I have written about my friend who owns a gym, and his love of January, the month where everyone makes resolutions, a high number of which include “getting in shape”. They sign up for a year, they give up in month; retailers make their year in January, gyms in January.
He also tells me about people’s approach to the whole physical training thing, which in great measure the reason for them giving up and their ultimate failure. They go from doing nothing for years, not even minimal walking or cycling, straight to “Green Beret meets Navy Seal” program, or any of the infomercial touted programs that promise to give you a whole new you in 90 days. And the fact is that they do given two things, you were in some shape to begin with, a shape other than a potato on a lounge chair; second is that you do it the way you are told to do it. According to my friend most who give up fail on both counts, they go from doing nothing for years to fool blown Insanity. Others, decide to mess with the formula, and do things their way, still expecting the results they see on TV.
Having dealt with the second issue a couple of weeks back in a piece called Why So Picky? Let’s look at the former, the feast and famine phenomenon, people either doing (or not doing) the same thing year in and year out, to sudden turbulent change.
I recently met a rep Jill, again a “70 percenter”, in her territory for years, but she was different than most reps in one respect, she loves to read sales books. Unlike most reps who refuse to read a book even when they get one free. I remember reading a frightening stat that stated that only one in ten full time sales reps read a sales book in a given year. Jill’s problem is that she reads a book, puts a few things into action, and unlike the cup-of-soup she has for lunch, there is no instant result in minutes. So she logs on to her favourite e-retailer and downloads the next audio or e-book, touting the latest and till now the most insane approach to B2B selling. She consumes it with force, and puts some recommendations into action, and gives it till the end of the day to see results.
BTW, her sales cycle is about 90 days, I always tell sellers that any change in results when trying a new (hopefully proven technique) should be minimum a cycle and a half after putting things into practice Properly. So while I commend Jill for striving to learn and improve, she suffers from the same issue my friend’s gym clients do, they expect instant miracles from incomplete efforts. Assuming they don’t change the formula or recipe, they need to give it proper time to take effect.
What’s worse for Jill is that in hoping from one technique to another, she is limiting her success because she not spending enough time really engaging and selling to specific buyers, but instead experimenting with her most crucial resource, prospects.
The binary approach does not work for B2B sellers. While doing or changing nothing, Ø, is clearly not a good approach; implementing massive change and expecting instantaneous results is as ineffective. There is a third option, not available in a binary environment, allowing you to avoid the negative side of the syndrome. Decide which methodology or practices really address your sales situations, yes read a number of things that apply. Then develop a plan that allows you to implement them, making sure you can logically assimilate them without negatively disrupting current opportunities. Measure and adjust so you can perfect the technique. It’s not black or white, you can make money in the grey.
What’s in Your Pipeline?