It’s easy to do all of the sales-related tasks that you enjoy. It’s difficult to find salespeople that don’t love face-to-face sales meetings. It’s even more difficult to find a salesperson that doesn’t enjoy entertaining clients at dinners, ball games, etc.
It’s not likely that any of these sales-related tasks are where you really need to focus your efforts and energy to improve your sales results. Being a more professional and more successful salesperson means doing what most needs done—and what you most often avoid.
Avoiding Difficult Calls and Difficult Conversations
Problems don’t age well. The longer they go unresolved, the more they fester. Unresolved problems create the dissatisfaction that causes you to lose your client or to lose the opportunity with your prospective dream client.
Avoiding the call and hoping that the problem resolves itself is a bad idea. The issue, whatever it is, isn’t likely to go away on it’s own. If it does go away, it might be because your client goes away!
Being professional means that you make the difficult call and that you have the difficult conversations.
Instead of avoiding the difficult calls, make these calls before you do anything else (yes, even before you prospect). Getting the most challenging calls and conversations out of the way gives you a tremendous sense of accomplishment and helps establish your momentum for the day; it’s remarkable how much easier it is to tackle other tasks after tackling the most difficult task.
If you are avoiding a call or a conversation, it is a certainty that it is what you most need to do now.
The most successful—and most professional—salespeople that I know don’t avoid their prospecting work. Problems don’t resolve themselves, and pipelines don’t build themselves, either. You don’t succeed in sales by waiting for deals to walk themselves in; it doesn’t work that way.
Prospecting isn’t easy, and it isn’t always fun. But avoiding your prospecting is even less fun. Avoiding your prospecting work leads to missed opportunities, missed quotas, and maybe a whole lot worse (which I’ll leave to your imagination).
If you avoid prospecting, then it is certain that this is the most important sales-related task on which you need to spend your time. Get to the root of your call reluctance, practice your self-discipline, and just make your calls.
Avoiding Asking for What You Need to Win and to Succeed
This could be a subset of having difficult conversations, but it deserves it’s own treatment. You often know what you need to improve your chances of winning your dream client opportunity. But what you need to win and what will later allow you to succeed for your dream client isn’t always to obtain.
You may need access to the buying committee members. You may need to meet with decision-influencers deep within the organization. You may need access to information that will help you build the right solution. You may need your dream client to invest their time and energy in helping you.
Avoiding asking puts your opportunity at risk, and it may later put your ability to succeed at risk—should you win the chance to serve your dream client. Just ask!
What is that you routinely avoid doing?
What is your avoidance costing you in the way of results or your professionalism?
What are the risks of not taking the action you need to take?
Who do you have to be to stop procrastinating and to do what most needs to be done?