Sales leaders continually ask me what sales process I believe to be the most effective. They ask me which sales methodologies I believe to be valid, and more importantly, which ones I believe to be worthless (or plain wrong). More and more, I am asked if I have seen this new research or that new discovery.
Here’s the thing: all sales processes and methodologies will make you more effective–if you execute them well. All research provides a small glimmer of some small truth, some answer to some question the researcher asked.
But much of what matters most can’t be measured. It isn’t easily captured in a process or methodology.
Most of what matters most when it comes to your success can’t be measured. It can’t be captured on a spreadsheet. So it is easy to try to focus on things that we count, like activities. In sales, we adopt methodologies and processes in an attempt to capture what works, even though they make no attempt to capture what matters most and can’t be captured.
What Matters Most
What is your process for creating the kind of trust that allows your dream client to move forward with a multimillion dollar deal in spite of the inherit risk? What is your trust-creation methodology? Trust is made up of believing that someone cares about you, that you can count on them. What is your methodology for proving you care?
How about rapport? What is your process for building the kind of rapport with people that allows them to open up and share with you? What’s your methodology for creating the kind of relationship that puts people at ease and allows them to be vulnerable enough to share their real challenges with you? What’s your process for being likable?
Your intentions matter. What is motivating you? Do you have a process for ensuring you have the right intentions? Is there any doubt that other people can feel what your intentions are–even when they are unspoken? Think back on a time when a bad salesperson tried to get you to buy something because they needed to sell it more than you wanted to buy it (If you’ve never had this experience, you will!).
You can’t measure influence. You can’t measure leadership. You can’t measure caring. You can’t measure intentions. But no one in their right mind would argue that things like influence, leadership, caring, intention, rapport, and trust don’t matter.
Who Are You?
“Who you are” matters more than “what you do.”
This week I started to share some of my ideas on how you can embed some of this soft stuff in your sales game. There are some things you can do to create rapport, to create more value, to prove you care, to prove you are accountable.
Your mission this week, should you choose to accept it, is to focus on deciding who you need to be to reach your goals. What kind of person does someone need to be for you to consider them a trusted advisor? Who do you have to be to be that for others?