Today’s selling marketplace is not the same as it was 10 years ago. There are more demands on our time. There are more demands on us. Customer’s expectations have increased along with their price sensitivity. We are connected 24/7 via email, voicemail, cell phones, and IM. We have to move faster, more efficiently, and more often to meet the needs of those with whom we wish to do business. Our managers expect us to stop what we are doing and jump on a plane, make a sales call, fix a problem, take a client to a ballgame, have a late-night dinner, and do a variety of things to make sure that we don’t lose an opportunity or a client.
What is the answer as to how to compete—how to keep up? Well, I have chosen to address part of the answer in this article. GET FIT for the challenges that you face daily. Oxygen has become an amazing additive to my daily/weekly diet through exercise. Now, before you sign off in disgust at another exercise convert, I challenge you to read on….but only if you are interested in an EASY way to gain some additional edge over your competition.
Oh….do I have your attention?
The brain apparently is an organ that gives back in accordance to what it is given. I have, for years touted the importance of feeding the brain by reading, listening to tapes and CDs in the areas in which you wish to improve, attending workshops & seminars, and reading industry magazines (yours and your customer’s). It has long been my opinion that the more you feed your brain in the areas of expertise you need, the better your “shot” at becoming what you seek. Although that has not changed, I now firmly believe in the feeding of something else to the brain—OXYGEN!
By setting up and following a simple regimen of exercise, you may very well increase your sales ability dramatically. Let me see if I can give you a real-world example:
As a speaker, it is absolutely imperative that I am ON when I am on the speaking platform. There is no excuse for a lackluster performance. A client has engaged me to deliver a well-prepared message-to deliver content-and to do so in a way that will spark changes in behavior and thus, changes in results. I need to be on my game. I need to be well prepared and set to handle whatever may be thrown my way by the audience. (Almost sounds like a sales call, doesn’t it?)
A while back, I was in Canada delivering two separate sessions to two different groups of CEOs regarding the development of a World Class Sales Organization. I was to deliver two separate 4-hour sessions that would cover a variety of subjects including recruiting, interviewing, hiring, training, retraining, and retaining of sales talent. Because of the audiences that I would be addressing, (CEOs) I had to be prepared to adjust my content to the desires of those in attendance and be prepared for group questions, challenges, and other interaction. Although I have delivered over 500 of these sessions over the years, every group is different and something new may come up at any time—I must be on my game!
The night that I arrived, I made sure that I got into my hotel and got prepared to deliver for the next morning. My plane arrived late and I got to the hotel about 10:00pm. I immediately unpacked for the next morning (my 1st session was to start at 8:00am). After falling asleep around midnight, I arose at 5:00am to get in a workout in the hotel gym. I have to say, I was not particularly motivated when I got up, but 10 minutes into a 2-mile run, I was looking forward to the weight room. 90 minutes later, I was set for the day.
My session that morning to my first group of CEOs was fantastic. I had a very engaged group of people that questioned and challenged me throughout. The session was delivered with high energy and it came sooooo easy. It seemed that I had just begun speaking when I was given the sign that the session was over. The grades that I received were unanimously perfect. Not only was the session an effortless BLAST for me. Apparently, the group thought it was content rich and value packed as well.
The balance of that day went to a coaching session with a client of mine that flew in from Winnipeg followed by dinner and a couple of bottles of wine. Needless to say, the evening was late and the next morning held no exercise activity before I was going LIVE again at 8:00am. Although the session was very similar and the audience was equally engaged, I had to put in much greater effort to get similar results. I had to think more and try harder. Why? In my opinion, my brain did not get that release of oxygen in the morning before the session. Although the end result was pretty much the same (great reviews), the effort I had to put in to get there was almost twice as much!
Have you ever noticed some sales seem to be effortless works of art where you gain an immediate connection with the prospect? The questions that you asked seem to move the prospect towards your offer. The answers that the customer seeks are right on the tip of your tongue and they come out so smooth. The rapport and trust that you built was done so with very little effort and you walk away with a sale that you didn’t even have to ask for. I’m here to tell you that the majority of your sales can go like that if you get in shape for selling.
Here’s all you have to do:
First, you gotta want it. If you don’t do it for your health, do it for the additional commissions!
Second, you need to design a plan. Use the 3 C’s: Clarity-Commitment-Consistency
(Be CLEAR on what it is that you will do each day—Stay COMMITTED to your plan—and stay CONSISTENT with your efforts to feed your brain every day.)
Third, Take immediate ACTION to get started.
Whether you choose to walk, run, swim, or hit the gym and stretch or push some iron around, I challenge you to take that first step to your health and selling success by setting in ACTION a plan to “Get Fit for Selling”.