Recently I was invited to speak to the sales team of a group of radio stations.
While this was hardly an unusual request , the challenges this situation presented were somewhat unique.
When I asked for additional input on the assignment it became obvious that this was an opportunity to address a gathering of “veteran” sales people , many with previous management experience .
So the question became: what could I possibly say to these folks that they haven’t heard before ? What new insights or strategies could I outline that would help them to improve their performance ?
I set out to review some of the more recent material I had acquired in order to develop some new and captivating knowledge to share with them. I suppose what I was really doing was searching for a bright new light to shine on the problems all sales people deal with.
You will not be surprised to learn that I didn’t discover any basic truths that these people haven’t been given before. Of course there are always fresh “treatments” for success available . And many of these “new” approaches are useful in recharging old enthusiasms and reminding experienced sales people of techniques they may have abandoned .
Most of the top sales “motivators” I have met and/or listened to over the years are the first ones to point out that they do not to convey revolutionary material . Rather , they use exciting and fascinating ways of reminding folks of the skills they already possess and the truths they already understand.
Now I would truly like to write a best selling book that would outline fresh new strategies for success, but if I did it would undoubtedly be a rephrasing of the basic selling skills that I have been exposed to over the last 40 years.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of many of many of the currently popular gurus and motivators . I buy their books and tapes and go to the seminars . And in many cases I am invigorated by their material .
All I am saying is that the basics don’t change .
I guess all of us need reminding about that from time to time, as well as reminders about what a fantastic opportunity capable sales people possess to enjoy an interesting rewarding career .
So what are those basics that lead to success ?
Well let’s consider a few words and phrases- in no particular order .
These are just a few terms that come to mind . You could add several I am sure.
But if I was to carefully review all those new books in my library I would find all of these qualities and suggestions at the heart of most of them .
Selling isn’t really a black art – some of us just want to make it look more complicated than it really is.
Over the years I have felt the need many times to blame my unsatisfactory results on almost anything other than myself . Of course such issues as audience ratings are crucial to a broadcast rep. But I could never escape the reality that there was always someone who was being more successful than I with the same product , pricing and ratings that I was dealing with .
So I was constantly looking for other excuses beyond my control that justified my particular failures.
Eventually , I always came back to the realization that I was both the problem and the solution .
As soon as I returned to adherence to the principles of selling that I had been taught , success eventually followed.
So, when speaking to a group of capable , experienced folks my goal is to remind them , in an entertaining fashion I hope, that they already possess all the tools they need to be successful.
But they must make a decision, almost daily to commit themselves to these basic principles .
It may not be easy – but it is simple.
The most recent popular “how to sell” book I read outlined a philosophy of “discovering a client’s needs and filling them”…………..now there’s a hell of a “fresh” concept .
Perhaps the real danger is that we stop listening and instead only wait for our turn to talk