If you’re in sales, what you do feeds everyone else.
It cannot be stated enough. In sales, you have to be hungry, insatiably hungry. You have to be hungry to help people. You have to be hungry to solve problems. You have to be hungry to build and maintain great customer relationships. You have to be hungry to give away your best ideas. You have to be hungry for knowledge. You have to be hungry to exceed aggressive goals. You have to be hungry for automating admin tasks and things that do nothing to bring in the revenue. You have to be hungry to kick your quota’s ass. You have to be hungry to wipe the competition off the face of the earth. And you have to be hungry All The Time. You Don’t Stop. NO coddlers here. This is a wolf pack mentality. What we do feeds the others. There is tremendous pride here. Without us, they don’t exist.
That’s why I don’t understand it when salespeople are not proud of what they do. What you do feeds the others! They don’t exist without you! Their success is predicated upon your success, so you better get out there and be successful. People rely upon you. The organization relies upon you. The culture relies upon you. What we do next year relies upon how well you perform this year. See the impact and the reach you possess? Your tentacles go far.
The only people salespeople ought to be coddling are great customers. And not all great customers need coddling. The best don’t. They’d never want that. But they do want preferential treatment. They desire to be treated above and beyond what the normal service level is for everyone else. And the best customers do, in fact, deserve this treatment. You are often obligated to give it to them. Even if it really costs you in time, money and emotion. If not you, then someone else. Yes?
She cares about herself and her stuff. Not yours.
Think about what you can do for them. This is typically a Who question. Who can help you support them? Who can help you provide differentiation? Who can help you provide expertise? Who can help you make your great customer even more successful? Who can help you see what your awesome customer is missing? Who has the sales Chutzpah to help you? Sometimes we need to re-learn how best to see. Especially when it comes from the customer’s perspective. Remember: the customer doesn’t care about us and our stuff. She cares about herself and her stuff. This is the perspective you always have to be operating off of because if you don’t, your competition is.
People tend to get bent out of shape whenever I remind them of this. Why? It is so damn silly to think that the customer cares about our stuff, our #’s, our making quota. Let me turn the tables and ask you: do you care about the Lexus dealer’s salespersons’s monthly quota? Do you care about the GEICO insurance agent’s monthly #? Do you care about the floor sales guy’s monthly # at Best Buy? I think not. Almost no one does outside of his / her direct boss. Who has time to care about all these various salespeople in and out of our lives? No one. We might be loyal to brands. And in the rare instances, to the people representing those brands. But sales is such a turn-‘em and burn-‘em profession that we cannot expect the same salespeople to be there the next time we need ’em. And so we act accordingly.
You’re wrong, Jeff: my customer cares deeply about me. Really? What if you went away for three weeks and I went to visit and help out in your absence? What would happen then? What might she say to me that she isn’t saying to you? What is she hiding, unable to express to you that she would unleash to me? Customers do this All The Time. They don’t want to hurt sales’ feelings, so they bottle it up, keeping it in. This can be a festering problem. It can hurt sales if left unaddressed. What if I show up to your customer and simply listen? Then, follow up my listening with “And what else?” Then, follow up my listening with, “And what else?” Then, follow up my listening with, “And what else is bothering you?” Finally, “Anything else?” What might she say? You should find out.
We’re never done listening. Get people.
There are always problems that need to be addressed. We cannot listen to our customer enough. We cannot understand our customer enough. We need to make her feel heard, like someone gives a damn enough to take the time out to actually listen to what she is saying. Someone cared enough to make it happen for her, to give her that gift of psychological fresh air she needs but cannot express. So many of us walk the earth, just waiting for someone to finally “get us,” playing the victim of sorts. Make yourself a “getter of people,” and they will love you forever for it.
The fabulous opportunity in sales is that you have just that: to be the getter of people. It sets me off when people in sales say they don’t like people. Get over yourself! You are missing the Golden Opportunity right in front of your eyes! No, not everyone is going to like you. No, not everyone is going to do business with you. Some relationships will not work. But that doesn’t mean that you give up on people! Quit complaining and go get after it. Got knocked off the horse? Get back up on the dang thing again! What do you think this is? HR? The post office? Retail? We are not here to be soft. We are here to win. Period. To win for ourselves. To win for our families. To win for our companies. To beat out the competition. To wipe them off the face of the earth once and for all. Amen.
Now, go get people.