Building a Bridge towards Revenue Growth
So the New Year begins, sales kick-offs are underway, everyone is refreshed and ready for a full year ahead. Ground plans have been sorted, territories allocated, budgets have been set. The starter gun is fired, the prizes are in view and everyone is off and running.
The question begs – will the same people be doing the same things and getting the same predictable results for 2015 or is there someone who will come out of left field, innovate their approach and take the prize? Could that person be you?
And if so, what will it be that takes you from ground plan zero to end of year hero?
How will you build that bridge that takes you from where you were last year to where you want to end up this year? To begin with, it is founded on three solid keys – leadership, feedback and curiosity.
|The role of selling has changed and the cold harsh reality today is that being a leader is crucial.If you position yourself based on the Sales Triad, then you’ll find there are 3 types of leadership necessary – Personal Leadership, Thought Leadership and Sales Leadership.
1. It’s about leading yourself through tough and competitive times by being emotionally intelligent and knowing how to step up when times get tough.
2. It’s about leading yourself and others by being intellectually intelligent and being able to have conversations that are way beyond your product or solution
3. It’s about leading yourself through the sales process by being business savvy, aligning with your buyer behaviours and being an extension to their business.
Successful salespeople lead.
|We’ve heard the phrase, ‘there is no such thing as failure, only feedback’. When we consider that many people don’t give appropriate feedback because they don’t want to be the one to appear callous or uncomfortable then they make it all about themselves.
If your role is to give feedback to staff or a client to help that person bridge a gap, then the feedback is simply the feedback on the behaviour, outcome or action not being taken. It is not a slur on the person. When you come from that space and frame it resourcefully, it is incredibly contributory.
If you are receiving feedback, then be open to the gap that will only be filled by you taking on board the ‘intention’ of the feedback first and then the actual feedback itself.
Successful salespeople seek feedback.
|There will be moments where things don’t make sense, where you think someone else might be wrong, where you are flying blind and should know better, where you are stuck – it’s all part of growth.If we consider for a moment the behaviour of most kids. They are always asking questions and usually questions starting with ‘why’ or ‘when’ or ‘how’ or ‘who’, because they are using their creative brains.Their analytical brains don’t begin to develop until they are around 12 years old, and then the creativity tends to slow down. As adults, we need to get comfortable questioning again.
However there are a couple of points to remember: Be mindful of ‘why’ questions because even with the best of intentions, they make people feel defensive. If you start a question with ‘when’ i.e. ‘when you do this,’ it puts the conversation into context, people will relate better and you will get a better quality answer.
Successful salespeople ask high quality questions.
To bridge any gap you need a vehicle. Consider for a moment one area you will focus on. In the book ‘The One Thing’ by Gary Keller, concentrating on just one thing until you nail it will take less time and give you more success than trying to focus on a stack of things at one time with not a lot changing. So jumpstart 2015 by choosing one of the areas above and get really good at it. Step into who you need to be this year and enjoy the ride.
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Be Bold and Brilliant!
Image courtesy of Laura Martínez Vázquez
Bernadette McClelland is a keynote speaker whose message centres around ‘amplifying human potential’. A business can only grow with an individual or team’s potential has been realised and expanded. CEO of 3 Red Folders, she consults to mid-size businesses with a focus on sales performance and leadership.