Veteran rocker Steven Tyler of Aerosmith often comes up with catchy phrases. Recently he offered one of his humorous paradoxical insights as part of his role as a judge on American Idol. He said, “I’m too young to be this old.” On one hand, he certainly looks like he has a lot of miles on him. At the same time, he always exudes high energy and an amazing zest for life. Like him or not, Tyler is always very entertaining. His comment about being too young to be this old got me thinking. There are lots of situations in sales that are equally paradoxical. Here are a couple of examples I hear quite often:
1. I am working too hard to be this broke.
2. My service is too good for my customers to keep saying no.
Are there certain situations in yours sales business that are paradoxical… that do not seem to make sense (or even seem unfair)? Probably. Sometimes working harder is not the right answer. Often there are other keys to making things happen the way you want them to. Here are some suggestions:
1 .Your work habits. The statement, “I’m working hard” is very subjective. Sitting at your desk for three hours preparing for a sales call may not be as productive as knocking on 20 doors. Driving around for three hours to stop at three potential buyers may not be as productive as making 20 phone calls and isolating one hot prospect. Always be thinking about the best way to get to the best prospects.
2. Are you calling on the right prospects? Are the people you are approaching in a position to afford your service? Can they afford your desired price range?
3. When making your sales calls, are you talking to the decision-maker? The best sales presentation in the world is wasted if the recipient is not the ultimate buyer.
4. Make sure you are presenting the benefits of what you offer to your prospects. They don’t want to know what you have… they want to know why it will help them. This is the essence of selling.
Give some thought to what Steven Tyler said. Is what you are trying to accomplish out of sync with the situation/customers you are pursuing? Every once in a while it is very helpful to step back and take a look at your business and your efforts from 20,000 feet. All businesses need to do this, big or small. That way you can ensure that your efforts and your activities are on a straight line to your goals. Don’t try and sell a Ferrari to someone who doesn’t have a driver’s license. Make sure there is no paradox between your efforts and the customers you are pursuing. No excuses.
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Walk the talk: The buying public, your customers, are judging you on ongoing basis, every day. They are always evaluating you. Are you trustworthy, reliable and do you have their best interests in mind? Most salespeople recognize that they need to put their best foot forward to gain that trust. The easiest way to do that is to walk your talk. Be who you say you are at all times, not just when you are in front of your customers. That way there is no risk of misconception about you, your message or your products and services. It certainly is easier that way.
In 2003 Richard Templar published his book, The Rules of Work. Templar started off by saying that Rule No. 1 is to make sure you “walk your talk”. Worth studying, here are some of Templar’s instructions on how to do that:
1. Under promise and over deliver
2. Know something others don’t (study your craft)
3. Be 100 per cent committed… both to your customers and to yourself
4. Enjoy what you are doing
5. Develop the right attitude…work on this daily
6. Have a sense of urgency in everything you do
7. Know that you are being judged at all times
My sense is that the best way to summarize his ideas would be captured in this mantra: “Be Your Word”. Decide who you are, decide what that looks like, decide to be that person 24 hours a day. No illusions, no trickery, make it easy on yourself. No excuses.
Bruce Keith, the “Results Coach” has over 23 years of experience. He is a sales and marketing coach and seminar leader in the real estate business, teaching what to say and how to say it. His high-energy, high-impact training style is sought after and acclaimed across North America. He says, “Success is possible; there are no excuses”. www.brucekeithresults.com.