What’s Stopping You from Selling Like You?

I noticed a long time ago that I was a different salesperson after I hit my quota. I was in a better mood and much more fun to be around. Once the weight of that responsibility was gone, I was more myself. I was more creative, I took a few more risks, and I sold more

That's when I realized that I had it backward.

If I was a better salesman after I hit my number, then why couldn’t I just be that salesperson all the time, and sell even more? Turns out I could, and I did. Life is a lot more enjoyable now.

You don't need to be or act like anyone else in order to be an effective salesperson. In fact, the most effective seller you can be is you.

So, what’s stopping you? Pressure to hit an artificial revenue target? Meetings? Memos? Online HR modules? Call logs? CRM data entry? The list goes on, but I don't need to go any further. I'm sure you can fill in the blanks from here. All of this stuff is supposed to be helpful, but instead, it often feels as if it gets in your way.

But it doesn’t have to get in your way. The best way to get back to selling like you is to remember your fundamentals.

Ask yourself:

  1. At the most basic level, what do I need to do to continue to grow my business?

  2. What am I doing that probably isn't as productive or necessary as it feels like it is?

  3. If it's not absolutely necessary, does it need to be done?

In the most basic functions of a sales role, you need to know what problems you solve, who you solve them for, and you need to be able to communicate that. You need to then put yourself in front of people who can say "yes" and communicate/deliver that value. 

So, let's start there. What do you need in order to do that? Simple communication tools like a phone, an email address, and maybe knuckles to knock on a few doors.

So, is the rest just fluff?

Not exactly...

That CRM system that you hate to enter data into? It helps to keep you organized because when you're performing at your best, your memory alone won't work. A simple spreadsheet can do the trick, depending on what you need to keep track of, but we're way beyond a pen and a yellow legal pad at this point, right? Whatever system you use enables you to sell more, if you use it correctly.

Got a manager who wants to see your call/activity reports? Yep, it's a bummer to feel like someone's looking over your shoulder all the time, but if I'm being honest with myself, I was always a more effective seller with an additional level of accountability. You are too.

Other digital tools like software, apps, and social media? When you look in the mirror, you have to admit it, they're probably not necessary. If they're used correctly though, they can be very helpful. The key here is to use them effectively without making them a crutch.

Here's my point... Everything you feel like you have to do was given to you for a reason, but when you get stuck on the idea that you have to do it, you forget why you'd want to do it. Every single one of those tools was created and/or purchased to enable you to sell more. Instead, they become overwhelming, getting in your way more often than clearing a path.

Don't let your task list get in the way of your primary responsibility. "Priorities" is an oxymoron. Hit the reset button, and work from the ground up. Remember that you are a great salesperson and that the essential tools will make you even better.

Almost serendipitously, an article in Fast Company came through my Twitter feed recently (ironically suggesting that I should spend less time on Twitter). I think it's perfectly on topic, and worth sharing with you here. Give it a read and tell me what you think.