Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Who's Responsible for Your Success?

The 10 Reasons Why You Don't Sell as Much as You Could (or Should)
and What To Do About It
by Jim Domanski

Be real honest with yourself: are you selling as much as you could ... or as much as you should? If you have that vague and uneasy feeling that maybe you could be doing better but you're not precisely certain why you're not, then this article might give you some much needed perspective

1. You lack product knowledge
You might not be excelling at selling because you lack product knowledge. Maybe you're new to the job. Maybe you haven't been diligent in learning more about your products and services.

Here's the good news: you can readily fix this. Learn your products inside out. Review brochures, manuals, white papers, special reports. Read industry magazines. Subscribe to industry e-newsletters. Visit competitive web sites. Find a savvy mentor. Pick your boss's brain. Do SOMETHING. Invest a few extra hours a week. Eat lunch at your desk and read. Stay and extra half hour. Take stuff home.

2. You don't use the skills that you got when trained
You might not be selling to the degree that you would like because you are NOT using the skills you were taught in training. The trouble with learning new skills and techniques is that it means CHANGING your selling behaviour. Most people resist change even if that change means better results.

This is easy enough to fix too: find someone that will act as a coach, a cheerleader or conscience. Most often it's your manager. Engage him or her. Call them to task. Get trained again if necessary. Get them to monitor your calls and analyze what you are doing well and not so well. Get them to pat you on the back or kick you on the backside. Do SOMETHING and start applying what you learned.

3. You abuse the skills that you got in training
You may not be a good seller because you 'abuse' what you learned. This is different from #2 where you don't use ANY of the new skills. In this case, you don't use what you learned well. You have diluted, changed or altered the selling skills and techniques; you go half way; you cut a corner or two... or three...or four; you don't follow through; you've whittled away a tactic. You may not even know it.

The best thing to do is get yourself a coach - a manager, a friend, a mentor, an outsider- to objectively listen and analyze your calls. Be open to their remarks. Get training. Get your manager to provide constructive feedback.

4. You lack experience.
You're new to sales. You've just come off training. You haven't made enough calls to get a complete feel for your selling environment. You haven't dealt enough with customers or prospects. You haven't had enough victories or defeats. You lack the experience that only comes with time and effort. You lack the volume work that provides insights, confidence and savvy.

The solution? Don't quit. Keep plugging away. Keep a log book of experiences. Jot things down. Chat with others. Learn. Store those experiences somewhere. Above all, be sure to keep dialling. You'll learn by doing. Mistakes are great teachers; so are successes. Push yourself.

5. You quit too soon
Speaking of quitting: you might not be as successful as you could be simply because you quit too soon or you too easily. Quitting means any number of things. It means stopping an activity short of completion. For instance, instead of making 70 dials you quit at 55. Instead of making four or five follow up you quit at one or two. If a prospect says 'no' when you ask for the sale instead of querying further you crumble like a house cards and hang up.

What's the answer? Buck up, baby! Grow a spine. Don't be a wimp. Push a little further. Push a little harder. It won't hurt a bit and it WILL help your sales.

6. You need an attitude adjustment
Attitude can be a real sales killer and it may be holding you back from extraordinary results. Look, if you don't like your boss; if you're convinced your prices are "always" too high; if you feel your list is lousy; or you think that your competition has a better product, a better offer, better terms ... whatever; then quit. Don't waste any more of your time.

Or, alternatively, you can change your attitude. It's as simple as that. Make a choice. Negative thoughts and beliefs will hold you back from succeeding. So here's what to do. Stop whining. Stop blaming and finger pointing. And above all, stop excusing yourself. Your sales success is YOUR responsibility.

Here's what you should do: grab a yellow sheet of paper and a red marker. Write these words on it in big letters, "So, what am I going to do about it?" Post it where it will always be visible. When you feel yourself going down the self pity path, look at the poster and thing about solutions or hard work.

7. You're complacent
You might not be selling as much as you could or should because of complacency. It means you are content, perhaps even smug about your sales results. You're happy with what you are making and achieving. This is not necessarily a bad thing provided you are meeting or exceeding your objectives.

The only trouble with complacency is that it's a slippery slope. It gets easy to stop doing the things that made you successful...and you don't realize it. One day you wake up and you're behind the game. Complacency is common and it creeps up on everyone from time to time.

The good news is that complacency is relatively easy to fix. Push yourself every day by trying something new or setting more challenging objectives. Make 10 more calls. Push for one more sale. Get in 15 minutes earlier. Prospect a half hour longer. Stay an hour later once a week.

8. You're lazy
Ouch! Being lazy is different than being complacent. Lazy is several steps past complacency. Laziness is knowing what to do but consciously choosing not to do it. And excusing it. Laziness is seeing what needs to be done and ignoring it.

No one likes to admit that he or she is lazy but if your sales are down and they've been down for a while, you need to have a little 'heart-to-heart' with yourself. Only you can answer the question. As for the solution; it's self-evident.

9. You don't invest in yourself
Your sales might not be where you want them because you have done little or nothing to help get yourself to the next level. You haven't invested the time or the money for self-improvement. That you are reading this article is a good start but let me ask, have you bought a book or DVD on sales in the last six months? Have you thought of hiring a coach? The moment you invest a few bucks of your own money is the moment you have something to lose. It is also the moment you want an ROI. You create risk with an investment.

Next step? Visit a bookstore one day this week. Browse the marketing and sales selves. Find something to buy and read. Then schedule a half hour a day or a couple of hours a week to read and learn new techniques. (Not sure what to buy? See "I recommend "Smart Calling" - see the column below for more information)

10. You don't have the talent
Maybe your sales aren't so great because you lack the talent. Talent is an inherent ability to do well or at least, well enough. Not everyone has it. I can't dance a lick. I have NO talent for it. Can't sing either. Wasn't blessed with it. Golf? I play but it's a torture to watch.

Some people aren't cut out to be sales people because they don't have the talent. If you have tried everything suggested here, if you have moved from sales job to sales job and have not been 'successful' then maybe you don't have the talent. Maybe you should move on to something else. No shame in that. Call it a moment of truth but it could make your life a whole lot more enjoyable.

If you haven't gathered by now, your success is up to you. It's your choice. Making certain choices is not always easy but it is the only path to sales success. Choose wisely.

Jim Domanski
President, Teleconcepts Consulting
B to B, outbound tele-sales consulting and training services
Phone: 613 591 1998

Powerful advice from Jim. If you are successful - you are responsible. If you are not - you are responsible.

George Torok


1 comment:

George Torok said...

Jim, I like what you say. Notice that every points starts with the word "you". Yes, when it comes to success - it's all about you.