At HubSpot's Inbound conference in 2015 I was floored that speaker, after speaker, after speaker had incredible content. Yet Jack Vincent was the only speaker who had me order his book during his sales training session.
One of the quotes that stuck with me was when he said, "Sales is like sex. Some people think they're good at it just because they finish it." Let's give that one a minute to sink in...certainly hope you chuckled like I did. BECAUSE THAT QUOTE IS BRILLIANT!
Time and time again I've seen sales managers push a sales training date because of this on-sale or that upcoming game. Time and time again I've had requests from managers prior to my training to make time so their reps could check their phones or return calls. Of course I agree...but I'm always thinking that those sales will happen regardless, what is this telling your team about the importance of their growth?
I also do an exercise to open every sales training. I ask each rep for their name and background, and for one thing that they want to improve in their 'sales game.' I also say that they can't answer, 'to get better at sales', or 'hear new things on sales'. It has to be something you particularly struggle with. Once per training session someone invariably says some version of 'I don't know, I'm pretty good.' It usually doesn't happen a second time, because it VISUALLY irritates me the first time.
There is a sense, and not just in sports, that sales will vanish if the rep isn't present. This is a lack of trust from management in their reps sales process, and it's a lack of trust that the reps have in their own sales process. If you all, manager and reps, are so desperate for each one of those sales that you don't believe they'll come through if you don't pick up the phone that moment...how are you going to build a pipeline? How are you going to withstand the daily grind of rejection? How is that desperation not going to find its way into your phone calls and turn people off? How will that not shorten your pitch to just solely passing along information...and not truly connecting with the client?
If a sales rep feels confident in their process, they'll trust that process to produce sales. If a manager sees a rep executing a daily process, they'll relax on looking over their shoulder. Sounds easy...right? But this comes with practice...and training...and the belief that we are only as good as we continue to make ourselves.
They used to call Jason Kidd 'Ason' because he had no 'J' (jump shot). In the final years of his career he was one of the deadliest three-point shooters going. There was a story that Derek Jeter was so frustrated with people saying he was bad at grounders going to his left, that, at 35 years old, he took hundreds of grounders a day going to his left...and had his best defensive season since he was 24.
Those two were Hall of Famers without making that transition...but their pride in their game had them always searching for ways to get better. Steve Siebold once said, 'You're either growing or dying. There's no stagnation in this world.' This is true for the sales rep who's on their first day...and it's true for the sales rep who's hitting their 20th year. Never be satisfied that today was your best day as a salesperson...always effort to make that day tomorrow.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!