You know what’s funny? The same excuses prospects give to sales reps on why they can’t buy towards the end of the year…
- Too busy
- Head down focused
- We’ll start fresh next year
…are the exact same excuses I’m hearing from sales teams when asked if they are continuing to learn and sharpen their skills.
Status Quo can be an ugly thing sometimes. Maybe the exact things that got you where you are (potentially behind your goal) are not going to magically help you when the pressure is on.
Enter the New England Patriots.
I wasn’t in the locker room at halftime of the Super Bowl or eavesdropping on sideline huddles but I can assure you the same things the Patriots did in the first 3 quarters to be down by an avalanche of points to the Falcons are not the same things that propelled them to victory. They game planned on the fly. They learned quickly from their mistakes. They took what the other team was giving them and strategized a winning outcome. They didn’t let their egos of “thinking they knew it all” come into play. They stayed focused on the end goal and pulled out all the stops to achieve it.
Why is this so relevant? Learning and adapting are hard for most folks. We are creatures of habit. But pushing something important off until “next year” or “until we close out the quarter” is a BS excuse. You must always be “sharpening the saw”. You must always be trying to improve.
Here are a couple easy things you can do by yourself or with your team right away…Make these MUSTS weekly. You can carve out 30-minutes somewhere on your schedule. I know it.
Action: Team up with another Rep. Record one voicemail and / or client call and listen back to it with them. Then switch. You can easily do this with the microphone on your phone.
Result: Having another Rep provide constructive feedback can help identify bad patterns, poor tonality, or even unprofessional slang you didn’t realize was happening. Building your self-awareness is extremely vital to improving your sales skills.
Action: Role play with another Rep on things you might be uncomfortable with. Prospecting a client, budget discussions, a top objection. Anything. You each play the role of the client and play an Easy, Medium, Hard scenario to get a feel for different scenarios.
Result: By practicing these beforehand it allows you to be more prepared and stay calm when these come up at game speed. That confidence shows in your voice and could help you articulate a better response.
Listen, I just rattled a few ideas off that have worked for myself and you may come up with your own that you find fun and valuable. The point is simple. Never stop practicing. Never think you know it all. Be vulnerable to feedback. All of this will reflect in your confidence and delivery on calls. More importantly, it’ll reflect more positively in your bank account.
What’s the best game or practice you’ve done with your team?