October 24, 2018

The Most Valuable Salespeople Don’t Wait for Opportunities; They Create Them

I have worked with way too many salespeople whose single biggest challenge is that they live in reactive mode. They sit and they wait. They wait for a lead. They wait for a customer to raise its hand and make a need known. Instead of proactively working their strategic target account list, they wait to hear that an opportunity has emerged and then they put it in gear and begin to chase it.

Sales Friends, waiting is not a recipe for new business development success. The best and most valuable salespeople are not waiting around for anything. They’re not hoping for a warm lead or an appointment to be served up on a silver platter from their inbound marketing efforts or BDR team.

Top sales producers understand that waiting for opportunities leaves you in a weak position. It almost assures that you will be “late to the party” and possibly last to the opportunity. When that happens you are stuck playing an already-in-progress game — whether it be the customer’s, or worse, your competitor’s. It’s no fun playing catch-up or eating the dust of your more proactive competitor. It is so hard to be viewed as a value-creator and consultant when you are late to the party. Usually the opposite is the case. You don’t get the chance to influence (or shape) the customer’s journey or buying criteria, and often you are seen as nothing more than a “vendor” having to compete on price. Even more deadly, you end up falling into traps set by your competitor who is sitting in the consultant’s seat, advising the buyer, and tilting the tables to favor them.

Another awful aspect of waiting for an opportunity is that it often leaves you feeling powerless, like a victim. When you are dependent on others to create opportunities, you are held hostage to what they give you. That’s not only no fun, but to me, pretty stinking depressing. Who wants their sales success determined by others? What a pathetic feeling that must be looking at your empty pipeline and wondering when a new opportunity will emerge! That is an awful way to live and no way to become a top-producing sales hunter.

There is an alternative way…a much better way. You can take control and make the decision that you are responsible for the health and size of your pipeline. You can decide that you will be a sales opportunity creator, not just a chaser. 

If you want to break out of reactive mode, up your game at creating your own new opportunities, and become the most valuable salesperson you can be, there are lots of great resources to help you (and I’m not even going to mention my new video series because you certainly heard enough from me about that last week!)

However, I am going to point you to one conference because of a crazy promotion we are running. Back in 2017, my friends Jeb Blount, Mark Hunter, Anthony Iannarino, and I created the OutBound Conference. It was a phenomenal success. The 2018 conference was twice the size of 2017 and people are still talking about it!

And we are taking it to an entirely new level next April in Atlanta for OutBound 2019. We’ve expanded the main stage program to two-days and have legendary sales gurus like Victor Antonio, Bob Burg, Colleen Francis, Jeffrey Gitomer, Waldo Waldman, and Andra Waltz joining us. Jeb, Mark, Anthony and I will all be speaking as will each of these special guests.

The regular ticket price is already crazy-low, and until October 31st, we are offering an additional $200 off with the coupon code:  outreach200    Head over to OutBoundConference.com for more info, to download the event guide and see what others are saying about OutBound.

Join me in Atlanta next April. And use outreach200 to save $200 if you get your ticket before October 31!