Deep down inside, everyone has their own personal New Year’s Resolution. There is always something you really want to do better in. In many cases, it involves love, health, or career. Resolutions are about stopping or starting something new. But unfortunately, many cannot keep their promises and eventually go back to their old habits. If you are in Sales and have not thought about what to give up and what to do differently in 2021, then here are my suggestions. I kept it to three improvements because three is probably the limit of new resolutions and habits. One-two-three…too many!
- Stop being self-focused. Change your mindset that in sales, it is all about you, your sales process, your opportunities, your targets, and/or your closing ratio.
- Instead, be other-focused. Flip the coin, swap seats or whatever works for you. Put some different glasses on, see the world through your customers’ lenses. What do you see? You see a world full of challenges and business opportunities. Which ones are the right ones to invest your money in? Which decision will give you the biggest return on investment? Do you have the right strategy to survive and thrive? Should you expand into new markets, or invest in product development? Who are the movers and shakers in your industry, and what are they up to? What impact will that have on your business? What is your prospect’s next move? Being other-focused gives you the opportunity to think like a business person. In the new way of selling, you sell with the buyer’s perspective and you help your customer make better decisions for their business. Being other-focused will change the sales conversation to a business conversation.
- Stop discovering dissatisfactions. From the buyer’s perspective, there is always dissatisfaction, there is always something that needs to be fixed. In their view, a change to you, as their new supplier is not going to help, because no supplier is perfect and other things will come up that need to be fixed. In general, companies prefer a fix over a change
- Instead, let the customer discover something about themselves. With your help, the customer discovers that in order to achieve their business goals, they may not have the right set-up. They see risks that they could not see before, and realize their set-up may not deliver the results they are looking for. In a respectful way, you deflate their value-perspective of their current supplier and their capabilities.
- Become a Trusted Advisor. Your title on your business card may not change, you are still in Sales. But you need to work on the way you come across to your customer. Going forward, think about how you can create more trust with your dream prospects? At the moment, to them, you are that sales rep from the competition. Review the questions in resolution nr. one. What is your knowledge about the situation of your prospect? What do you know and what do you still need to find out? Who are the stakeholders involved in the buying room? What are they talking about? What business goals do they have in common? Where are these stakeholders in the buying process? They are probably all in a different phase. Who is in favor of the status quo and why? How can you help them discover risks they cannot see right now?
- To be a Trusted Advisor you need to do two things well: You need to be trustworthy, proving that you have their goals and the success of their business in mind. And you need to be able to advise. This means, you first need to build your opinion of how you think your prospect would do better strategically when making a change. Figure out what information is missing, what do you know that they don’t know? Where do their business goals and challenges interconnect with what you know well? Your advice is the new value that is appreciated. As a Trusted Advisor you separate yourself from all other sales reps.
Three resolutions. Will you be able to keep them? I promise, if you do, your customers and prospects will be better off and so will you. Happy New Year!
Thank you for your support this year. Feel free to share this post with your network.
If you still on a holiday break, here are my recommended books for you to read:
- Eat Their Lunch, Anthony Iannarino
- New Sales Simplified, Mike Weinberg
- Virtual Selling, Jeb Blount