By Keith Rosen, MCC
The Executive Sales Coach™
“It’s ironic,” I began. Denise and I were halfway through our weekly coaching call when the topic of controlling the sales process came up.
“Salespeople echo all the time how they create solutions for their clients. Yet what they’re really attempting to do is control the sales process through the end, thinking this would move the sale forward.
“Said another way, we try to control as many things as possible to reduce risk. And by definition, risk is synonymous with danger, hazard, or threat. Fear is a sense of apprehension or panic. So by default, if we reduce risk, we reduce our fear.
“As such, we believe that the more we attempt to control our risks in any situation — whether it is the risk of losing a sale or the risk of having our children grow up without the right guidance, ethics, or values — the more we are able to then keep that which we most fear happening at bay.
“Consider the paradox of control. The myth is that the more we attempt to control things, the more we can stop our greatest fears from coming to fruition.
“Unfortunately, this paradigm and philosophy comes at a cost. For example, if you are trying to control a sales call and the outcome you desire, there is one thing that you cannot be doing: you cannot be creating. And the ability to be creative is one of the most important attributes of a sales professional. After all, it is your job to create new and better solutions for your prospects!
“Said another way, control and creation are polar opposites. Here’s why:
- Control is an attempt to generate predictable and expected results. Creation is open to new possibilities and generates unpredictable results.
- Control is rigid. Creation is fluid and evolving.
- Control is based on achieving a certain outcome in the future. Creation can only happen in the present moment.
- Control is focusing on a known outcome. Creation has no agenda to the final outcome.
As you can see, if you attempt to control the outcome or the sales call, then you cannot be creating new possibilities in the moment. As such, if you are focused on what you want to control, then you will miss out on uncovering or recognizing a new and better opportunity to turn a prospect into a client. Conversely, if you are in a constant state of creation, then you are going to allow new possibilities and solutions to surface naturally.
Tip From Your Coach:
Selling is the art of creating new possibilities and solutions. Salespeople are responsible for the creation — rather than the control — of solutions for their prospects. In this way, if you are a highly creative salesperson, there is no need for you to attempt to control the outcome.
“But Keith,” Denise responded, “If I’m in a constant state of creativity, don’t I need some structure to support it? I mean, should I toss out my entire sales process, routine, and goals?”
“Not at all,” I stated. “However, I can see where the confusion is. Remember, just like any belief or process, the proverbial pendulum can swing to either side as an extreme, rather than a balance. You certainly want to honor your daily routine, your sales process, and your goals. However, you do not want to do so to the point where they dominate you. Said a different way, when things change — whether it’s the market, your career, your prospects, your product or service, and so on — that’s when you want to be flexible and adaptable to this change. That way you can adjust your processes and strategies accordingly.
“After all, if you were working for a company that sold pagers, and you had a great presentation that allowed you to continually attain your sales goals, would you still be using the same approach when selling mobile phones? In essence, your marketplace has changed along with the needs of your clients.”
At this point, Denise was evolving at light speed. I could hear her getting it.
“Well, this has certainly been a productive and enlightening call!” She exclaimed. “Thanks a million, coach! I feel better already.”
“Wonderful!” I declared. “I’m looking forward to our call next week and to the success that follows from today.”
About Keith Rosen, MCC — The Executive Sales Coach
Keith Rosen is the executive sales coach that top corporations, executives, and sales professionals call first. As an engaging speaker, Master Coach, and well-known author of many books and articles, Keith is one of the foremost authorities on coaching people to achieve positive change in their attitude, behavior, and results. For his work as a pioneer and leader in the coaching profession, Inc. magazine and Fast Company named Keith one of the five most respected and influential executive coaches in the country.
If you’re ready for better results quickly, contact Keith about personal or team coaching and training at 1-888-262-2450 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit Keith Rosen online at Profit Builders and be sure to sign up for his free newsletter The Winners Path.