Fiction Can Be Fun

We might not all be great fiction writers but we certainly have the capacity to make up many stories, in our heads, of events that haven’t happened yet.

We can create some amazing stories on where things might go with a particular situation, what other people do or think, and what happens next based on that.

We spend sleepless nights working through the scenarios. But in our “choose your own adventure” story, how many times does it really come true? How many times do we get the outcome we’ve spent time worrying about?

We get sucked into these rabbit holes for many reasons but one critical factor we often miss is the gap in information.

We fail to ask questions to inform us. The questions might be too difficult or awkward so we avoid them.

Instead of knowing the answers upfront, we defer to waiting, hoping, and fantasizing.

We go into story mode.

That’s easier than the alternative. But harder on us, mentally.

Remove the worrying. Remove the doubt. Remove the 20 questions inside our heads.

Ask that upfront. Be direct. Be transparent.

Whatever is going to happen is going to happen anyway.

Instead of waiting until the cliffhanger at the end of this story, we might as well change the narrative starting out.

Maybe we can create a whole new story out of it.

This time, one that is non-fiction.

Fiction Can Be Fun2022-05-06T20:40:56-04:00

The Evolution of the Modern Day Sales Professional

Directness

You don’t need me to tell you this but this is a TON of information out there on the sales profession and a million different opinions on what you should do and how you should do it. From prospecting new clients to navigating the sales cycle, to follow-ups and referrals, it’s borderline exhausting. It’s a big topic, I get it. But it can also be confusing for a lot of the new people that are trying to sell products whether you are “carrying your own bag” for an organization, are running your own business, or are pitching investors and gaining proof-of-concept in a start-up. I think there is an easier way.

I want to strip that all away for a moment and focus on the key characteristics that I feel are essential across the board for any sales professional to succeed. I’ve seen it first hand and it’s not complicated. It’s just logical and takes time to refine and sharpen. However, if you put the time into each and every one of these I am confident that you’ll be able to reach new heights in your career and start to understand the relationship element that is so vital in any partnership.

We are in a new era of sales with much more information out there for the buyer, and frankly, a much savvier buyer which I love. The reason I love it is because human interaction and relationships matter again. Honesty matters. Integrity matters. Respect matters.

I don’t think these things ever went away but a lot of software products were ahead of their time before the client could actually form an opinion and do thorough due diligence. Now, with much more information at their fingertips and the curve from innovators moving to the early and late majority there is more of a level playing field and buyers are back in control.

Times are changing and I feel this new age of sales is going to weed out a lot of those sales professionals that stick with the old way of doing it and fail to make the shift. You are going to have to have true empathy, you are going to actually put the client first, you are going to be professional and brutally honest in your responses when you can do something and when you can’t.

I think the hardest part about sales is all of the BS and bad habits people have learned for years that they try to wedge, fit, or shimmy into an already broken process. They drive to regurgitate what they learned in a book 10 years ago. It doesn’t work that way anymore. People are too smart. That all changes today.

I don’t have all the answers, far from it, but what I do feel I have uncovered is a clear path that new and old sales professionals alike can be cognizant of and continue to build on as they develop their “in-game’ skills. These are not tricks and tactics but the characteristics that will be paramount to future success. None of these should be a surprise but I hope they make you think a bit more about how you project yourself in your business dealings and where you can find areas to improve.

Here are the main areas I am going to focus on:

  • Patience
  • Empathy
  • Candor
  • Humility
  • Consistency
  • Persistence
  • Punctuality
  • Respect

Over the next 8-part series I’ll break into each of these areas, share some personal stories, and hopefully get you to focus inward on self-awareness and how we can improve in all of these areas. Like a video game, we all have different levels of each of these, and some rank higher in certain areas than others. I expect you to be strong in some and weak in others. What is important is that we know we can improve in all of these areas and my goal is to get you to think differently about each and every one of these and how it applies toward working through partnerships in your sales career going forward.

Stay tuned and thanks for reading!

Carpe Diem,

Brian

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The Evolution of the Modern Day Sales Professional2021-03-19T10:43:06-04:00
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