Last week I was involved in two on line events that looked at selling today and reconfirmed a basic fact of sales that does separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to professional B2B selling. At its core, the discussion comes down to being Proactive vs. Reactive and passive, the latter describing the efforts of the majority of sales people today.
On Wednesday, I had the privilege of participating in a Top Sales World Roundtable, answering whether Selling is Getting Soft. The answer was that indeed sales was, but it was interesting to see how the real question and discussion turned to whether sellers were being to passive, reactive and readily abdicating part of their mandate, letting the buyer dictate the outcome good or bad, because relationships are more important than sales. Becoming the client’s “favourite”, these days being more important than being a value based resource, proactively delivering that value through a proper sale and execution, thus putting the seller in waiting mode based on the buyers’ travels and whims.
On Thursday I presented the second in a series of webinars for Social Selling University; in March we did part 1, Triggers 101 – Events, and this week, Advanced Triggers – A Proactive Approach to Client Acquisition. The second presentation built out on the core lessons learned in leveraging events, now extending them in a way that does not limit you to waiting for an event to dictate your fate and success, or having to spend time making oneself “a favourite” while waiting for something to happen that is out of your control.
In both events, the key take away for sales professionals is that “you are in charge of your success”. You can take steps and make the effort to not only benefit from arbitrary events, but that the same actions that help you leverage events when they eventually take place, can and should be used in a proactive way to help buyers take action based on the impact rather than the cause. Get buyers to be motivated by the opportunity to be better, the impact of their actions; achieve the same responses that an event may cause, but we in advance of the event. Motivate buyers using the solution not an event. Done right, this will leave you to act and execute well in advance of all the other sellers who are all waiting for the same event.
Once empowered with the understanding that it is the reaction not the event that counts, you can focus on creating the reaction rather than suffering the softness caused by inaction and waiting.
As Anthony Iannarino pointed out during the Roundtable, “There is no sales metric for waiting!”
Initiate – Don’t Wait!