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While on my run yesterday, I saw another runner ahead, but because I didn't have my glasses I couldn’t tell if they were running towards me or away from me. Only after time, did I realize we should have met by now if they were running towards me, that was my indicator. It got me thinking, in our sales interactions how often are we unsure if the deal is coming closer to us or slipping out of our hands?
Now you might be asking yourself, why do many of my posts start with running? This will be another post. In short, in any form of activity where we focus on our breath, we are in a form of meditation. We allow our thoughts to enter and exit freely without our constant control. Our awareness is heightened, our creativity is re-ignited, and we see things for what they are. The call that ended badly had nothing to do with me. Thoughts, ideas, and insights freely come to me on my runs and this is one of those times.
Ok back to the post, I didn’t like the feeling of not knowing whether I would be meeting someone or chasing someone, it made me feel unaware and not in control. The 3 insights I experienced may ring true for you as well…
1) In our selling efforts, who are you? Are you the one in front, clearly seeing what’s coming your way? constantly blazing the trail?
Offering insights, conducting timely follow-ups, and connecting the dots for your clients. Getting them closer to what is important for them. Or are you chasing your competition, a “me too”? What is our work ethic? How likely are we to do one more call, one more minute of research on our prospect, and one more email sent? This level of commitment and focus will set us apart from our competition.
As I passed the other runner, who had slowed down, I could hear her behind me regain her pace. My commitment to continuing had awakened her and she was back on the road. I was not competing with her; I was competing with myself and grateful for my heightened awareness at the moment. Do you wait for others to awaken and motivate you or are you able to keep your fire lit within? What can we do to ensure we are intrinsically motivated? Do we avoid peaks and valleys in our energy and focus levels? Are we looking after ourselves, working smart to have the stamina to play the long game?
2) Another angle I took this insight was, how blurry is our vision throughout the selling process? Do we see the steps in front of us? Are we anticipating what is coming ahead? Are we able to share this with our prospects? Prepare them for change, educate them on the future state and ask difficult questions to get in front of objections.Buyers for the most part are unaware of the steps required to implement our solution. Our role is to disarm them, de-risk the situation and unveil the path forward. To do that we need clarity of vision. When they know where they are and where we would like to take them, they are more likely to go along.
How can we ensure clarity of our process and more importantly of the buyer’s journey? Can we have conversations with existing clients, what did they enjoy while interacting with us? What was easy? Difficult? Understand the way in which they buy so we can meet them at each stage, answer the questions before they’re asked and make it easy for them to buy.
3) Finally, my last message: how likely are we to recognize there is another state other than blurry? If blurry is all we know, our results will reflect that. What can we do to get in front of the blur or haze?
Clearly and confidently know the direction we are moving, and see things before they become objects in the rear-view mirror. Educate our prospects about the path forward, and be the trusted advisor. This is achieved when we can quiet our minds, connect with ourselves and be honest as to what is going on. Why so much haze? What haze is within our control? Is it an outdated sales process, lack of awareness of our buyers’ challenges, untimely messages, or something within ourselves? Burned out, lack of purpose, lack of self-awareness. How can we look inward to create a new state? One of clarity.
I invite you to look at your selling environment, how clear are you of your overall strategy, message, competitive landscape, and customer situation? Is it a blur? What can you do to gain clarity? See things before they arise? Predict them, anticipate the runner coming your way, stay your course and keep running your individual race.
For 20 years Karen has been specializing in the art and science of sales and communication her passion and experience are helping technical sales professionals become more confident and to disrupt with value.
Her dedication to developing and delivering customized sales training programs provide her audience practical, relevant tools that can be used immediately to break down the barriers in a competitive landscape and separate themselves from the noise.