businessman with umbrella and thumb down rain

Rejection In Your Face4

By Tibor Shanto – tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca 

In the late 1990’s or early part of the last decade, I remember reading a piece about a study in one of the Scandinavian countries, who were early adopters of text messaging, SMS. It pointed to the fact that more and more young people were choosing to initially interact with potential dates using SMS, one of the key reasons that rejection was easier to deal with when it was not direct, in your face. The rate of rejection or acceptance did not change much, may have even gone up as it is easier to ignore a text message. But the lack intimacy, direct contact, not having to be in direct contact at the time of rejection, made it more bearable, despite the result.

There is no doubt that the reason sales people do not like to prospect, specifically direct prospecting, for instance telephone prospecting, is rejection. Who can blame them, no one wants to be rejected, and it is only compounded when that rejection directly impacts one’s ability to earn a living, eat and generally succeed in their chosen vocation. This is why so many sales people and companies spend time and money trying to avoid objections. The thinking being, “if we can avoid rejection, we will have greater success.” Understandable but hardly practical, if you are going to make unsolicited calls (cold or pre-warmed), you will face rejection. If you are going to play football, you will get tackled, you will get bruised, and if you have any intention of succeeding, you will get back up and ready yourself for the next play. Not so for many in sales.

This became even more clear during an unsocial discussion with a proponent of social selling. He was trying to convince me that there is less rejection with his approach than with telephone prospecting. While neither of us had the stats to prove or dispute, what was clear is that his focus was not the rejection itself, but more how he did, or did not, have to deal with it. Much like the adolescent lovers in Scandinavia, for this person, and I suspect for many who exclude telephones from their prospecting routine, it was more about how direct the rejection was.

“I don’t mind if they don’t respond, I just don’t want to have to deal with the reality of it.”

Which is another example of where the driving factor in executing a sales is not the desired outcome, but how it “feels”. It feels good when someone puts a like on your LinkedIn or Facebook post, allowing us to pretend that those who choose not to like it, who ignore and reject the message, just don’t exist. But from a desired outcome perspective, no different. So why not go direct?

One of my first sales jobs required that I make 160 dials per day, speak to 30 people, and get a yes from ten. My manager helped me by highlighting that if the 100 people who “rejected” me through the week were all in the subway car with me on my ride home Friday, they would have no idea it was me who they blew off on the phone. To this day, I look at the people in the Starbucks line, and wonder which one blew me off on the phone that morning.

While rejection may not be fun, it is part of sales, and will happen no matter which approach you take, it just a question of how direct, and how you deal with it, choosing not to deal with it does not change things. The real question is what is more important, achieving desired outcomes, or???

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Revenue

It’s The Revenue, Stupid0

By Tibor Shanto – tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca 

I recently had a conversation with a VP of sales who asked me what I thought of social selling. Not sure where he stood on the topic, I shared my view that for me selling is selling, I don’t have the need like many marketers, to categorize or qualify things. As a longtime proponent of the movement to unhyphenate sales, I have felt that tagging a label on sales, be that Solution Selling, Consultative Selling, Sales 2.0 or Social selling, were just stupid distractions that served little else that the book sales of the person who coined the phrase, rarely those who jump on the bandwagon. As in music, there are many genres, but in the end, there is good music or bad music; there is successful selling, or unsuccessful selling, the rest is theater, theater that distracts from the core issues: Revenue.

Being that we are at the height of earnings season, and that we were both Jewish, I decided to do the tribal thing, and answer a question with a question: “When you look at your quarterly results, do you break out revenue as “Social Revenues”, “Traditionally sold revenue”, “Revenue from resourceful sellers leveraging all resources”? We all know the answer is NO! Revenue (as long as it is attained legally and ethically) is revenue.

RevenueChanging the narrative to revenue from sales, puts a whole different light on the subject, especially when you consider that most companies have revenues that well exceed the amount of revenue generated by their sales teams. How is that other revenue attained, how can sales help increase revenue in all channels, not just one, the one they are in? In the end, this all comes down to a simple process of Plan – EXECUTE – Review – Adjust – EXECUTE some more, and over again. I will be the first to admit this may not be as exciting, chic or trendy as social selling, it is much more effective where it counts, revenue.

Labeling or hyphenating sales not only brings unneeded complexity to sales, because now we are doing thigs to satisfy a system rather than for revenue, it also opens a number of opportunities for distraction, and wasted time and energy. I recently met a VP of sales at a company selling an enterprise application, he did not know his BDR’s conversion ratios, but seemed to be up-to-the-minute on the number “likes” his Facebook page had. OK, I thought, and asked “How much is each Like worth in top line revenue?” No idea. Yet when I interviewed his Director, he felt part the BDR’s challenge was that they were spending too much time on social media, learning everything there is to know about leads they were provided, failing to reach out to those leads instead.

Revenue is not hyphenated, revenue is not Social. Revenue either exists or does not. Where it does it is due to execution, and where it doesn’t it is due to excuses.

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mANAGER - lEADERS

Are You Developing Managers Or Leaders?0

By Tibor Shanto – tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca 

We have all witnessed situations where an outstanding sales rep is “rewarded” with a promotion to sales management, leading to two compounding problems. The previously successful contributor flounders in the new role, and you have an underperforming territory where you had a star you moved. There is no doubt that you’re a+ Primo players, should be recognized, even rewarded for their contribution, (which is what I thought the incentive plan was for), but that reward should be one that resonates with them, not with current company leadership.

Successful leaders create an environment where they understand what the rep in questions considers to be a reward or recognition. Many companies default to either monetary rewards or hierarchical promotion. The challenge with the former, is that real A+ Primo players can generally achieve the financial results they want, especially if, as mentioned, you have an effective incentive plan in place. But even then, money is an interesting aphrodisiac, it is a lot like gas, which fills the entire space or volume of its container regardless of the container size, no matter what the volume, it will fill a bigger container. Even a substantial increase will have limited lift, limited change in behavior.

mANAGER - lEADERSThe challenge with promotion is that some don’t want it as much as those higher in the hierarchy believe. Clearly those in senior roles, those who enjoy and are successful at it, find it hard to understand why others don’t get turned on by the same thing. But many don’t, we have all known career sales people, who continuously make more money than their managers or even directors, but and have no desire to take on the role. Promote one of these reps, as many do, and you not only face the issues presented above, but a bunch of collateral damage. Damage on the other members of the team who now lack a leader, this will manifest in either lower revenues or mass departures, sometimes both. Not to mention the countless dollars spent with experts to try “reprogram” the rep, mentor, coach, and all the other programs invested in, with little or no impact.

The answer is determined a lot earlier, at the time of hiring. Organizations should be hiring for the role, not hoping that some will evolve into it, especially when they were hired to do a specific thing. I don’t see a lot of football team bringing on a lot of placeholders with a goal that they will one day make great field goal kickers or quarterbacks. With all the talk about Account Based Management, perhaps we should extend the concept to how we construct a successful sales team, put some focus and energy in to Role Based Hiring and Development. I do apologize to those who sell programs to help people make the “transition” from one role to the next, but more often than not the result is the creation of a managers not leaders. Bureaucrats who excels in explaining and enforcing a process, but are useless at leading their teams in executing and continuous improvements in that execution. Manager is a great title, but it is leadership that will drive results both in the short and long term. Don’t settle just because it is easy, convenient, or always done that way.

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Red closed door behind open doors, isolated on white background.

Closing Is Easy0

By Tibor Shanto – tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca 

One of the most common things I hear from sellers is “Get me in front of the right guy, and I can close them”. Big deal, so could any monkey dressed in the right suit, that’s why the big money in B2B sales is made by those who can actually get in front of the right guy long before the closing monkeys show up, those who can OPEN.

Closing opportunities that were initiated by the buyer themselves is cute, but is it enough? When asked if they can meet or exceed quota relying strictly on deals that were initiated by the buyer, most admit the answer is no. In addition to those who come to them, they have to identify, qualify, prospect and engage with potential buyers who left on their own, would not have stayed out of the market in the current timeframe.

When A Tree Falls In The Forest

When you ask sales people or organizations, whether they could make or exceed quota by closing only opportunities initiated by the buyers themselves, and most admit, no. Meaning they have to go out and prospect buyers, who left to their own, would stay on the sidelines, and remain oblivious to any social activity, messaging, or any other on line activity. It is very much like the tree falling in the forest. If the buyer is not online, but instead in their businesses, their shops, trucks, or offices, doing their thing, then they can’t see or interact with anything you may dangle out there. This, by the way, represents about 70% of any defined market, if not more.

Sure, one alternative is to double down, increase your efforts to entice and succeed with those buyers who are interacting with what you’re dangling. But we also have to remember that these buyers are rarely monogamous. They are visiting all your competitors’ sites, and playing footsie with all they’re dangling. In a “good enough” world, you all begin to look the same at about the 67% – 70% marker in the journey, leaving price as the big differentiator.

Back To The Start

Openers, know how to identify and speak with those 70% who are entrenched on the sideline. They can shape the thinking of the buyer much more so than one could at the 67% marker. While any intelligent buyer will compare you to others, Openers know how to frame the opportunity in ways that will directly influence how those buyers will filter your competitors.

The risk these days is that everyone is so fixated on closing, they overlook the need for Openers, placing all their early cycle success in means that are not delivering. While many bought into the SDR wave, stats about SaaS sales success can be scary by any standard. One reason again is that the emphasis is not opening the opportunity, creating a base for success, and without that foundation, it is hard to build.

Unfortunately, the discussion has eroded into a question of style, social vs. traditional. But impact has been deeper, as many who shun traditional prospecting, say telephone prospecting or cold calling, also abandon the skill of opening, as that step is left entirely to the buyer. Time to focus on why we do something, not just the how. For real sellers, the why is about the Open.

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Concept of afraid businessman like an ostrich

The Power of Denial0

By Tibor Shanto – tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca 

Wanting to understand “why” and “how” are a curiosity we are all born with. Just look at infants and toddlers, they are always asking “why” and “how” questions, something may be mundane or old hat to me, is brand new and completely unimagined to them until they see or experience it. But as they enter the school system, things change; a small minority maintain their constructive curiosity, not settling, they continue to push the envelop to discover more, discover “how” things work, and “why” things have to be the way they are, “why” not different. are keen to change, add to, or take away from a technique, to see what incremental change will lead to incremental gains that add up over time. Even when they succeed, win first prize, they are never satisfied, because they know more will be required tomorrow, and certainly the next fiscal year.

And then there is the rest, the majority, those who from the time they enter school, seem to look for little more than the opportunity to exist and sustain. They are taught and quickly learn to “fall in line”, accept how “things work”. Their success (as such), is based on, and thrives by continuing to tow the line and play to the current wave. Rather than leveraging curiosity to propel them further, they wait to be told “how” to do things and “why”. Success here of course is not measured by quality of output, but by how well they play within the lines and being able to deny any and all things outside those lines. They learn how to rationalize and deny; and with years of practice, they are ready to move into the work force, prepared to deliver. Needless to say, some of these people grow up to be sales people, where playing between the lines and denial as an art form, seem to be core and sought after capabilities.

If you doubt this, ask yourself why so many underperforming reps continue to be employed, while continuing to miss quota. Or why the Pareto Principle, the 80/20, is so entrenched, and unchallenged in the sales world; rather than challenging the principle it, people operate as though it was divinely ordained. Interestingly, someone was sharing some data with me recently, that suggested that it is now 13% of reps delivering 87% of the revenue.

It takes a lot of attitude and effort to avoid the seduction of denial. As we progress from school to post secondary, the art of denial is fine tuned and reinforced. Speak to the “average” students, and they have learned to rationalize their results much better than learning the subject matter they “averaged” in. They point to those A+ students as anomalies, denying the facts at hand. By the time they arrive at work, their habits and attitudes are set, faced with a choice of taking a different tack than their peers or denying results, and the latter wins with most. Their managers, themselves plucked from the pool of deniers, just reinforce the whole mess, and cycle continues.

Don’t disperse, while the power and seduction of denial is great, there is a way to overcome it, and it is a tactic that will help your interactions with buyers as well. Make a difficult, but important change. Rather than telling people, including prospect, “why” and “how” things are, change to asking “why” and “how”, and then deal with the answer. Most exceptional sellers I know, the 20% (13%), fear failure, and are willing to go a path less followed; while the 80% (87%), fear success, and everything that brings, and opt for the power of denial!

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Night view of rail tracks in depot, Kiev

Changing Your Path To #Prospecting #Success2

By Tibor Shanto – tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca 

No one says telephone prospecting is easy, which is why I am always puzzled as to why many sales people make it even more difficult than it already is. Many don’t set out to sabotage themselves, some are not even aware they are doing it, and many are just sadly following the advice of pundits who talk about but don’t actually telephone prospect. What many are doing is ignoring some basics communication realities that in a sales situation cannot and should not be ignored.

Over 90% of sales conversations are started or initiated by the seller, this goes to 100% of telephone prospecting calls, especially cold calls. So how we start the call will very much dictate the flow of the call, and even the reaction of the prospect. Start things the right way and you improve your odds, start the wrong way, and you dig a hole that will be hard to get out of. How you start a cold call matters, that’s why scripts are important.

While everyone agrees that the first few seconds of a call are crucial to the success of the call, most still chose to squander those precious seconds.

Most recipients of cold calls start down a path, in most cases that path is headed to them blowing us off and getting back to work. Our job is to either set them on a different path, or change the path they started down, if not, the conclusion is clear, no prospect, (they are back doing what they were before we interrupted), no opportunity, frustration, and time we will never recover, gone. This mainly happens because we play into the expectation of the prospects, instead of challenging those expectations.

Having listened to thousands of real world calls, most calls start by telling the prospect who is calling, and in its worst form this includes the callers title, and some self-serving statement about their employer: Hi, my name is George Handoff, I am the Mid-Atlantic Account Manager with ACME Corp. a Fortune 500 company and leading manufacturer of Sprocket Valves.” Who cares, what does that tell someone you have interrupted in the middle of their day? Do you really expect them to get excited about any of that? This is usually followed by highlighting the types of problems you have “solutions” for. No, that’s not the sound of them hanging up, it is their head hitting the disengage button as they fall asleep listening to all that, the ones that stay awake, just blow you off.

Given the fact that only about 3 of 10 people you call will recognize the problem, and only one of those three are willing to act now. The other seven could care less because they don’t see themselves in the picture, and your opening statement sets them down the path of “Who cares, I need to go back to work, good bye.”

To set them on a different path, why not start the call by highlighting what things look like after your product is in place. Lead with the outcomes! How many more units did you help someone produce in the same or less time; how did you improve their cash-flow; how much did you help increase market share, or how many of their target prospects did you help them land, how many more appointments did your prospects have as a result of your work, and what was the increase in pipeline value? Those are interesting opening that set the conversation on a path they not only can relate to, but want to achieve as well.

It’s not a big change, but one where you are presenting your capabilities via specific outcomes and impacts your clients had and were able to achieve as a result of your offering. That’s a path worth exploring, one they are thinking about, but no one is calling about, especially those waiting to be found.

The only reason many will tell you that cold calling sucks is because of the results they are getting. But rather than giving up on the cold call, they should give up on their approach, and try a path that has an ending of interest to prospects, be they Looking or Status Quo.

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antiker Koffer voll mit antiken Gegenstnden

Odds & Sods0

By Tibor Shanto – tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca 

Every year I jot down different ideas, always with the goal of fleshing them out and building decent post. For a myriad of reasons, sometimes these ideas don’t get developed, but unlike previous years, I am resolved not to let them evaporate with time. As a result what follows are ideas I think people in sales should be thinking about, but rather than waiting to polish them up, I am putting them out their in their raw state, and set them free to grow and evolve with you. Let me know what you think, push back, evolve the ideas, let’s see where they go, or not.

Benchmarking

Benchmarking is a good idea, but only if you are benchmarking for the sake of making progress. Set out to improve an element of your game, set a goal, measure where you are, develop an action plan, then execute. Going a step better, one can benchmark against another entity doing a similar thing, and see how you are doing vs. them in specific measures. In sports, it could be measures like goals against, team batting average, or in our favourite sport, average deal size, time to recover cost of acquisition or leads to opportunities converted. Many sales organisations are not as adventurous as others in what they choose to compare (benchmark), or who they benchmark themselves against.

So why is it that only the best choose to benchmark themselves against the best, or at the least, better than they are. While the weak and also-rans, always benchmark themselves against people “behind” them. What’s the point in measuring how well you are doing against someone who has figured out less than you, why not mark yourself, be you a rep or sales organization, against the best, or better than you. Sure you can pat yourself for being ahead of the lesser competitors, why not look forward and make gains, rather than maintaining an easy lead.

antiker Koffer voll mit antiken Gegenstnden2017 The Year Of Sales Enablement

Seems the marketing cooks in Salesland are whipping up something “new” for 2017. Top on the list is rebranding, because you know what they say, if you can’t innovate, rebrand. Just like the New Improved Tied, often the only thing new is the wrapping and the hype. Just look at the recent rebranding of Key Accounts to the new look Account Based Marketing, a brilliant twist emphasising something that really isn’t there.

While traditional product marketers may test the “new” in a limited way, do consumer surveys, and the occasional focus group. In Salesland, they are more prone to doing soft launches, and when enough people jump on, they go full hog, and ride that wave till it runs out of power.

But the big thing in Salesland, percolating a while now, shaping and defining itself, but now ready to be painted over the previous Sales 2.0 veneer, is Sales Enablement. Despite efforts, Sales 2.0 didn’t plant roots, there were those who tried to keep it alive well past it’s “good through” date, but the savvy in Salesland jumped ship early and went social. So now it’s time to rebrand and try to peddle the same old with a new twist and new tweets, well at a minimum new hashtags.

For those who doubt this make over, one need only consider “The Sales Enablement Society (SES, really close to SOS)”. Their stated goal “is to better define and ultimately solve, the vast disparities that exist in sales enablement roles and functions in organizations today.” A worthwhile exercise indeed – a good start would be a definition.

But I would imagine that if sales enablement continues to be different for those who sell services, from those who sell technology applications, it will suffer the same fate as Sales 2.0 and the Sales 2.0 Alliance, remember them? Can’t wait for the line up at the Sales Enablement Echo Conference.

Salesland needs to stop following false idols and embrace the one reality in sales, success is about Execution – Everything Else Is Just Talk!

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win-lose-draw-dice

Crash and Learn2

By Tibor Shanto – tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca 

While we are all caught up in the cheer of the season, it is important to remember that sales is not always peace, love and joy. In fact, when you consider closing averages in B2B sales, it is most likely that we are bound to have more disappointments than joys as measured by that figure. Some have put the number of sales qualified leads to close, as low as 16.4%, across all B2B; I am sure if you take out the outliers, it is likely a more presentable number. Let’s go with 4:1 or 25%, now if you’re one of those who say sales is not a numbers game, you don’t have to worry about this or the rest of this piece. But if you are looking to improve in the coming year and beyond, it is clear that the best learning opportunities are in examining the losses, and working to change those outcomes.

I know there are some pundits who will tell you to ignore anything but wins, and work on repeating things that are working. The question is will that change the 4:1 win rate, or just help you maintain things? While no one wants to dwell on the negative, the best way to change it is to avoid repeating things, which what happens when you just look at one side of things. In fact, the best sales people and organizations, look at three side of things, The Wins, The Losses, and The No Decisions.

win-lose-draw-diceGiven the time of year, I would encourage you to look back and not only examine recent deals, but the deals from the entire year. Look for trends that impact the entire market, and then sub trends that are unique to key segments. This will not only help you understand how things have evolved over the year, why you may have won or lost, how you need to adjust your sales approach to win in the future, and the added bonus of identifying some potential calls for the start of the year to people who chose not to decide last year.

The challenge is to ensure that this is a real drill down as to what happened and what will need to be done differently next time. This usually means going beyond where you were willing to go to get the sale, the fact that we lost is evidence of that. You also need to involve the buyer who did not buy from you, which is not always easy, not only because you’ve been rejected, but they are busy implementing their choice.

In most instances interviewing buyers you lost should be done by someone other than the rep involved, it’s easy to blow them off, just point to price and features, and the rep spends more time repeating that to their company, than changing how they presented the features and price. Use someone from marketing or Customer Success. Whoever ends up conducting the review, make sure they are armed with solid questions that help you understand the buyer’s process and choice, this is not about defending your company or changing the buyer’s mind.

Having a formal approach helps the clients feel more at ease about the process, and gets you actionable insights. Done right, this review of a loss or no decision, could be one of the factors that allows you to be part of the picture next time they go to market. Ignoring why you lost will continue to limit your opportunities, and long term personal and sales growth.

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big-box-training

A Rep’s Scream For Help0

By Tibor Shanto – tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca 

While not daily, on a regular basis over the last 12 years I have been called by VP’s of Sales who were extremely disappointed in the training delivered to their team by another provider. (It is entirely possible that some of my former clients have had similar discussions about me; possible, but nah). As you would suspect, there are a range of ways they share their “experiences”. Some politely take it on as their mistake for not having vetted things better; some will show me the material from the previous provider, pointing out what they thought they were going to get, then highlighting where it missed the mark. And then there is the type of people I like to work with, straight to the point no BS, no ambiguity, just the facts as they see them.

So, it was the other day, I was in a boardroom waiting for my appointment to join, before even sitting down, he threw a competitor’s manual on the table and said: “This is a piece of shit, I need you to clean up and save my team.”

After explaining how they went through a selection process landing on a “Big Box” training company; how they agreed on a plan, why the specific training discussed was important. The “Big Box” rep took copious notes, detailing what the client was expecting, why it was important, how it related to challenges and opportunities in their market, and which habits they were looking to influence and change.

big-box-trainingUnfortunately, it was not the sales person who showed up to do the training, but a “Big Box certified independent trainer”. Fully literate in the theory, the learning plan, armed with numerous examples of “when they say this, you say that”; or motivational ditties like “You have to look through the rain to see the rainbow.” The only thing they lack is a minute’s worth of real world selling experience, when asked how to apply “the learning” to a specific scenario a rep presents, they either try to retrofit something that sounds similar, or go to their proven life boat: “Tear down your mental silos, you’ll never get out of the box you’re without a paradigm shift in your sales thinking” In other words “I haven’t got a bloody clue, mate, so I’m gonna put this on you”.

Back at my office, I began to thumb through the pages of the manual the VP gave me, it was apparently left behind by one of the reps. You could relive the experience the rep had that day. Early in the day, the first few pages asking them to commit to improvements, the rep’s choices were in full, clearly written letters, reflecting the willingness of the rep to learn something new. A few pages in, where clichés began to dominate, the rep’s writing began to wither and he was made to write things like: “No, is just the prospect’s way of saying ‘Tell me more’”. By page 73, complete surrender, in listless letters that looked like the last words of a man wondering the desert, in the top margin, two words:

“Help meeeeee”

Needless to say, the owner of the manual is no longer there.  Seems this training was either an exercise in futility or a strange approach to attrition.

Don’t torture your reps, improve them.

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Sometimes You Win Sometimes You Learn sign with sky background

Get Over It3

By Tibor Shanto – tibor.shanto@sellbetter.ca 

As an outsider, I find watching the reaction to the elections in the States on Tuesday interesting from a sales point of view. To be clear, this isn’t one of those hollow “What can sales people learn from the USA elections?” It is almost like every event has some lesson or insight for sales people, considering that more things that businesses consume are sold rather than bought, there is bound to be a parallel between almost everything and sales. Sometimes obvious facts and realities are lost on the “80%”, because they spend most of their time “taking orders” from self-motivated buyers. So when they are actually involved in a real competitive “sale”, and have to do things to win the order (other than discounting and negotiating with their own company rather than the prospect), and it doesn’t go their way, how they react becomes the measure of those reps.

This post is about the reaction to the outcome, specifically the reaction of those who did not get the order. I had no horse in the race, it’s not my country, so far be it for me to lecture our neighbors to the south, just I don’t want any none Canadians pontificating on Canadian politics and policies.

But the reaction is worth exploring. It is a reaction I and many are familiar with having watched reps’ reactions after having lost a deal, or during a pipeline review, where it is clear that most of the opportunities in the pipeline have about as much chance of closing as Lincoln Chafee had of winning his party’s nomination. A reaction which I am sure would have been the same had the other side won.

It seems that in both sales and politics, it is easier to look for blame outside of your control, than to spend time understanding what you could have done differently to change the outcome. Sure it is easy to blame the product, the familiar chorus of “What-ifs, Maybes and Might-Have-Beens”, but if the product could sell itself, then what role would we in sales have? (Oh ya, take the order). As a friend of mine once told me, “if it was easy, they would not need us”.

Sometimes You Win Sometimes You Learn sign with sky backgroundGreat sales people look to understand what they could have done differently, so they can do it differently and better next time. They don’t waste time and energy looking for excuses and outside factors that they feel – but can’t prove cost them the sale. Real sellers understand that there are things they cannot control or change, and things they can, the best focus on those things they CAN change and influence, and work to understand how things they can’t control can impact them and their desired result. The also-ran “80%”, resist change, which leaves them questioning the outcome, rather than question what they could and should have done differently Click To Tweet.

The parallels also extend to the pundits, those wagon jumping sages, who can always tell you what will happen, and why when it does not, why they couldn’t see it coming. Same in sales, despite the data available, many are to inwardly focused and lining up with the latest fashions and labels, rather than sharing practical, proven and experience based executable insights. Instead on Monday they’re Sales 2.0, Wednesday Social Selling, Friday ABM, what next?

You want different results, do things differently, there is usually a lot less risk in trying change than the results of sticking with it, then complaining when you failed. You can’t change the past, but you can the future; you can learn from the past and do things differently the next time. Time to start executing rather than excusing.

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