Becoming a great salesperson is very similar to becoming a great bodybuilder. They both involve discipline, routine, goals, and hard work. This is a disclosure: I am, in no way, qualified to talk about health and fitness, but I am going to do my best all the same. If you know me or see me, it will be no surprise that my physique is nothing beyond ordinary. I don’t hold a gym membership, read fitness magazines, or intimidate anyone with my stature. However, we all have some general knowledge about fitness that we can create some useful parallels regarding your sales skills to have a new perspective on your opportunities. So, if I happen to misspeak on the topic of actual fitness, just smile and relax; your world is still safe. This written series will explore the different ways that you can build your sales muscles so that you can develop a routine in the same manner that you would achieve an actual fitness goal.
What are sales muscles? Your physical body has more than 600 muscles and each one has its own specific role. Some muscles are operated more deliberately than others. Some are bigger than others and we focus on certain muscles more than others, but each one is important all the same. Your sales skills are the muscles of your sales body and the descriptions above are just as true for your sales muscles. To be a great salesperson you must have multiple skills. Some come naturally while others require development. Some sales skills get neglected over time (*cough, prospecting, cough*) and need to get pumped back up. Some of us have tremendous and crucial sales skills, such as closing deals, that flex like massive biceps as we clobber opportunities with a crushing force. Other skills can be a bit like cardio such as working on our personal sales brand and reputation.
All of these sales muscles operate very differently from one another and when you don’t have a well-balanced sales fitness program, certain muscle groups begin to suffer and we see it surface in our performance. Pipelines dry up, deals get stuck in limbo, competitors attract our customers away, and we fall back on pricing as our only competitive advantage. But, we stick with the same old workout routine because, well, we’re salespeople. That’s what we do. Sometimes we let ourselves get so out of shape that we don’t even want to consider going back to the sales gym to work on the essential skills. Sometimes it feels like starting over and starting over is hard. But, it doesn’t have to be this way.
If reading this begins to make you feel like perhaps your sales skills are a bit out of shape, then that’s a strong signal that they are. There is a way to get back into shape and, just like your personal fitness, it all starts with an assessment, goals, and plans. In this series, we will lay out great ideas to help put your plan together in sensible steps instead of tossing you out onto the gym floor alone and embarrassed. Allow us to be your personal sales fitness trainer so that together we can build a terrific and successful sales body that you will be proud of.