I have been blogging at length on the subject of sales management, selling skills, sales attitude AND also the struggle of the best of us in a global economy in the throes of recession…
It is very easy to become despondent in this scenario and to let the situation get the better of you…how ever if you have sales smarts, and above average EQ (Emotional Quotient) then you can certainly train yourself in these trying times to succeed!
Here are the five quickest way to get your brain in shape for a motivated attitude:
- Avoid negative thought patterns. Stop thinking in terms of “I can’t,” “It’s impossible,” or “This won’t work.” Negative thought patterns programs you for negative results. Instead think in terms of what you can accomplish and what will work.
- Emphatically express positive emotion. Never pass up an opportunity to express a positive feeling. For example, if someone asks “How are You?” respond enthusiastically with “Terrific!” or “Fabulous!” And then decide to feel that way.
- Don’t waste your mental energy. Worrying about things over which you have no control is the most useless of all human endeavors. Most news stories deal with issues that don’t affect your daily life. So spend your driving time listening to music or inspirational speeches.
- Stop griping about problems. What good does complaining about things do? It just depresses you and everyone else in the process. Focusing on what’s lousy about the economy, your company and your customers just sets you up for failure.
- Substitute neutral words to calm wayward emotions. For example, if you’re angry, rather than saying to yourself “I’m enraged!” say “I’m a bit annoyed…” or (better yet) “I’ve got a challenge here…”
Over time, using these techniques train your brain to reject the thoughts that keep you from being successful and strengthen the thoughts that make you motivated.
We are all creatures of habit….thats a given.
Problem is that some of our habits get in the way of our success and thats what we are talking about today.
I have always maintained that being cautiously optimistic and having a realistic expectation of the business outcome is key to ensure that you are respected in the sales reps fraternity and in your clientele club.
If you’re going to be successful in sales, you need to be the kind of person that draws other people to want to work with them. With the exception of a few, most people want to work with people who have an upbeat and positive attitude.
Unfortunately, many people have sloppy habits of thinking and speaking that drain the energy of the people around them. With that in mind, here are five quick techniques that will immediately improve your attitude in ways that will increase your ability to influence others and help sales reps sell more!
- Technique #1: Stop using negative phrases such as “It’s impossible,” or “This won’t work,” which program you for negative results. Instead, substitute phrases like “That might be challenging” or “We’ll need some alternatives” that leave the possibility of eventual success open and available.
- Technique #2: Whenever somebody asks “How are you?”, don’t come out with the something depressing like “Hangin’ in there” or “Same old, same old.” Instead, respond enthusiastically with “Terrific!” or “Fabulous!” or “I’ve never felt better!” Then make that your reality, too.
- Technique #3: Stop complaining about things over which you have no control, such as the economy, your company, the customers, etc. Focus on what you can change, what you can accomplish, and what you can do for your firm, your customers, and your customers’ customers.
- Technique #4: Stop griping about your personal problems and illnesses. What good does it do other than to depress you and everyone else? Remember: this, too, shall pass. Do what you can to deal with your problems and then use your energy to keep yourself on track and in high spirits.
- Technique #5: Substitute neutral words for emotionally loaded ones. For example, rather than saying “I’m enraged!” say “I’m a bit annoyed…” or (better yet) “I’ve got a real challenge…” Neutral words keep your mind from getting into emotional feedback loops that keep you miserable.
This question hounded me for weeks when I was leading the solution sales team in India.
One of my rising stars had been on to his clients for well over 12 weeks, without a whiff of any indication about their intention-I guess that got to him and he posed this question to me during out team meeting.
I asked for time and came back to him with my assessment. Let me share that with you.
Research conducted by Harvard and other independent institutions have established that clients clearly differentiate between valuable vendors while treating others like plug n play commodities.
B2B relationships basically fall into 5 levels. In this assessment I am taking the explanation from the lowest ( level 1) to the highest ( level 5) and tried to explain the “what” and “why” of the engagement, with appropriate examples
- Approved Vendor: “We are seen by the majority of our customers as a legitimate provider of the products or services we offer, but are not recognized for having any significant competitive edge over other alternative offerings. We therefore often compete on price, via discounting, as a key consideration to helping close a deal.” Example: Gateway is most often viewed as one of a number of vendors from which a company can buy reliable PCs, but rarely seen as unique.
- Preferred Supplier: “Based on our marketplace reputation/past dealings with our customers, we are normally seen as the preferred vendor for them to do business with. While competitors may offer alternative offerings, all things being considered equal we win the deal in the lion’s share of the deals over the competition.” Example: Salesforce.com has such a good reputation that when firms are looking for on-demand applications, the competition must create a significant advantage in the eyes of the customer to get the deal.
- Solutions Consultant: “Based on a specific set of product-related, value-add knowledge or services we bring to the table, our customers view us as not only a vendor, but a consulting resource on how to best use our products or services, as well. Because of this, during brief periods when our offerings may not be as robust or are more expensive than those of the competition, our customers will continue to buy from us because they consider the premium we bring to the table when making their final choice.” Example: MidMark sells a wide variety of products medical facilities use in their practice, AND offers specific advice on new ways that doctors can leverage those products to maximize revenues.
- Strategic Contributor: “Above and beyond the products and services we offer, our customers view us as a source of strategic planning assistance for dealing with broader-based business challenges they are currently dealing with. Based on this, we are regularly brought into business discussions that are above and beyond our products, to help the clients develop or implement key business strategies. This strategic focus often allows us to sole-bid deals, even though competitors may offer similar products.” Example: Hewlett Packard’s “Creatology” group which constantly identifies what other assets, besides the products that HP possesses, that the clients could leverage in their businesses – i.e. processes, relationships, intellectual property, etc.
- Trusted Partner: “At this highest level we are seen as a long-term partner whose contributions; products, insights, processes, etc., are seen as critical to the long-term success of their clients. Based on this, the occurrences of our clients seriously considering a competitive offering are next to nil.” Example: GE aircraft and Boeing, who co-bet their businesses on the mutual success of their long-term, multi-year relationship.