Three months ago, when we began “locking down,” I challenged sellers and sales leaders to choose positivity and perseverance over pity parties and panic heading into these scary, unprecedented times. In online posts and during public webinars and private client sessions, I boldly predicted that we would see some truly amazing sales performances as certain sellers would rise to the meet the challenge. And…we have!
While there is no denying that this has been an unbelievably hard season for the vast majority of sales professionals, and the headwinds created by the pandemic were/are strong and very real, I cannot help but celebrate and share examples of the great reports I am receiving.
Last week a few sales managers wrote me to brag about their teams’ record performances, and two unrelated top, top, top sales producers sent messages with mind-blowing record-breaking results for the month of May.
The B2B salesperson who emailed made me smile with this great quip: “May was my biggest month – ever. 450% of my monthly goal, while moonlighting as a 2nd grade teacher.”
The B2C salesperson I heard from is the one and only Tom Calkins, the #1 Volvo car salesperson in North America. You may be familiar with Tom because I have mentioned him a few times and profiled him (along with the very best B2B enterprise salesperson I’ve ever seen) in Chapter 15 of my latest book, Sales Truth. Tom texted to celebrate the biggest sales month of his 20+ year career! That’s right. While on lockdown, with the auto industry tanking and the dealership not even really “open” and seeing customers by appointment only, this sales thoroughbred set a personal record for cars delivered in a month. Truly phenomenal sales work.
I am sharing these success stories for two reasons – to encourage you and to challenge you. First, be encouraged that in spite of really, really hard circumstances, there are sales professionals experiencing significant success. If they can do it, you can do it, too. And that leads to my challenge: Are you doing what you need to do to succeed?
- Have you revisited and refined your strategic target account list?
- Is that target account list driving your calendar because you’re laser-focused on developing new business?
- Are you demonstrating the required discipline to drive more New Sales by time-blocking your calendar to work on your highest-value sales activities?
- Regarding your attitude right now, how engaged is your heart? Are you all-in? Did you give your very best effort the past few months, or did you punt, throw pity parties, or play “prisoner of hope?”
- Have you invested the time to sharpen your sales story/messaging so you're truly leading with the issues you address and outcomes you create for customers? Or are you still regurgitating the same self-focused boring crap and leading with your product/service or company history?
- Who are you hanging out with and who is influencing you from your sales team – the winners or the whiners? Are you intentionally seeking out people who will challenge you and make you better, or are you being taken down by excuse makers who enable your victim mentality?
- Are you taking full responsibility for the health of your sales funnel and committed to prospecting and doing whatever is necessary to create your own opportunities and a full pipeline?
Sales Friends, the current business climate is creating an even larger chasm between the results of top sales performers and those who struggle. If you’re part of the group experiencing tremendous success, keep your foot on the gas and keep doing what you are doing!
But if you’re in the group not producing at the rate you should be, NOW is the time to regroup and refocus on the fundamentals. The two top producers highlighted in this post don’t have “secrets” for me to share with you. As I’ve written many times before, there are no shortcuts to sales success.
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Click here to download Chapters 1 and 15 from Sales Truth.
Fun Podcast Episode:
The great Douglas Burdett created a temporary new version of his famous Marketing Book Podcast and had me back for a fun, wide-ranging conversation covering everything from marital stress during lockdown to selling while #WFH. Enjoy this enjoyable episode here.