If you’re the leader, trainer or dashing new recruit of a sales team (or potentially all three… here’s looking at you, solopreneurs!) you will be acutely aware of the common patterns that arise in those new to the game.
And I mean the game of sales, not ‘The Game’ written by some Strauss guy.
Although, now that I think about it, dating and sales do have a lot in common…
Anyway, moving on now before I start thinking putting down women is a good way to behave in the modern era… As a man that has been new to sales, has experienced what breeds success in sales and is now teaching that to other people, it has become highly evident that there are certain thought patterns permeating throughout the mind of the new potential sales master.
The sooner we can help those new to selling overcome these thought patterns, the sooner we can help them focus on what really matters:
Thinking Pattern 1: ‘I thought just saying the right things would be enough’
Without experience in the sales field it is common for people to perceive sales as a field strictly involving ‘the right sentences at the right time’ and memorising scripts designed to push people towards a close.
So, naturally, when individuals first begin to learn sales they will often find themselves asking for the master key, the dynamite line, the one thing we can say that’s sure to light up the prospect and have all their friends and family begging to buy also.
If only it were that easy.
This detrimental thinking pattern is overcome by instead of teaching our star student the best lines, we teach the concept of ‘behavioural flexibility’: the willingness to change our actions and suit them to whatever is needed by the situation at the time.
There are so many more factors at play than just the words to say – previous client relationships, market trends, individual life circumstances, the tonality and body language portrayed by both parties – that render teaching our pupil a simple sales line practically useless.
Thinking Pattern 2: ‘I thought creating relationships was just something we do’
This one is only partially true, but its important for us to explain to anyone new to the sales game (stay out of it, Strauss) that creating relationships only stems from who we are as an individual to begin with.
Creating relationships is just something we do. A relationship creator is something we are.
For the real sales lessons to begin, a new salesperson needs to be exposed to the idea that everyone we meet, every event we attend and situation we approach is an avenue to be a relationship creator. This doesn’t necessarily mean that we need to have ‘making a sale’ on our mind at every available opportunity, it simply means we need to be open to the idea of the conversation heading that way.
To label creating relationships as ‘something we do’ presupposes it is a part of us that can be turned on and off at will, but the best salespeople know that it is something so much more than that – it is a way of being that lends itself to valuing relationships as a successful way to live life.
Thinking Pattern 3: ‘I thought the results would just come through hard work’
In a modern selling environment the idea of working hard being enough just doesn’t cut it any more.
Again, if only it were that easy…
Hustle is only half the journey in a world that values strategic intelligence and rapid information access more than putting in the extra yard. This is not to say that ‘hard work’ should be put on the shelf – it absolutely needs to remain a consistency in the modern sales world – but is it actually ‘smart work’ that is now the true multiplying factor in sales results.
The avenues in which we create relationships have changed radically in the last five years and it is those that know how to strategically connect with their buying audience (and give them the best value) that will taste victory in the 21st Century sales field.
Ensure to teach any new salespeople the power of marketing as well as sales, as it will ensure to grow their perspective on how a relationship is created, nurtured and then closed. To have an overall perspective on the journey of a new customer helps anyone new to sales grow their selling intelligence so that their hard work is concentrated in the most impacting areas.
Trust this has helped you with the next steps in recruiting, nurturing and growing your sales team (or yourself!) moving forward. Enjoy the new results.