You must like what you are doing for a living, selling, enough to become obsessed with it. Not fifteen-hours-a-day obsessed; rather, I have-absolutely got to do this right today in and day out obsessed.
For my money, the most crucial word in sales today is obsession. Close behind it are two supporting ideas, utilization and implementation. Let’s talk a little bit about what these three words really mean for you.
Every day I’m not training, coaching or consulting, I make fifteen dials. And by making fifteen dials, I can get through to at least ten people. Once I get through to ten people, I’ll usually set up five appointments. I do that several days a week, which, by extension, means that every week I have, on average, ten new sales appointments. I close nine out of ten, so at the end of the year, I should have hundreds of new customers for workshops, consulting or the Inner Circle.
Author and Vice Chairman of General Motors, Bob Lutz, comments in his book “Guts!”, that every successful business he has seen in his life has one thing in common: they are all driven by a leader who has a passion for their business. A leader who is obsessed about success and who is an afficionado of his trade.
I mention my daily routine-my obsession, if you will, my repetitive, second nature approach to sales so that you’ll know I’m not just talking theory here. Many sales articles are written by people who have retired or gotten out of business. I have not retired. I’m too young to retire, and I’m having too much fun to get out of the business. I am an active, professional. I also happen to be founder of one of the country’s top sales training firms. Part of the reason for our success is that the people we work with know that we practice exactly what we preach, day in and day out.
In order for you to be successful in sales, you must be absolutely, positively obsessed with your work while you’re doing it. You have to be so dedicated to the idea that you can satisfy a customer with your product or service that you move into a whole new work realm. A realm where there is simply no place for watching the clock, wishing it were time for a coffee break, or wondering how the Dolphins are going to do against the Patriots this Sunday. That’s not to say there’s no place for any of these things in your life-just that there’s no place for any of these things while you’re working. Now, this doesn’t mean you must take yourself so seriously that you become a workaholic and have a heart attack at thirty-eight. It means you must make a commitment to yourself, and build up a routine that is success-oriented.
Of course, we should note here that obsession without discipline often results in chaos. As obsessive as you want to get about being successful, all that energy must be coupled with discipline or you’re not going to get anywhere.
This means utilizing everything at your disposal to increase your success. In a way, it’s being obsessive about getting the most from your environment. Burrow through company brochures and catalogs to learn everything you can about your product. Have regular meetings with your sales manager to discuss your performance and get new ideas. Work with a sales coach. Use motivational CD’s, to put you on the right track. In short, utilize your tools!
Such tools needn’t be limited to things you can hold in your hand. Have you shown customers your office or plant? Have you reviewed past company successes with your prospect? Have you invited current and potential clients to company social outings? Be creative. Once you stop to think about it, you’ll be amazed at how many excellent tools go completely ignored by salespeople.
Or, if you prefer, just do it; make the effort in the first place. All the sales books in the world will not help you if you don’t try. Don’t fall prey to the “paralysis of analysis.” One of the beautiful things about sales is that it’s an extremely binary way to make a living. You’re either making a sale and in the process or you’re not. Make every effort to be “on” during every moment you actually communicate with potential customers. Take nothing for granted, and don’t get bogged down with over preparation. Do it.
I realize, of course, that research has its place. But you should never forget that if you don’t make the calls, your efforts are going to be in vain. Selling is selling: going after suspects and prospects and talking to them. Don’t lose sight of that, and don’t let your obsession be misdirected into something that won’t help you put numbers on the board.
Three crucial ideas-obsession, implementation, and utilization. How do you make sure you’re incorporating them? Here are some tips. Make a to-do list. Identify important objectives before you start the day; then work like crazy to attain the objectives on your list. Good selling!
Keep your motivation up. Whatever your approach, make a commitment to find one new idea a month and run with it. Start early. Try coming into the office forty-five minutes before everyone else does. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish, and how big a jump you’ll get on your day. Don’t think of it as an inconvenience-think of it as an advantage. And just do it.
Be obsessive, but disciplined. Utilize everything you have at your fingertips; then implement. It’s a proven recipe for success. Remember: obsession is essential… but obsession without discipline equals chaos!