Learning To Fly
If you’re reading this, it means you have the right mindset for a sales job. The kind every business wants, because smart business owners want sales people who are not just going through the motions, but who are excited about learning to knock it out of the park. They like sales people who realize that unless they continually up their game, they will ultimately fail. That’s huge! You may not realize it, but there are many out there who feel that they have a pretty good bead on things. They’ve got it all figured out. You can’t tell them anything. They know better. Meanwhile, the rest of us are on an endless quest to get better and better at this. We want to succeed and we want our employer to succeed. If we’re fortunate, our employer knows it and is very glad to have us on board because of this.
No One’s Really Got It All Figured Out Just Yet
Anyone who claims to have the magic sauce in sales scares the hell out of me. I know there are lots of things that can help us do better, and I constantly seek out those things, but let’s get real. If anyone tells you they have the ideal formula that’s going to revolutionize sales, then get your tall boots on, because the $%$&’s going to get deep. Why? Because every situation, every customer, every business offering is different. Hell, even the impact of this message is changing, even as you read this. So my blog title was designed to grab your attention, (Looks like it worked.) but it was surely not designed to be a declaration that I have it all figured out, or that I understand your customers, your sales cycle, or what your needs are, but here’s something for you to consider:
I Know A Little
What’s holding you back in sales? Do you know? Here’s an observation from my own efforts that may hold true for you as well: Your problem may be that you are thinking of them as “customers.” Think about that for a minute. How is your attitude toward your customer different from your attitude toward your children, your wife, your neighbor, your mom or your dad? I’m not saying you should treat customers like children, or spouses, but it makes a huge difference if you have in your mind a wrong attitude toward those you call customers. You will talk to them differently, you will treat them differently, you will even expect different things from them; and some of that is as it should be, yet some of it may be the biggest thing holding you back in sales. Here’s what I mean:
This Is The One Thing
What’s the most important thing in sales? We could wax philosophical about this for centuries.. but you know what I’ve come to realize? The most important thing in sales is the relationship. It’s not how great your products and services are. It’s not your amazing management team. It’s not your great powers of building rapport. It’s not your expertise, your skills or your timing. These are all important, but the most important thing, and the biggest differentiator you have is your relationship with your customer and if you think of them as “just customers” you will treat them with less respect and less care than others in your life.
What Am I To You?
There’s a lot that can go wrong in a sales relationship. The very worst thing is when your customer gets the impression that you are not serving their best interests. Why? Because there are others out there who will care more and try harder. In a free enterprise system, careless handling of relationships results in loss of business because someone out there simply cares more about those relationships than you do. Here’s what I’ve noticed: It’s not a hard and fast rule, because again, nobody’s got this all figured out, but by and large those customers for whom I work hard to preserve a healthy, mutually beneficial relationship with provide a steady stream of reciprocation: sales, referrals, recommendations and repeat business. My recommendation? if you are in a slump: take a long hard look at your customer relationships. What might you do differently to garner their respect, their loyalty and reciprocation from your customer base? Are they “just customers” to you? Then maybe this is the biggest thing holding you back in sales. Change your mind about your customer relationships and it could change your success with them.