New of impending fiscal cliff in the US, continued bad numbers from the Eurozone, Worst GDP numbers from India in a decade do not make our work in sales any easier than yesterday.
Selling is hard work, but it’s even more difficult when the sales team starts exhibiting dysfunctional behavior in the face of serious challenges from the economy, clients and competition!
In times of crises like this, Sales reps and sales teams exhibit behavior that I jocularly refer to as “sins”! And I am giving away advice free to those who care to read and listen on how to cope with this bad behavior!!
- OVERCONFIDENCE. When everyone wants to make big numbers, there’s a tendency to sell too much, too quickly.Solution: Before closing, always make certain that the customer really needs your offering and that your firm has the resources to deliver promptly. Key take away– measure your selling pace, and DONT Push the sale; it will rebound on you and your client will vanish from your Rolodex!
- GRANDIOSITY. If you’ve got a terrific offering, it’s all too easy to pretend that it’s a panacea. While some products do arguably “change the world” they’re few and far between. Solution: Focus on helping the customer, rather than converting them to a “product” religion. Key take away– Leverage your EQ, keep a balanced approach to sales, look at the long term and sell a “solution” as opposed to a “great product”
- HUBRIS. Sales professionals know what worked in the past, but the memory of past success blind the team to changing customer requirements. Solution: Become obsessed with customer satisfaction and measure it through an objective customer survey.Key take away– DONT delve in the past, that is history; learn to learn new skills everyday, absorb the changes around you, adapt your self according to the change and display dexterity in making your offer to your clients.
- DEHUMANIZATION. Sales technology is great, but if it becomes too pervasive it can hinder the person-to-person interaction that is the core of relationship building. Solution: Use technology sparingly and use face-to-face communication for key customer meetings. Key take away– Remember, the product or the service does not a sale make, YOU DO!
- OVERWHELM. During times of change, there’s a tendency demand more from everybody on the team, and management may pile on extra offerings, making it difficult for keep abreast. Solution: Stay focused on what the customers are buying today. Key take away– KISS, Keep it simple and sweet! Always works,…….
- STOVEPIPING. In every company there is a tendency for sales to view itself as the only group that’s really important; meanwhile, other groups start viewing the sales team as arrogant. Solution: Get other groups involved in the sales process by inviting them to meetings with key customers. Key take away– Humility is a life long mistress for the successful sales star and a future leader. Collaborate with your internal teams that support you in your efforts to get your quotas, share accolades with them and give them their due for their unstinting support to you.
- STRESS. Sales is, by nature, a stressful activity. If a sales team isn’t careful, it can end up creating a sales culture where stress becomes habitual, like a drug. Solution: Make humor and laughter an integral part of your personal sales process. Key take away– De-stress over a round of golf, do Yoga, meditate, shake a leg….get a life beyond your quotas, commissions and job!!
Dont be a sinner, become a SAINT!!!