I was attending my first trade show with a company many years ago. I had just committed to move to a new city and was very nervous. Everyone was friendly, but I felt alone, and was unsure if I had made the right decision.
A fellow sales rep then approached me unexpectedly late in the first day, and took me under his wing for the rest of the event. He made me feel welcomed, and instantly put me at ease! For the next four days I had somebody that I was comfortable around, and could ask them any questions, no matter how silly they seemed at the time.
That event inspired this list, and I have always remember my colleague fondly for helping me out!
#1 Ride-A-Longs With Top Performing Sales Reps – I was just there to observe, nothing more. I once flew across the country and spent one day each with the top two performers in an organization.
#2 Working With A Mentor – It was great to have somebody to go to when I needed them, and not feel like I was being a bother. Helping me when necessary was part of the “mentor-newbie deal”.
#3 Joints Calls With A Sales Manager or Senior Sales Rep – I may have taken the lead on a call, but it was comforting to have them there if I needed any “back-up”. In the event a call was more complex, they would take the lead, and I would be there for support
#4 Guaranteed Salary and/or Commission As A New Rep – This was a game changer for me! It took all the pressure off at the start of a new role, and I could focus on learning the complete job for the foreseeable future. I had a guaranteed salary in one role for the first year and my results far exceeded budget!
#5 I have several other thoughts, but wanted to leave this one up to you. In your experience in sales, or what you have witnessed being involved in business, what else has assisted new sales reps to get acclimatized in their role?
When I was selling in a retail market many years ago, it became common knowledge that one of the chain stores had a simple selling strategy:
- “Make sure that you sell to the first person that walks through the door every morning. It will set you up for the rest of the day.”
Really think about that for a minute. How different would their mindset and attitude be if they had a great start to the day? Don’t get my wrong, I am not asking you to beg for the sale, or hang on to their leg as they try to leave the store. But you get the idea!
For sales reps, business people and anyone trying to sell “Widget XYZ”, listen up….
You should have laser focus from the moment the calendar changes to a new month, and start that selling period with a “Bang”! A strong first day or two (or even a week) sets you up for the rest of the month. You will feel more confident, have a bounce in your step and presentations will flow more naturally. Heck the challenges won’t even feel as painful! You won’t feel as much pressure to sell, because you are already well on your way to reaching the monthly goal.
Think back to those months that you had a fantastic start vs. a poor one. One felt great while the other one felt like the weight of the world was on your shoulders. I can vividly recall having both types of feelings, and one is obviously better than the other!
Sales is a lot like sports, and when you are “feeling it”, good things happen.
Try “feeling it” when you have only achieved 25% your monthly goal with three days left in a month. OUCH!
Get in the mindset that NOTHING will get in your way to starting a month with a “Bang”!
Don’t get distracted in the office doing busy work and returning email. Focus on a detailed sales plan for that first week and don’t deviate from being in front of customers unless absolutely necessary.
I would love to hear if a very focused sales strategy for the first week of every month helps your results. Keep me posted – I would love to hear from you!
Dallas Green is a fantastic Canadian artist who used to front the hard rock band Alexisonfire. He did some solo work before and continues to tour under the name City and Colour.
I continue to be amazed at the diversity of his music and voice to perform with these incredibly different acts.
Enjoy this acoustic live version of one of his biggest hits, “Comin’ Home“
Oh yeah in case you did not notice..
Dallas is a city
Green is a colour!
Pretty cool hey?
Have a fantastic weekend!
Life can be tough..
Personal life, Business “life”. Things come out of nowhere that can knock you on your butt. But you gotta get back up. You just gotta! The more resilient you become early in your life, the more success will follow.
If you develop a tough mental mindset challenges can be overcome much easier.
Remember the old 80′s song by Matthew Wilder:
“Ain’t nothin’ gonna to break my stride
Nobody’s gonna slow me down, oh-no
I got to keep on movin’
Ain’t nothin’ gonna break my stride
I’m running and I won’t touch ground
Oh-no, I got to keep on movin’”
How ’bout some Chumbawamba:
“I get knocked down But I get up again You’re never going to keep me down”
What songs motivate you to keep moving forward?
I will never proclaim that crushing defeats in sports are more challenging than those in personal or professional lives, but there are still lessons to be learned. Earlier this week, the Toronto Maple Leafs professional hockey team blew a 3 goal lead in the third period of game 7 in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The eventually lost to the Boston Bruins in overtime.
This was one of the most catastrophic game 7 losses in professional sports history, and I hope all the players on that team are mentally tough enough to get through it, and excel at the highest level again next year. Having a short memory and “erasing” setbacks is crucial. Just keep looking forward.
Life can be tough. Everyone knows that. The 64,000 dollar question is can you be tougher? I hope the answer is a resounding YES!
I am a firm believer that you have to be good to be lucky, and lucky to be good. Whatever the case me be, I am very fortunate that Broc Edwards has come in to my life.
I love reading his blog:
“A Fool’s Eye View of Human Resources” is a breath of fresh air in a profession that can sometimes lack “jam”. He has a new book out called “What Thinks You?” which I am just loving! It is a collection of his best blog posts.
Check it out at: http://amzn.to/17a3BRk
Before I got in to the meat of the book, I stopped in my tracks at the foreword. Check out this fantastic piece of writing by Joe Gerstandt titled “Taking Chances”.
jump in, just jump in, just jump.
always off balance.
never quite falling, but failing
and failing often.
on the verge,
something other than
risk and reward
dance hand in hand.
feel the thrill in your throat,
feel the electricity in your belly.
step away from what you know,
be exposed, be known.
yes there are consequences,
when you provoke the future
- Joe Gerstandt
I wanted you start the week with a powerful message. Hope this did the trick. Please connect with Broc and Joe and check out Broc’s book. It will be well worth your time.
Have a fantastic week!
Some of you may not realize that “Life Is A Highway” was not originally written by Rascal Flatts (It was part of the movie “Cars”!)
It was actually a mega hit in the early 1990′s by Canadian Music legend Tom Cochrane.
We have gone from winter straight to summer in Western Canada and are just loving it.
Check out one of the best songs that I have ever heard for hitting the highway and having a road trip!
Enjoy your Saturday….
Have a FANTASTIC weekend…
The only way that you are going to get better at something is through practice. I read a quote in a hockey book once that really caught my attention:
“Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect” – Vince Lombardi
Even those with raw talent have to practice regularly. Engaging others in sales and other professional roles should not be limited to work relationships. You should practice engaging others when possible.
My dad was a teacher, and is still very engaging to this day – partially because of his personality, but it was also a necessity for his career. Could you imagine being in front of a class of kids and not holding their attention? Teachers who could captivate the crowd were always the ones that remained memorable to me.
This also meant that my dad and I could never quickly go to a mall because he was always running into people. Conversations would start, and time would pass by. My mom would always comment upon our return, “Where were you? I just sent you for a couple of things!”
There are so many opportunities to engage people outside of work:
- In line at a store
- At a social events with friends
- Business or community events
- Sporting events
- On a walk or a run
- Groups, associations or teams that you and/or your children are part of
I was thinking about this one day after a run, and I reflected on how many people I acknowledge in that 45 minute period. It was about twelve!
- Some greetings were a simple hello or good morning as I passed by
- With others I would make a quick comment on the weather, or about the degree of difficulty of a hill that I (or they) had just ran up
- Some were a quick stop so our dogs could greet each other
- It was common that I ask for information about their dog, and how the person’s day was going
- I even complimented one guy who was actually attempting to train his new puppy
When I engage people in this setting, most people are pleasant back. It is common for people to jog with an IPod or Mp3 player, but I will still turn mine down to say something, or at least wave. I have done this for so long it is second nature now.
If I never practiced this skill, and instead just went through the day keeping to myself, it would be unreasonable to expect that I’d be very good at it in a short time period. Skills would develop eventually, but carrying that philosophy over to your personal life just means that you have more opportunity to practice. Then before you know it, the skill improves.
This was not always easy for me; because I was quite shy growing up due to my stutter. Speaking up and meeting people was very difficult well in to my teenage years. But with practice and patience, I consider myself very engaging now, and will always take time to speak with others.
- Do you only engage new people in work situations?
- Where can you begin to converse with people starting right away in your personal life?
The most practical business skill that has come out of this for me is keeping conversations going when there is a lot of dead air. I think most of us have experienced conversations that were very one-sided, and it was a struggle to keep it going, and interesting for the other person.
Good luck, and remember to always be in “engagement mode”!
In classic Western Canadian fashion, Edmonton seems to have skipped spring and gone straight to summer! I am TOTALLY ok with that!
I am a huge Will Smith fan and thought of a classic track this morning.
Enjoy your Saturday, wherever your are today, and whatever your weather may be!