I do a lot of individual sales coaching. Every client is different and has different goals and needs, but the number one challenge I run into almost every time is time management.
A salesperson starts out the week with a plan, but it quickly deteriorates into a mish mash of new business development, old business follow ups, administration, and . . . let’s be honest . . . screwing around with all sorts of distractions that come up.
People often ask me, of all the different tips and advice I have written and spoken about over the years, do I have a favorite that stands out above all the others?
Of course, communication and selling through relationships are complex topics and a lot of things need to come together for success therein, but I do have an answer that, if we do this over and over through the course of our selling and personal lifetimes, will generate an astonishing bank account of goodwill and benefits.
Each time you encounter someone, when you finish the encounter, step back and ask yourself the following question:
Most of us have experienced the humor of Monty Python over the years via their movies and TV shows. I am a big fan, so when I saw that one of the group’s preeminent members, John Cleese, was coming to town for a one man show, I jumped on the opportunity. I am glad I did, because he reminded me of some very important lessons on presenting and selling.
The stage was empty except for a stool. The lights dimmed, a voice announced Cleese and he walked out to the center of the stage. He let the applause die down and then he said . . .
We are going to take the rest of December to refresh. But first, we’d like to take the opportunity to thank each of you for your support of our mission . . . providing insight and information to the most dynamic and interesting set of people in the business world . . . salespeople.
I make this next statement with complete conviction and sincerity.
The holiday season is a great time to experience just about every level of sales quality when we hit the malls. Obviously we are not going to expect the same level of training resources for most retail and seasonal salespeople that we would in the business to business environment, but it is still worthwhile to pay attention to preparation and, most of all, attitudes.
In making the rounds over the weekend, I loved dealing with the young kids who are working for a few weeks through the season. These are the kids that need the money and I had watched them earlier in the year filling out applications and heading into managers’ offices for interviews.
Nothing against the richer kids, but how much stronger are these people going to be when it comes time to go after a full-time job?
Anyway, for the most part, these seasonal employees came ready to play. They approached me immediately, almost always knew where to find what I was looking for, and usually had a decent grasp of the products they were representing.
It was not that long ago when Thanksgiving weekend was all
about family, turkey and football and the concept of Black Friday – the manic
shopping day after Thanksgiving – did not even exist. Oh sure, people might
head over to the mall and start doing some Christmas shopping, but it was a far
cry from the institution and media phenomenon that exists today.
So, how were the retailers able to drum up this feeding