, old dogs are perfectly capable of learning new tricks. If old dogs can learn new tricks, you certainly are not excluded from that. Always have a growth mindset that I can constantly improve.
Kaizen in Sales Tip #5: Change Small Daily Habits
The next thing that I want to suggest is that you work on yourself daily by reading books, reading articles, by listening to audio programs. Change your radio stations and listen to audio programs or podcasts instead. The amount of time that we spend driving and listening to radio which often is entertaining but has no lasting value, that’s a really great way to put this on autopilot.
Another thing that you can do is to watch educational videos. There are lots of TED Talks and I’ve got a whole library of training videos that you can watch. Attend live seminars. Invest in yourself. There are limitless ways to improve our minds and our skills. Find some way to do this on a daily basis. The main concept in Kaizen is to improve incrementally, just a little bit at a time, but to do it on a regular basis.
What you’ll find is over the long term, these little things stack up and they become big things. My whole business, my whole sales training business was built on these habits of daily reading the books and researching and listening and learning on a constant basis. Establish a habit of improving yourself a little bit every day.
Kaizen in Sales Tip #6: Learn From Failures
Finally, if you want to really embrace the Kaizen concept in your sales and constantly improve, you need to learn from your failures. Whenever you pick up the phone and you get a rejection, think to yourself, what did I do that turn the other person off? If you didn’t win a sale, call up the client and ask for feedback. “Just for our learning, can you tell us what the reasons were that we didn’t win this deal?”
If you’re constantly learning from your failures, your fear of failure is going to diminish. Your failure will be a lesson that you can learn for future instances that are similar to it. That’s the whole purpose of failing. And let’s face it, we are going to fail and we’re going to fail often! That’s just the reality of the sales profession.
To embrace the Kaizen concept in sales, we need to have the right mindset, a growth mindset (I can constantly improve, and I’m going to be a forever learner). The second thing that we need to do is to establish a daily habit of learning. Whether that’s books or audio books, any other medium, just make sure you’re doing it on a regular basis in small chunks. Finally, we need to learn from our failures. Every time we make a mistake, learn from it, analyse it, and be better as a result of it.
Now, if you are a sales manager, or an entrepreneur, and you’re looking for ways to boost your sales, feel free to contact me on the details below. I can promise you that I have been practicing this concept of constantly improving for a very long time, I’d be happy to share with you some tips on how you can do it in your practice and in your business. By the way, if you liked this video, please click like and subscribe and remember that integrity plus skills equals success.
Image Credit: Majo statt Senf