“I’m sorry but there’s no way I can use your training. You teach process. I won’t do that. I’m not going to learn some canned way of doing stuff; I’m going to keep it real with my prospects.”
It’s in the emails I get. I hear it at the seminars and workshops I do. I hear it in coaching sessions. I hear it from the poor producers. I hear it from those about to be looking for a new career. I hear from those looking for the magic bullet to sales success.
I hear it way, way too often. I heard it again today by a salesperson who is within weeks of washing out of sales and who is looking for someone to save them. Not only are they looking way too late, but they’re looking with the same attitude that got them where they’re at in the first place—wanting an easy way to succeed at selling.
A process? “That’s fake.”
Script? “It’s phony.”
Strategy? “Just too canned.”
I teach processes. I believe in process—for everything–for prospecting, for selling, for customer service, for managing.
I’m not a believer that the spirit will guide you during the sales call, so all you gotta do is show up, wing it, and trust in “the force.”
You either know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it–or you have your feet firmly planted on the road to failure.
Yet so many in sales reject learning a disciplined, predictable, repeatable process because following a process isn’t “keeping it real.”
According to the dictionary a process is simply a series of actions or changes that bring about a desired result. The definition doesn’t say a word about fake actions or phony changes. It does talk about something we sellers really want—a desired result.
Why is it that knowing what you’re doing is considered to be canned, insincere, fake, or phony to so many sellers?
Other than being average or poor performers, what do most of these anti-process (and script) sellers have in common? They’re always on the lookout for the silver bullet of sales; constantly seeking sales Nirvana in the quick, easy fix.
That’s the single biggest thing that separates the top producers from the also ran’s—top producers grasp and utilize processes instead of relying on luck and the good graces of the sales gods to move them in the right direction at the right time.
To paraphrase an old saying, top producers create their luck by knowing what they’re doing and by doing it well; and they can do it well because what they do is knowable, repeatable, and predictable.
They can and do replicate their actions and their words—and most importantly, their results—because they use proven, reliable, repeatable processes. That doesn’t mean they don’t customize for each prospect and client or that they don’t listen and respond to what the prospect’s real issues are. It means they know their process, their product, and how they can benefit prospects and clients so well that the spontaneity and enthusiasm appears to be there because instead of trying to think of something to say, they’re concentrating on helping the prospect or client solve their issues. They truly are the ones being “real,” while the seats of the pants posers are desperately trying not to look foolish.
Most average and poor sellers wake up on a new planet everyday of their selling lives. They have to reinvent what they do every single day—every single phone call, every single presentation, every single conversation.
Selling isn’t about sales tips or a quick fix. There are no quick fixes. Becoming a top producer takes time. It takes effort. It takes investing in your career. The lessons aren’t easy to learn. It takes practice to become a professional. It takes screwing up. There’s almost always failure before success.
If you’re out looking for the easy tips, I encourage you to quit. Don’t look for tips, look for disciplined processes that will generate the results you want and then invest the time, money and energy to learn and perfect them. Once you do, you won’t have to look for a last minute savior to keep you from washing out of sales. You’ll have saved yourself.
Have opinions about this or a prospecting or business generation topic you’d like addressed? You can contact me at email@example.com