Fridays are good for reflection and I have a few thoughts to share while flying home from Newark after leading a workshop for regional sales managers.
We are now halfway between U.S. Labor Day and Thanksgiving – the Fall Selling Season. I see many sellers truly sprinting hard, locked-in on advancing every opportunity in their pipelines, and creating new opportunities to keep the top of the funnel full. But I’m also seeing plenty of salespeople operating like it’s business as usual without any sense of urgency. Truly, it’s your choice. Will you focus like mad giving it everything you have to finish the year strong and begin 2019 with a healthy pipe, or are you going to live in reactive mode, playing in your inbox, playing on social media, or playing account babysitter while waiting for an opportunity to find you?
I have been communicating more with those who receive my Insider Insights via email and also incorporating more video. (You can sign up for those insights in the box right here on this page.) The early feedback has been very generous and readers are encouraging me to continue sharing Simple Sales Truths. So I will make an effort to keep that up. I’m also going to be a bit more bold calling out the jokers in the sales improvement industry and pointing out their false teaching that’s hurting salespeople. I’ve read some ridiculous nonsense lately that anyone who’s had success selling knows is garbage.
Along those lines, here’s an excerpt from my next book (coming in the Spring of 2019) that got a lot of attention when I posted a teaser online. I am getting really tired of, and frankly frustrated by, all the noise and nonsense being published by supposed sales experts on LinkedIn. See if you resonate with my perspective on this:
“There’s a pretty common theme preached by many of today’s nouveau experts. They love to tell us that everything has changed. It’s a dangerous new world and all the rules have changed. Nothing that used to work in sales or sales management still works today. Nothing. Traditional approaches, techniques, and methodologies are no longer effective. In fact, if you dare even try to deploy old-school traditional methods, you’re not just an idiot bound to fail, but also a luddite from the Dark Ages who deserves to be ridiculed.
What’s so irritating is that I see the exact opposite. The. Exact. Opposite. The most effective executives, sales managers, and salespeople I observe are masters at the basics. They have perfected old school, traditional approaches. Instead of constantly entertaining themselves by shopping for the latest, greatest, and trendiest new tool, toy, or trick, they revert to the tried-and-true, proven fundamentals of sales and sales leadership. Not sexy, but incredibly effective.
Let me make that point again from a different angle because I desperately want you to digest this truth: Despite what you hear and read from today’s trendiest self-proclaimed thought leaders, I have NEVER seen a salesperson or sales team failing because they were lacking a recently invented sales tool, or they had not yet adopted a newly created sales process.”
As you reflect on that bold declaration, let me challenge you…
- Are you truly putting in the effort to be great at sales?
- Have you done the work to master the fundamentals? Or, like so many others, do you overlook the basics because they aren’t sexy, and instead, spend/waste your time looking for a shortcut in search of some new magic bullet or easy button?
- Find someone in sales you truly respect, someone who crushes their results year after year. Ask that person why they are so successful and see if it is because they worked really hard to excel at the fundamentals of selling, or if it’s because they’re constantly adopting this year’s or this month’s latest and greatest sales tool, trick, or technique. I think we both know that answer even before you ask!
Friends, please don’t be deceived by what’s popular and trendy. I promise you that you are not missing out. Don’t be fooled by those online preying on your FOMO while pitching you their trendy new approaches and buzzwords.
I’ll close by repeating this line because I so badly want you to do the work required to win more New Sales: “The most effective executives, sales managers, and salespeople I observe are masters at the basics.”
Do. The. Work. to Master. The. Basics.
PS – in case you missed either of my videos and free checklists from earlier in the week, you can find them here