Give Sound bites, Not Insight
Have you ever noticed that all head football coaches seem to say the same thing at a press conference? When boiled down, they invariably say something like “They’re a good team; we have our work cutout for us; we’ll be ready to play.” That’s it! It makes you wonder why there are press conferences anyway-they give no insight into the challenges, weaknesses, fears, injuries, nor conflicts they may be internally facing. The only sound bite we get is ”They’re a good team; we have our work cutout for us; and we’ll be ready to play.” They do this simply because they don’t want to reveal any distinct area that could give their opponent the advantage to win.
As a sales professional, you need to hold your own press conference every morning. You are the head coach, captain, and member of a team of 1. When you hit the ground this morning, give yourself a sound bite that there will be opportunities mixed with challenges; effort in the face of complacency; and execution due to preparation. Stop holding press conferences for yourself and others- offering insights of your frustrations, insecurities, aggravations, and injustices-for one: your audience (i.e. other salespeople) are glad it’s you and not them and two: negative speech = negative action = negative results. Stop griping and start grinding.
- “They’re a good team.” Respect the fact that there will be opportunities today that will be laced with rejection, negativity, defeats, and setbacks. Don’t avoid making a mistake today-you can’t win a game in a clean uniform, instead go out there and get dirty by failing early and often-that’s where the greatest growth and opportunities are found. Ironically, at the first stain of rejection, most of your fellow salespeople will turn back and sit on the bench of mediocrity. Opportunities are only revealed to those who are willing to keep showing up.
- “We have our work cutout for us today.” Your opponent isn’t your customer-it’s you. It’s who you were yesterday; your choices; what you allow; what you did and didn’t do-you took a 2 hour lunch, hid in a van and watched movies, and hung out in service all day when you could’ve caught up on product knowledge, perfected your walk-arounds, and followed up with sold and unsold customers. Say to yourself, “I have met the enemy and the enemy is me-the me who says it’s good enough, maybe tomorrow, I’m going to.”
- “We’ll be ready to play.” Stay ready-don’t get ready. Stop reacting to your day, be your own “whether” man. Most salespeople react to the traffic (or lack thereof), weather, or the attitudes of others. Find an alternative route to your day-while they’re standing around waiting for something to happen, you go out there and make it happen. Talk to service customers who are waiting to get their oil changed; introduce yourself to the guy standing in line at the gas station, call EVERY-nice, rude, or indifferent customer you’ve worked with recently. Just like you used to throw the football up in the air and catch it in mid-stride, hurl common objections at yourself and practice smoothly overcoming them. Learn the art of persistence-most salespeople stop at the customer’s first No-practice finesse by pulling the layers of No’s back hearing the intent behind their objection so that you can offer other, more suitable alternatives.
Sound bites are for others-insight is for you. Huddle up.