What kind of sales results are you or your company producing? Just enough to get by? Not the worst, not the best? Or are you excelling and at the top of the game, month in and month out? Excellence starts with the decision that Average IS NOT Acceptable.
This article specifically deals with direct selling and direct selling systems (direct selling sales funnels). If you found your way here while looking for web-based sales funnels please click here for the hands-down, definitive web-based sales funnel solution.
Average is safe. You won’t receive a lot of pats on the back, but you probably won’t get fired either. Over time, you begin to feel as though you are doing well if you can simply produce average sales results. When that happens, you are nearly blinded to the skills, rewards, and emotions associated with excellence. This not only applies to an individual, but to an entire company.
I shouldn’t need to say it… You can’t let that happen to your attitude. If you are producing average sales results, whether as an individual, a sales manager, or the entire company, you know exactly what I am talking about. The solution is to demand excellence of yourself and foster an environment where excellence is the prevailing attitude.
You must demand excellence of yourself, your management, your sales team, or your company. Excellence is as contagious as average. Which would you rather have?
Bold statement? It can be easily proven.
Successful direct sales teams all have a few things in common. It’s not magic, better salespeople, more advertising money, luck, or some other mysterious quality. They have a direct selling system that:
- Contains all the necessary elements to close a sale
- Is trainable and repeatable
- Monitors individual results and retrains as necessary
- Is looked upon with reverence among the participants
- Has performance standards that demand excellence
- Everyone has trust and confidence in the selling system
This isn’t a complete list and doesn’t begin to capture the spirit and attitude of those involved with its success. In a sense, the underpinning is ownership. Everyone holds everyone else accountable. Everyone “owns” the responsibility for their role in the system. No free lunches, no free rides. And what’s most interesting is that this is a part of the culture of the organization, the sales team, and the individual. You can’t see it in a book on closing sales, you can’t accurately describe it as motivation or excitement, and you can’t completely understand it looking in from the outside. If you notice it at all you wish you knew what it was – that is, if you are an average performer. Prima Donnas, know-it-alls, and those that consider themselves a “natural” salesperson will distrust it and denigrate it.
And therein lies the conundrum.
There are too few Prima Donnas, know-it-alls, and those that consider themselves a “natural” salesperson to build your company to the level that you want. Your company’s expansion ends up at the whim of a handful of salespeople. If you try to train people with limited sales experience those new people are subjected to the concepts and behaviors of the Prima Donnas, know-it-alls, and those that consider themselves a “natural” salesperson. If you are still reading this far into the article, you know how both of these options have worked out for you already.
So, what’s the solution? It’s simple really. You only need a direct selling system that produces predictable results, day in and day out. It has all of the elements listed above, breeds the quality of excellence I discuss here, and becomes a nearly self-replicating behemoth. The choice is yours. You can have a future that mirrors your past, or you can have a future that delivers your dreams. Which would you rather have?
In order to prove that excellence can be achieved as easily as average performance, we need to separate fact from fiction.
One of the biggest myths that permeate an under-performing sales team is the belief that the best salespeople were born great. Some salespeople claim that they are a natural, could sell matches in hell, and on and on. Onlookers and listeners sometimes believe their gloating. When, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. It may be that the “best” salesperson never received any formal sales training, maybe never finished high school, or never pays attention to the sales manager’s advice. That doesn’t mean that he or she was born great. It does mean that something in his or her life experience helped solidify characteristics that have proven helpful in closing sales. What that person has can’t be taught to others. Those life experiences can’t be given to others, in the same way, that they were originally received. Holding this myth and failing to train with a predictable selling system will prevent the entire sales team from achieving excellence.
Another myth is the belief that there are different types of prospects. For example, some believe that you have to “pitch” a doctor differently than a construction foreman or salon owner (there are dozens of these comparisons). When, in fact, the elements of closing the sale are exactly the same. You may need to talk about somewhat different things based upon the life experiences of the prospect, but that’s true about every prospect. No two construction foremen or salon owners have the same life experiences and are different from one to the other. So, the only difference is in your head, not with the prospect. Changing one’s beliefs and being willing to learn is the cornerstone of successful salespeople that are marked by excellence. Considering that you can’t close a this or a that is the path to average. Every experience should be a learning experience.
There are countless other myths that raise their head from time to time and infect your sales team. If they infect your sales management or you be prepared for average results. Sales management, fellow salespeople, and the selling system itself should help banish myths as they arrive, and hammer them out of existence when they persist for even a small amount of time.
Belief is your number one enemy… or your closest friend. A selling system marked by excellence is not words on pieces of paper, training manuals, cool-looking samples, or the right kind of leads. It is a powerful, workable system combined with the beliefs and attitudes of everyone involved.