It has been a VERY long time since I have posted – let’s start with that:
I once heard in a time management program that if you have a regular task to do, and you are not sure if anyone cares about it, stop doing it for a while and see if anyone notices.
I would love to say that my period of not-blogging was just this, but as I said in a previous post – I just got super busy. The cool thing is that a lot of you let me know that this was not OK. There are too many of you to list, so let me just say a generic “thank you” – you know who you are!
One other thing with respect to the earlier post – I was supposed to be taking time to write my new book. So – uh….. I have something better! I have been working pretty intensively with a start-up company, and will soon begin to build an international sales force. This experience is spot-on with the topic of the second book, so while it is not good that this experience will delay the writing of the book, it will certainly help me to make the book better when I can make the time to complete it.
But enough about me! Let’s talk about sales – we can start by talking about – well – me (yup – I’m still doing the paradox thing!)!
So as many of you know, I moved from San Francisco to Hungary several years ago. One of the things I missed in Hungary was American Football. Well, one of the local TV stations started showing it here, and just in time for the playoffs! As I watched these last few weekends, my mind fell to this blog, and a great topic – just in time for the pre-Superbowl hype: Execution.
When I was young (and dumb?) enough to play football, I was a tall, skinny, fast guy, so I typically played either wide receiver or defensive back. As I watch the sport now, these are the positions I tend to focus on (go figure!)
What I noticed in watching after half a decade is this. First of all, the overall skill level in the NFL has stepped up dramatically. If you can’t understand what I mean, check out a YouTube highlight film from 10 or 20 years ago. The difference is shocking.
More relevant for us, at least with respect to the wide receivers, is this: As I watch them run their patterns, I notice that there is no “special stuff” that they do. The patterns they run are very classic, typical patters. The thing that makes them amazing, is the way they execute those patterns. They are so fast, so nimble, so clean – that they make the common look extraordinary. However, that the actual patterns they run are common is significant, especially for those reading this blog.
Where is the sales connection? It lies in the most telling question I get as a sales consultant. When people have no idea what sales is about (including sales executives!), they ask me what is new in sales.
The truth is this – there is nothing new in sales. There may be some new tools to manage selling, and some new ways of delivering messages, and some new techniques for getting through the bureaucracy of large organizations, but the meat-and-potatoes basics of prospecting, qualifying and closing are the same as they have always been.
What separates the winners from the losers in most endeavors, including sales, is the ability to execute well on the basics. Get stronger in your basic skills, and when you do get in front of a customer, you will do better.
We’ll come back to this theme often, but for now, this is enough.
It’s good to be back – hope you think so too.
Let’s go execute!
Authors note (AKA shameless plugs)
So, this 7-step sales process and associated topics…. Yup, I write about that a lot. I’ve been working with it since I developed it about 25 years ago – in my own diverse work experiences, with my teams when I had them, and with clients ever since.
If you would like to develop you own personalized and customized, highly effective and efficient B2B selling system, here are some further steps you can take:
The Salesman’s Guide to Dating is a free or very cheap (depending on Amazon) Kindle book that walks you through the sales process using the familiar analogy of dating. It’s a good, fun and quick way to get your mind around the whole process and how the pieces fit together.
Building Your Sales Process (BYSP) is a free and very thorough exploration of the same 7-step process that will walk you through the development of your own customized, personal B2B selling system. When you are done, you will know exactly what to do to get new business.
The Momentum Selling System® is an inexpensive but very robust online sales training course that is similar to BYSP, but goes deeper into the concepts behind each of the steps, and also helps you develop a plan not only for the 7-step process but also addresses mindset, repeat business and client base management.
If none of that sounds right, I do personal coaching and offer a free 30-minute intake session so that we can both learn if it makes sense to work together 1-on-1. If this sounds interesting, click over to the coaching page on this site and sign up for the free session.
Here’s to your success!