Welcome to Part 2! Here are the second set of 9 gems that will help you along your sales journey.
Discovery around How instead of Why
Focus on how a prospect buys vs what they want to buy. The latter is irrelevant if you don’t understand the former. Peel back the onion layers and ask as many process-related questions as you can to help understand “who’s who in the zoo.”
I know, I know, that was very old school of me to say. The fact is that salespeople make variable pay and input = output. It’s not about working smarter, it’s about demonstrating that you are more committed to the success of your prospect than anyone else. Prove this and you can win on your service-side differentiation alone.
Always ask for referrals
Never underestimate the ability of a client to help you grow your book of business through the power of trusted recommendations! Whenever you close a new business partner (a celebratory occasion) or whenever an existing client emotes happiness, it’s the perfect opportunity to ask for a referral. You will be shocked at how many leads you can generate just by asking for introductions to other prospects in their network.
Be Open to Specialization
Specialization is shown to provide you with lucrative revenue generating opportunities by allowing you to focus on creating value for clients with unique sets of needs. This can increase the runway of your role while helping grow your teams over capability to handle a greater array of specialized deals. I like to think of an advanced basketball metric for this called “WARP,” short for Wins Above Replacement Player. What would happen if you were replaced in your sales role by another hire? If the consequences aren’t devastating, it is in the company's interest to maximize the value of every seat and take a chance on someone with a higher upside.
Be brutally honest with yourself before attempting to be brutally honest with others
This one is short and sweet. Everyone’s a critic…have you critiqued yourself lately? If not, keep it all to yourself. If you aren’t ready for the mirror, you’re not a valid critic of others.
Replace ‘But’ with ‘And’ at all times
It will feel awkward at first but just trust me on this one. Sales is a communications job that involves projecting confidence and a strong sense of positivity. In a linguistic sense, the use of “but” negates everything you just said before it. The use of “And” instead is just so much more interesting to the active listener. You can try this with any sentence, for example: “I went to the bar but I forgot my wallet.” This sentence implies that the speaker didn’t get to have a drink at the bar or likely wasted their time going to the bar without their wallet. Now try, “I went to the bar and I forgot my wallet.” It doesn’t leave a negative impression of the event. This sentence doesn’t imply anything and leaves room for both interpretation and additional lines of questioning. Did somebody buy the speaker a beer since they forgot their wallet? What happened next?
Rescue a dog
This will be good for your physical, emotional, and mental health. Don’t be weird, let the dog sleep in your bed too! It will give you more oxytocin than a baby (and without the sleep deprivation). Let’s face it, we deal in the business of rejection. Your dog will never reject you and will love you unconditionally.
The first few years at PandaDoc I was battling chronic pain from a Rugby injury I had when I was 19 years old. My back pain is nearly 100% gone and I commit to Yoga 1-2 times per week (30-60 min per session). It was a game changer for me and the effective management of my condition. What are you waiting for? Give it a go if you haven’t yet! I don’t do sweaty/hot yoga, but there are a million different types and something for all (I suggest starting with a restorative yoga session if it’s your first time).
Find ways to be creative
The best way to stay creative is to infuse the appropriate amount of humor into your conversations with prospects. If you’re not naturally funny or feel uncomfortable going off script, try moving where you sit a few times each week. Mix it up. Take a pottery or cooking class, something that takes you away from your phone and computer.
As in Part 1, tell me about your experience with these 9 gems that I shared above. Are there any that you strongly resonate with? Are there any that you are surprised they are on the list? Let me know in the comments below!
In case you missed Part 1, click here.
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