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Controlling Your Sales Destiny – Tip #12: Sell Like a Champion Today

This is the final (12th)  in a series of posts about taking control of your sales destiny and achieving sales success.

Tip #12:  Sell Like A Champion Today

The Notre Dame University football team (the Fighting Irish) have a large sign posted above the doorway as they exit their dressing room onto the field.  It’s been there for years and it says, ‘Play Like a Champion Today.’  When the players leave the locker room they reach up and touch the sign to remind themselves of the spirit of the message.

Apart from all the folklore and legend behind the Irish and that little sign, the real message to the players is to play and act like a winner (champion) …despite the odds…despite what others may think…despite the record… despite adversity.

It’s a powerful thought or attitude and one that can easily apply to selling and to your sales destiny: Sell like a Champion Today.

Act Like A Winner

In other words, go out there and act like a winner (Champion) despite the odds…despite what others might think … despite your (sales) record … despite adversity.

What does this mean in day-to-day terms?  It means when you walk in the office, behave and look like a champion sales rep.  Avoid the sad sack, whoa-is-me bedraggled look of someone who is lagging behind.  Don’t drag yourself to your desk and plunk yourself down in self-defeat.  Others around see it.  Your boss sees it.  But more important your inner self sees it … and responds to it.  It senses defeat and acts accordingly.

Act like a winner, a champion.  Walk a bit quicker; with purpose.  Hold your shoulders higher.  Be conscious of your facial expressions at your desk, at meetings, at lunch … anywhere!  Think about what you say and how you say it.  Don’t be a whiner (See Tip # 1) and avoid the Dementors (See Tip # 3)

When you lose a sale don’t beat yourself up. If someone scores on the Irish, they don’t give up.  What would a champion do?  He or she would say “…okay, what am I going to do about it?” (See Tip # 2)

And sometimes it’s tough.  Sometimes holding your head high is a real battle when all you really want to do is collapse. Choose to fight it. More significantly, choose to look and behave like a champion.

Action Items

Action #1:  Create a little poster with the words “Sell Like a Champion Today.”  Post it to remind you of that attitude.

Action #2:  Before you walk in the office, put your ‘game face’ (‘selling face?’)  on and keep it on. Don’t let people see you sweat.  In other words, be conscious of your behavior: your words, actions, body language.

Summary

Controlling your sales destiny is a matter of attitude and choice.  With the right attitude you can choose to succeed.

BTW, on January 7, 2013 Notre Dame plays Alabama for the National Championship. Win or lose, you can bet the Irish will play like champions.

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Controlling Your Sales Destiny – Tip #9: Get Organized, please!

This is the ninth in a series of posts about taking control of your sales destiny and achieving sales success.

Tip #9: Get Organized

This is an important but often uncomfortable topic.  Very important because it directly impacts your success – or lack thereof- in sales.  Uncomfortable because most almost everyone is guilty of poor time management and would rather avoid the topic.

The fact of the matter is most people – including tele-sales reps like you and me- are not well organized and we’ve gotta’ come to grips with it if we’re to move to the next level.

So let me ask, does this seem all too familiar?

  • a cluttered desk,
  • scads of paper, notes and files scattered around your work station
  • constant multi-tasking on three, four or five items
  • brochures, price lists, bulletins and memos strewn about
  • quotes waiting to be completed
  • behind on dials,
  • ten applications open on your browser,
  • frantic last minute proposals being worked upon
  • late follow up calls
  • checking out Facebook updates
  • behind on prospecting and new business development … you’ll do that tomorrow, right?
  • lost phone numbers – again
  •  incomplete thank you cards to clients who bought a month ago,
  •  month end sales deadline (drop everything)
  • checking your e-mails every 8 minutes
  • texting friends and family
  • fire-fighting with shipping, billing etc. … gasp…
  • fiddling with your cell phone

The Net Impact

The net effect of such chaos is psychological (and physiological) stress that takes its’ toll on your sales success. At some level, it whittles away your energy, drive, focus, and motivation.  Put another way, you’re not nearly as effective as you could be or should be … and that affects your sales, your revenues, your personal income, your personal life … your sales destiny and more.

So What Are You going to Do About it? (See Tip #2)

Being organized, managing your time, setting your priorities, working on the right ‘stuff’ at the ‘right’ time etc. is not something most people are born with.  It is something they learn.  If you struggle with some (or all) of these traits, own up to it and  then DO SOMETHING!  Here’s a couple of ideas to get the ball rolling:

Action Item #1:  Tonight, stay late and thoroughly clean your desk and work areas.  Ruthlessly purge the clutter.  File things properly and neatly.  Scrub – literally – your desk clean. Organize your pens and pencils.  Get rid of those boxes of crackers, bags of chips, chocolate bars and old cups of coffee.  Why do this?  First, it’s a symbolic start at taking control of things.  Second, it gives you an immediate sense of accomplishment.  And third, when you arrive tomorrow you have a fresh clean environment and this, by itself, gives you a sense of clarity and purpose.  It works.

Action Item #2:  This evening, at home, take twenty minutes, get on line and Google “time management” and “getting organized.” Read a few articles on taking control.  Just twenty minutes – that all. Then go to Amazon and look at time management/organization books.  Do some research and then invest in yourself by buying a book or two. (Refer to Tip #7)

Summary

Here’s the thing, taking control of your sales destiny by controlling your time and activities is EMPOWERING.  Once you learn how to do it, you’ll be filled with amazing self-confidence.  You experience a “I-can-do-anything” kind of energy. Really, you will.  But not only does it help you in your sales career, it helps you in your life.

 

 

 

 

 

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Controlling Your Sales Destiny – Tip #8: Set Goals and Keep Score

This is the eighth in a series of posts about taking control of your sales destiny and achieving sales success.

Tip #8: Set Goals and Keep Scores

Do I really have to tell you to set sales goals?  Everyone knows that goals are destinations and without them sales reps are not certain precisely where they are going, how they are going to get there, and when.

Goals drive us.  They give us focus.  In some cases, the goals are dropped in our laps while in others we establish them ourselves. It doesn’t matter. You need them.  You know this deep inside so let’s not belabor the point.

…Except to say that goals simply don’t relate to revenues.  Your goals can relate to those actions and activities that contribute to that revenue goal.  In tele-sales it includes things like live connects, leads and conversions to sales.  Suppose you have a goal of 5 new contacts a day. You dial until you reach that many … and more, if you’re so inclined.  Identify the key activities and establish goals.

Keeping Score

But what you also need to do is keep score.  Keeping score is gauging where you are relative to those goals and where you should be.   A simple example: you need to generate $1.2 million in revenues.  Over twelve months that’s $100K/month.  On a weekly basis that’s $25K.  If, after three weeks you’re plugging along at $15 it tells you you’re behind in the ‘game.’

You see, the score alerts you.  It tells you of the variation.  It reminds you to act. It creates instant accountability. That’s when you go back to Tip #2 and ask yourself the big question:  “What are you going to do about it?” because it is your responsibility! If 5 live contacts aren’t cutting it, make it seven or eight.  Do what you need to do.

It’s that simple.

Action Plans

  1. Determine your revenue goals for 2013 either on your own or with the help of your boss.
  2. Divide those goals into quarterly, monthly, weekly and even daily targets, if you like.
  3. Purchase a little dry erase board and post the goals you’ve set for the day or week.  List your sales revenues on the board as you achieve them.  You’ll get a sense of accomplishment.

Goals and keeping score is nothing new.  But it’s vital if you want to control your sales destiny.  Do it.

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Controlling Your Sales Destiny – Tip #7: Get Some Skin in the Game

This is the seventh in a series of posts about taking control of your sales destiny and achieving sales success.

Tip #7: Get Some Skin in the Game

“Get some skin in the game” is an old expression that you don’t hear that often.  It means invest some of your own money in a venture or task or assignment.  In the case of this post, it means investing some of your own hard-earned cash on your sales education and development.

Here are some examples:

  • Buy a book on selling (or time management or goal setting or anything that will help you improve and succeed.)
  • Purchase some CDs or DVDs.
  • Pay for a download for a sales site or subscribe to a paid newsletter.
  • Fork out a few bucks to attend a workshop or tele-seminar.
  • Invest in a coach.
  • Do something, anything … that can help improve your skill or knowledge.

Two Important things:  First, don’t expect your company to do all the heavy lifting.  Don’t expect them to invest in training for you at the drop of a hat.  If you need training, invest in yourself.  Second, and perhaps more significantly, when YOU risk YOUR money, you are more apt to want an ROI.  Typically you feel compelled to read that book or listen to that MP3 or try a new technique. You pay closer attention.   You try a little harder.

(Hey, here’s an idea: suppose you see a workshop with a larger than usual price tag.  Approach your boss and say, “Hey boss, I’ll pay for half if you pay for half.” )

Skin in the game also applies to time.  Invest the time to learn.  Schedule it. Stick to it. It’s the difference between good intention and implementation.

Action Items

Action #1:  Create a learning budget.  Put twenty bucks aside every week or every two weeks.  That’s $40 – $80 per month to spend on knowledge based items.  That’s a lot cheaper than college or university but it’s just as significant.

Action #2: Read, listen or use what you’ve bought.  Sometimes it gets easy to fork out the investment and then put it aside.  Budget 30 minutes a day to read, listen and use.

Action #3:  Try the techniques right away. Don’t wait till ‘next Monday.’  Try it right away.  And then give it a fighting chance and apply the skill or techniques twenty or thirty times.  That will help you develop a degree of mastery.

Summary

It’s up to you to shape your sales destiny.  If you invest in yourself, you are investing in your own personal development, growth and success.  Makes cents, eh?! (Forgive the clever little pun … it should be ‘sense.’)

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Controlling Your Sales Destiny – Tip #3: Avoid Dementors

This is the third in a series of posts about taking control of your sales destiny and  achieving sales success.

Tip #3: Avoid Dementors

In the fantasy world of the Harry Potter novels by J.K. Rowling there is a creature called a “Dementor” which is a frightening, ghost-like being that roams around and sucks the souls out of their victims leaving them listless, hollow and almost lifeless.

In the real life world of selling  there is an equivalent creature.  A “Sales Dementor” is typically an insidious co-worker who is capable of sucking the selling life out of virtually any sales rep with their constant complaining and bitter observations.  They find (or make up) fault and flaws in your product. They point out the “gross” inadequacies of your boss and/or the company (whether they exist or not). They loudly report how much better your competitors are.  You know the people I am talking about, right? They’re those gloomy critics who manage to find the bad in just about everything. They’re like whiners who have crossed the line to the Dark Side.

Sales Dementors create a toxic environment with their relentless negativity.  They’re destructive. The more you hang around them, the more likely it is to affect you. They poison your mind and deplete your spirit. They slowly drain the energy out of your selling effort.  At some point you begin to rationalize poor performance:  “You see, it’s not just me struggling, it’s other too.”  This creates a group mentality of  despair and self-pity.  You feed off each others discouragement.  You stop taking action.  You stop ‘doing.’  You become a victim.  And one day you wake up with nothing but a sense of bitterness … and no sales.

A bit dramatic? Perhaps. But you must avoid Dementors if you’re going to control your sales destiny and achieve success.  Dementors drag others down with them.

Action Steps

  1. Simply choose to stop hanging out with Dementors. Walk away. Get back to work. Don’t indulge them by listening.
  2. Choose not to contribute to the pity party (see Tip #1).  Don’t heap your complaints onto the fire otherwise you can become one of those dreaded Dementors.
  3. Take a stand.  If the Dementor whines about the list(or whatever), simply say, “Gee, mine seems to be okay.” You don’t have to belabor the point. You don’t have to defend it.  You just have to say it.  Saying it tells everyone where you stand. Then continue working. Taking this stand makes you a winner. Positive people will gravitate your way. You become an ‘anti-Dementor.’
  4. Find other winners and hang out with them.  Winners take positive steps. They share good thoughts. They point you in the right direction.  They make you feel good. Everything is possible with them.  That’s where you want to be.

Summary

Create a positive selling environment and get your sales on track. Start by avoiding those negative destructive people; not just fellow reps but ANYONE who pull you down.

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Controlling Your Sales Destiny – Tip #2: Take Personal Responsibility

This is the second in a series of posts about taking control of your sales destiny and getting you on your way to achieving sales success.

Tip #2: Take Personal Responsibility

Get this: no one – absolutely no one – is responsible for your well-being and success but YOU!

Not your company. Not your boss.  Not the marketing department. Not your parents.

You.

The precise moment that you accept this reality is the precise moment you will have taken full control of your sales destiny.  You’ll find it liberating and intoxicating.  Once you realize that no one really gives a fig about your sales destiny you’ll start to take action; you’ll start DOING.  And given that you’ve stopped whining (See: Tip #1) you’ll have more time to take proactive and reactive action.

2 Actions You Can Take Now

The first action you can take is creating an imaginary company called YOU INC.  (Or call it “Mark Inc.” or “Sherri Inc.” or “Donna Inc.” or “Brian Inc.”) What this means is that you begin to see yourself as an independent businessperson, not a sales rep or an employee.  Start behaving like your job was YOUR company.  Ask yourself, “If this was my company would I work nine to five? Would I saunter in five or ten minutes late every day? Would I spend a good portion of my day complaining or goofing off?”  I doubt it.

The second action you can take is to create a poster that says this:

So, What Are YOU Going to do About it?

Make it big or small, fancy or plain but whatever you do, post it somewhere visible (maybe next to your Whiner Resignation Form?).  When things get tough look at your poster.  Remind yourself who’s ultimately responsible.

If your sales are down, ask yourself ‘what am I going to do about?’ Work smarter? Work harder? Get coaching? Get organized? Cross sell? Up sell? In each of these cases, you’re thinking about solutions rather than ‘whoa is me.’

If your prospect list is lousy, ask yourself, ‘what am I going to do about it?’ Ask for more referrals? Reactivate inactive accounts? Get on the internet and find a new list?  Start doing! It’s your responsibility.

One Concession

Hey … I know things in sales sometimes get overwhelming and discouraging.  So here’s the one concession I will make.  If it really gets tough, allow yourself 10 minutes of self-pity and misery.  Gnash your teeth. Scream to the sky.  Pull your hair out.  Look desperate and beleaguered.  At the end of 10 minutes, stop the self pity and ask yourself, “So, what am I going to do about it?” Analyze your options. Build a plan.

This is a POWERFUL, POWERFUL tip.  Apply it.  Victimization will end. You will be back in control.  There’s still work to be done but the panic is gone, the rebuilding and re-focusing has started.  Think YOU Inc. and think personal accountability and responsibility. Your sales destiny is on the right track.

And keep your eye out for Tip #3.

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Controlling Your Sales Destiny – Tip #1: Stop Lamenting

 

This is a first in a series of posts about taking control of your sales destiny and getting you on your way to achieving sales success.

Tip #1: Stop Lamenting

I have grown weary of listening to the reps about the lousy economy, about poor lists, about useless managers, high prices, crumby marketing and poor products,  etc.  I am tired of the finger pointing and excuses.  It’s so destructive and well… boring.

Look, if you want to be successful in sales or if you need to break out of a slump, the very first thing you MUST do is stop the lamenting. Stop whining. Stop moaning.  Stop the self-pity.  Right now.

The Cost of a Lament

Lamenting is costly and selfish.  When you verbally complain about all the reasons why you’re not selling more you waste precious time and energy that you could have used for selling.  When you bemoan your lack of success, you heap more onto the fire of despair, and at some point your will to succeed falters.  It begins to eat away at your attitude and motivation.  When you bellyache you annoy many others around you who just want to hunker down and get to work and be successful (and guess what? They DON’T care about your state of affairs).   And finally – and maybe worst of all- when you gripe you’ll  infect others around you with your poison and a drag them down.   They don’t need that.

Lamenting is a way of releasing pent up frustration.  I get that.  It sometimes acts as a safety value when the pressure gets too high.  The only trouble is it grows and grows until it becomes a habit. It becomes easier to complain instead of act.

3 Things You Can Do Right Now

First, make a choice.  You need to choose NOT to lament.  That means stop the verbal complaining and whining.  Right now. This very second.  Choose to keep your mouth shut.  Just say no.

Second, print the declaration below and sign it.  I know, it looks and sounds silly. Doesn’t matter.  Do it anyway.  It’s kind of fun and very symbolic of your new attitude towards success.  Here it is.

Official Lament Resignation Declaration

 I _______________________ on this date of _______________ do hereby officially resign from the lamenting, whining, complaining, moaning and groaning.  I acknowledge that lamenting does not improve things and in fact, makes them worse.  I recognize that others find lamenting destructive.  I am declaring to myself and those around me that I don’t want to be negative anymore.  Instead of moaning I’ll take actions to control my sales destiny.

 

Signed ________________________

 

Third, post it at your desk. Publicly declare your intention.  Tell yourself – and everyone around you- that you’re through with moaning and groaning; that you won’t play that game again.  Silly as it may sound you will inspire yourself and others!

The precise moment that you take these 3 simple steps is the precise moment that you have established control of your success and your destiny in sales.

Well done!  Look for Tip #2.

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