There's Always Another Way

They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result. If you have consistent success with your routine, repetition is not insane at all. The problem is, most of you reading this cannot use the word “consistent” to describe your current sales approach. The reality is, you need a blend of consistency and creativity to succeed in sales.

How creative are you? How effectively do you improvise? 

Do you take a pragmatic approach to selling, and try to find things that will work in new situations, or are you simply trying to "stick to the manual" while remaining unsuccessful? There just aren't enough professional salespeople out there who take their careers seriously enough to be open to really digging in and finding something new that works.

My podcast partner Christie Walters said something that really resonated with me, as well as this theme. "Life can make us tend to drift, but you don't always drift in a positive direction. If you want to change course, you have to make a conscious effort."

The techniques and processes that made you successful in the past may not be so effective anymore. It would be foolish to put your head down and keep using them in futility, but you also can't afford to be looking for something new so often that you never commit to anything.

You have to go back to the drawing board, but not with a completely blank slate. You have to think.

What was it about your former approach that worked? What were the underlying fundamentals that made you successful? Those fundamentals are still, and always will be, effective. They may need to be applied differently though, and that could be where you're stuck.

(Need a refresher on commonly missed fundamentals? Check out my eBook The Five Forgotten Fundamentals of Prospecting.)

Now comes the fun part. Apply those fundamentals in a new, creative way. Can't get through to the decision maker on the phone? Sure, you can try to get their attention on Twitter, that seems pretty new school. You may also try and go the other route and send them old-fashioned snail mail. My dad still sends birthday cards in the mail to the kids because "everybody likes getting mail." While the axiom can be argued, there's certainly a benefit in the novelty of it. Not everybody checks the mailbox every day, but a message delivered by courier or sent in an overnight envelope—even though you're right across town—will garner a lot more attention. I've done it, and it works. Don't think about the cost of the shipping, consider the value of the opportunity! What's the opportunity cost of you pounding your head against the wall in frustration?

What’s a new approach you could try? A video email? A visit to the mailroom of your prospect’s office? Frequent testing and experimentation is the key.

Try something new. Learn something new.