While I have always supported the concept and the focus behind the three R’s of academics; although I never understood why the academic community would go for the label, given that only on of the three words in question start with an R.
We in sales hold to a higher standard, and therefore the three words that make up the three R’s of Sales, all do indeed start with the letter R!
- Reciprocate – It should not be news that the most successful sales people look at sales from a giving standpoint, rather than a what can I get standpoint. Unfortunately, the latter makes up the majority of the sales population, often this is a result of the “message” and “motivation” they get from their management. While I do not shy away from the sales rep as a “hunter”, the prey is not the buyer.
While most of think of reciprocating as giving back, you can also think of is as just giving; specifically giving to you buyers and prospects. The notion of giving is not new, but often sellers give in return for something they “have gotten”, like a next step, an introduction to a decision maker, or an order.
But if you can think of it in that if you give value to buyers in any number of ways right through the process, the buyer will reciprocate. At time this may be in the form of a referral, next step, or the order. Reciprocate forward as it were.
- Reinvent – This may seem straight forward, but is probably the most difficult for many sellers. It involves two disciplines, one is reviewing sales to see what’s working, what’s not, and what needs to be done to change that. The second is change itself, sellers find it hard to change, even though they spend their time and effort trying to get buyers to change in a number of ways.
The need to review every or a significant sample of your transactions is crucial. I have spoken about it extensively on this blog, the need to review all sales initiated, win – lose – draw. You can still download the 360 Deal Review tool, and start what is an easy but valuable exercise. The key is what you identify as working, what is not, and more importantly, what you are prepared to do about it.
There a many teams I see who review, note, but do not implement change. Without the last step, it’s just a validation exercise with little or no value.
Change is an interesting thing, it does not have to be wholesale or instantaneous, and it is exponential, sometimes it is the smallest things that have the biggest impact. Meaning you can start small, limited risk, and tangible benefits. The hardest is always the first step; so pick something easy, develop an action plan, a period of review, and do it a bit at a time.
- Reputation – There is one thing you have to hold on to throughout your career, that is your reputation. Skills, clients, successes come and go, they can all be rebuilt or reinvented, reputations are a bit more delicate. They can be rebuilt, but there is always a cost. Reputation not only precedes you, which is crucial to success, but it also lags, people have a way to remember more of the bad than the good. Of the three R’s this is fundamental, and without which the other two R’s are difficult to execute.
What’s in Your Pipeline?