"No one really sees pro athletes behind the scenes. They don't know how hard they work. They don't see how you work on the basics. They couldn't possibly know. You wouldn't think that someone who hits like Alex Rodriguez needs to use a tee every day. But that's how he stayed on top of it."
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
Let that quote sink in for just a moment.
Now, think about the following question... Could you enhance your sales results and become more successful, if you consistently learned how to master the basics?
Vince Lombardi, the legendary Green Bay Packers coach, once said that football comes down to only two things: Blocking on offense and tackling on defense, and those are the basics his teams spent 80% of their time on in practice.
How many of you spend 80% of your time practicing the sales basics?
Here is my concern, too many of you are wasting time chasing shortcuts, automation magic and excuses; before mastering the fundamentals.
The greatest skill in your sales endeavor is simple... just do the work. And it is for this reason, most of you don't need more time, more tips, or better strategies. You just need to do the real work and master the basics.
Never is this truer than when times are challenging, just like they are now. There are certain key fundamentals, or basics, to follow that ultimately lead to sales success.
Most salespeople avoid the fundamentals because they don't have the guts to become great at them. When you eliminate the unnecessary crapola and excuses, there are no details to hide behind. You're left with the basics and whether or not you have mastered them.
"We have to have the courage to train the fundamentals, the basics, at least 80% of the time. Sure, add some spice in there now and again, but focus on the basics."
Dan John, Olympic Weightlifter
Unfortunately, you allow your ego to get in the way as it’s easier to say you’re “working on a new sales strategy” or you’re “doing more research.” It’s harder to say, “I’m focusing on the basics, but guess what, I haven't made much progress on them yet.”
How many of you will commit to doing the basics in 2021?
BACK TO THE BASICS
Your success in 2021 will depend on how well you commit to mastering the basics.
Regardless of the sales language, company culture, generation, product, or industry; mastering the basics are the key to any successful sales professional.
Let's take the success of great companies, we often question “How’d they do it or how did they get there?” On the surface, we see the success but not how it was achieved. It may appear to us their success was luck, a twist-of-fate, or a rare combination of chance meeting opportunity.
Success is more than circumstance. Success does not just happen. It begins with the basics.
"If you can't do the little things right, how can you do the big things right?"
Basics, the universal language of businesspeople.
Basics provide the foundation for all sales success.
I would like all those in sales to think about this for a moment...
We are asked to give “basic ideas,” “basic info,” or “explain it to me like I’m in second grade.” We break down things into basic, bite-size chunks, so wouldn't it make sense to train ourselves in the same manner?
Sales leadership and salespeople, you must get back to the basics. Applying the basics in 2021, will allow ordinary salespeople to do extraordinary things.
Believe in the basics, execute the basics, and succeed with the basics.
When we were in elementary school, teachers focused on the “Three Rs.” These were reading, writing, and arithmetic. These three basics were the mainstay of education.
Follow along with me as we get back to the sales basics.
Imagine what you can learn through reading. How about setting aside the first 30 minutes of your day to read.
As you read, your mind becomes engaged. What you read may influence your conversations. Think about how this can help you drive better business conversations with your clients and advance new opportunities.
Leaders are Readers
How well are you leading your clients?
Feed your brain to kick start conversations. Think about reading what the people you want to communicate with read.
"If you want a prospect to invite you to the table to bring ideas, you need to position yourself as someone that can help."
Where do sales professionals get these ideas? It comes from reading.
Sales reps sell products. Sales professionals deliver ideas. Ideas come from reading.
"Sales winners educate with new ideas almost 3x more often than 2nd place finishers."
Mike Schultz, Insight Selling
Imagine the conversations you could start with your clients... Imagine the knowledge you could impart on them... Imagine how they would view you.
- Are you driving engaging conversation?
- Are you reading to learn?
- Are you sharing what you're reading?
Get back to the basics and give your clients a gift in 2021, your knowledge and insights based upon the books you read.
I'm a firm believer salespeople can write. We all have the capability of writing, it's what we do with it.
In today's business world, which is digitally driven, socially connected and highly networked; it is imperative you communicate your thoughts in writing. This is a critical skill must become proficient in 2021.
Identify your self-limiting beliefs around writing and take action steps as it may open sales doors and business conversations. Isn't this what you want?
How well you communicate is critical to your sales success but how well you write about it will be catapult your success.
A few years ago, Josh Bernoff, author of "Writing Without Bull****" published this article on the internet, "Bad Writing Costs Businesses Billions" -
"I emphasize the importance of writing by quantifying the annual cost of poor writing to U.S. businesses at $396 billion—and that could be an understatement of the effects of poor writing skills."
I encourage all those in sales to soak in that quote for just a moment. Let it really sink in.
Writing opens up conversations. Writing attracts prospects. Writing opens up relationships.
Here's some help. Gather the top questions you're either asked or you hear from your clients during your meetings and answer them in a short format social post or article. Potential opportunities could open up as those doing research online could end up engaging with it.
I am here to inform you wisdom comes from the mouth of sales professionals.
Lastly, no one can write your sales story, so write it yourself.
I chose to replace arithmetic with attraction. I believe you will see how this plays out.
Inside a digitally driven, highly connected and socially networked business world... How well are you leveraging attraction and influence to assist in kick starting business conversations?
What are you doing to attract people into conversations with you? How well are you getting out of the batter's box? Are you still stuck at home plate or are you standing at second base?
How well you... Capture, Converse, Collaborate, and Connect along with providing relevant and insightful Content will determine your sales success in 2021.
You must leverage content as conversation bait in order to help facilitate business conversations. How well are you reeling in conversations?
All of this comes from... The ideas you get through reading, then sharing the ideas through writing.
What can you do with the law of attraction? How does this fit into your prospecting approach? Position yourself and leverage the power of social to kick start conversations.
"A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks he becomes."
As you capture, converse, collaborate and connect with your audience; share with them what you're reading, educate them and help by guiding them in the right direction.
One direction you can point them is to your LinkedIn profile. This is where you can promote your story, how you have helped your clients and what your prospects can expect when they engage with you.
BASICS DO WORK
Chasing the shiny bullet and finding the short cuts with the least amount of work, doesn't pan out in the long run.
Reframe your attention in 2021 and get back to the basics. Shiny objects and tricky sales tactics occasionally work. Tricky sales tactics are built upon a façade, not fundamentals. It is time to get “back to basics” and stick with what works.
My challenge to all of you... will you be willing to refocus your effort. There's work to do and it starts with sales 101.
I understand, I get where you all are coming from. Every day, I walk in your shoes. I am fully committed to helping your sales team integrate social aspects and heartfelt strategies into your current sales process to grow new business. I want you to get results. This is why I am passionate about doing this the right way, the genuine way, the authentic way! It's about understanding value before visibility.
Selling From the Heart is making a difference! I poured my heart into every page of this book and I think you're going to love it. You can find it on Amazon in paperback, kindle and in audio. You can click on the book image below and this will take you to Amazon.
In a world full of empty suits, I'm passionate about helping sales reps succeed by getting valuable before they get visible. I help sales teams understand the true value they bring to the market.
I appreciate getting the opportunity to share my stories. Integrating the use of social and sharing my story on LinkedIn was my “game-changer” in the highly competitive office technology world. With great pride I transform, challenge, coach and inspire sales teams to grow new business by helping them share their story and how they communicate it out by integrating the use of social inside the sales process. You can follow me on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and on my podcast by clicking on Selling from the Heart.