The Development Edge
Sales is a competitive endeavor. As you pursue your dream client, one that likely already belongs to your competitor, know that your dream client is also your fiercest competitor’s dream client. That should keep you up at night.
Winning means creating an advantage. It means getting some kind of edge. But there is only one sustainable advantage that creates a long-lasting edge. That edge is your non-stop, never-ending, continual and continuous personal and professional development.
You Are the Real Difference
In a crowded marketplace, you have to be able to differentiate yourself and your offering from the rest of the field—a field that includes some super sharp and respect-worthy competitors. There is no difference with a greater ability to make a difference for your dream clients than you (that is, if you choose to be that difference).
You have the potential to be the value creator your dream client has long needed as a business partner. You have the potential to diagnose your dream client’s needs with the business acumen of a true professional. You have the potential to develop an understanding of your dream client’s business challenges, and the potential to help them see the way forward. You have the potential to tell the story and to carry the banner of change. You also have the potential to own and deliver the outcome that your dream client needs.
Your personal and professional development has the power to turn your potential into your abilities, your edge.
At the Center of It All
You are at the center of all your interactions with your dream client, from target to close. Because you are at the center of all of these interactions, the more effective you are, the greater the results you will produce.
Woody Allen once said, “80% of success is showing up.” Woody Allen was also a comedic genius of staggering proportions; it may have looked that way to him. But, it isn’t enough to simply show up. It’s only enough to show up with the ability to make a difference.
Working On Your Results Means Working On You
Creating an advantage and creating an edge means working on you. There are no secrets, gimmicks, tricks, tips, or tactics that produce anything close to the results produced by your own efforts at personal and professional development.
While your competitors rely on the size of their company, their name recognition, some new, shiny product offering, you create the edge by working on you.
Developing your edge means that you read books on sales and business, among other things. It means you read magazines on business. You read the local business paper, and you watch CNBC while you work out in the morning, so that you immerse yourself in the language and concepts of business.
Developing the edge means you listen to audio books while you drive to work, and then again when you drive yourself to the community college to take a class on spreadsheets.
It means you reach into your own pocket and pay for your personal and professional development because creating that advantage will pay you back richer dividends that you might ever imagine.
Ultimately, you are your only asset with which to produce your results in sales, and you alone are responsible for your own development. You are the brand manager for brand you.
What are you doing now to develop yourself personally and professionally?
If you are at the center of every interaction with your dream client, how much better would your results be if you were the most effective you that you can imagine?
What do you have to do to develop yourself into the most powerful and effective you that your dream client can imagine?