Category Archives: Career Tips
Successful people are not casual about the things that must be done. They work hard, and smart, and focused to achieve what they want.
This is my biggest takeaway from the seminar Hyper Sales Growth with Jack Daly. Success doesn’t happen because of luck and well intentions alone, it is driven by obsessive learning and relentless executions. Successful people and organizations don’t just wing it, they have vision, allies, plans, purpose, and grit to make things happen.
1. Don’t Just Wing it. Have Vision.
Whatever you want to achieve in life, you need to have a clear vision of it. You need to imagine how everything looks like once all is in order. Your vision will serve as your compass and guide in decision making. Without this, you risk getting distracted by anything that catches your attention.
2. Don’t Just Wing it. Find Allies.
After having a clear vision for your goals, find the best people (and equip them with the resources and motivations) to help you make your vision a reality.
3. Don’t Just Wing it. Be Purposeful with Your Team Culture.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your team culture will take care of itself. If you do not actively shape the way your team interacts with one another and with external stakeholders, then someone else will. And it may not be how you envisioned it to be. A healthy team culture should have the following systems:
- Recognition System
- Communication System
- Personal and Professional Development System
- Empowerment System – In line with empowerment, each member of the team should be given the amount of authority needed to accomplish the amount of responsibility given to them. For example in an organization, sales people should be empowered to do the deal on their own. They shouldn’t have to go to management for approval on sales matters with clients.
4. Don’t Just Wing it. Create and Follow Your Playbook.
A playbook is a consolidation of your strategies and action plans on how to win. It’s a detailed map of how you will achieve your vision. Your allies should also know the playbook before you send them out to accomplish what you expect them to.
- People are different. Speak with them according to their personality styles.
- Your goals should be written, measured, evaluated, and reviewed. Only things that gets measured, gets done.
- Inspect what you expect, and have grit to pursue your goals. It takes 9 touches before your prospects know you exist. People usually stop after the 5th attempt.
4. Don’t Just Wing it. Build and Grow Your Sales Force.
- On Recruitment. It has always been a question among business owners how to motivate their sales team. The answer for this is that you hire them that way – self motivated! Other attributes that were highlighted are personal integrity, people skills, sense of urgency, discipline, and positive outlook.
- On Management. Sales people should have minimum standard performance that they need to achieve at the very least to be able to keep their job. This should be customized and negotiated per sales people to ensure that they have ownership when it comes to their targets.
With a good plan and disciplined follow through, luck would follow. That’s how you win. So don’t ever just wing it – it shows just how lazy you are if you do. Obsessive learning, and relentless execution. Obsessive learning, and relentless execution.
See you around!
I have never been rejected so many times in my life than in my first 3 months in sales.
I took it personally. I got depressed and questioned my ability to be a sales professional – maybe it was my manner, or my appearance, or my inexperience, or my knowledge or lack thereof, or perhaps I just wasn’t built for this. It was a difficult time. Fortunately, my manager then gave me an audio book of Brian Tracy. It was probably the most helpful material on sales that I’ve listened to.
Now I’ve come to understand that rejection is part of the sales process – from cold calling to closing. Hence, I don’t take it personally anymore. In fact I now believe that the more “no” I get, the closer I get to my next “yes.”
But remember this: even if you get a no, don’t go believing that it is final. Rejections are usually not final – perhaps there isn’t a need yet, or there are more pressing issues at the moment, or the person is just busy and not in the mood to talk yet, or you came off as assuming but ignorant of their needs. Ask the person if you can check with him or her some other time and do so.
Let me know what happens.
Is it called cold calling because people are cold to you?
I can’t afford to stop, and catch my breath.
And so, I ran.
And ran some more.
Until, I tripped.
It has been an exhausting and stressful 3 months. I kept running after what-seemed-like a moving goal. It’s been frustrating, and my only reward is that I can go home with my family at the end of the day, and relax. But that, too, changed.
On Bringing Work Issues at Home
Since I still don’t have a close friend in the office, I don’t talk about my sentiments to anyone. As a result, I ended up bringing work-related concerns of mine during dinner at home:
I’m not reaching my quota. In fact, I’m nowhere near in reaching it because it is such an unrealistic and unfair goal.
I look young so people don’t take me that seriously.
I can’t make meaningful connection with my colleagues because their group is too exclusive.
Blah blah blah blah blah
My family called my attention for this behavior. I understood their concern, but I was hurt. I had no allies, none yet in the office, and none anymore at home,
No one to tell my worries and troubles.
On Making Friends at Work
I am usually a friendly person, but for some reason I am not myself in the office. And so I cannot make a meaningful connection with anyone. Though making friends in the office is not part of my work, having some can make the work place less daunting – especially during lunch time.
On Looking Young
I look like a twelve year old kid. And this can be a problem when I am meeting potential clients. They don’t see me as someone who mean business. Their initial concern is if they can speak with someone more senior. I hate it.
On Not Reaching My Quota
This is my ultimate stressor. On my first month, I only achieved 14% of my target, and then 19% on my 2nd month, and 78% now on my 3rd month. As a business development executive, this is my main key performance index.
It won’t matter that much if I look young, or have no friends at work, etc, as long as I am continuously delivering what I am expected of. But I am not. Hence, the multiple frustrations.
But this is not the story of a victim.
I refuse to be the victim of any circumstance.
To avoid needlessly disturbing or annoying anyone (family or not), I decided that if a person cannot do anything to help me with my problems, then I have no business telling my problems to him/her. Hustle.
It will be awkward and uncomfortable, but I guess the only way to make friends in the office is to try. Hustle.
As superficial as it sounds, I have to power dress and use make up to look the part. But more important than what I wear, is what I am aware of. Read. Read. Read. I must continuously learn the industry that I am in. Hustle.
Clearly my strategy is not enough, I have to pinpoint what works and what doesn’t, and then regroup. It is not enough that I work smart nor hard. I have to work hard and smart; there is no substitute at this moment. Hustle.
Because this is not the story of a victim, but that of a hustler.
One final word, don’t entertain the thought of quitting when things aren’t going your way or when situations are difficult. Only entertain such thoughts when everything is going well, because if you think of quitting when everything is fine, then you must be in a job you hate. But to quit when things are difficult (as it will often be) is not only shortsighted, but also detrimental to your maturity.
I absolutely dislike selling. I initially thought that not reaching your quota can be something out of your control no matter how hardworking, intelligent, and articulate you are.
But thinking about it deeply, I do like sales. I like meeting and discussing matters with people – especially those who are more experienced and mature than I am, because I have more to gain by listening to them. I like solving problems and ultimately being part of the solution. And more often than not, these are the things I have to do in sales. Hence, I do like sales.
Lessons I Learned after Entering the Sales Profession
- Everything counts. Anything you say or do is either moving you away or closer to the sale. Do not leave anything to chance.
- On General Reminders
- Visualize the meeting calmly and confidently before you go there. Visualize how you want it to go and end.
- Visualize your introduction and go to stories during networking events.
- Always dress for success. Look your best all the time because you never know when you will meet someone special.
- Ensure that you know what you want to get out of any conversation (cold calls, meetings, networking events, etc) and plan how you’ll get it.
- On prospecting
- Who is in charge of X? Make sure you’re talking with the person in charge. Delineate your prospects better to make sure that they are qualified before the initial meeting. This is to lessen opportunity costs of meeting them.Then, your next question should aim at what the person in charge wants.
- On closing
- Make a call to action if everything is understood and agreed upon. If not, get genuine feedback. You can try the following phrases: “Any questions? No. Well then, why don’t you give it a try? or the next steps are …” or “If you could just authorize this, then we can start right away.”
- You should have a USP
- Never be afraid to ask for what you want.
- On objection
- Make sure to get to the bottom of every objection. You can try the following phrases: “How do you mean exactly? or There seems to be a reason why you are hesitating, would you mind if I ask what is that? or What seems to be your concern?”
- Try to get all objections on the onset to lessen the back and forth discussion. You can try using the following phrases: “In addition to that, what else seems to be of concern to you, or Just suppose, I can get your request approve, are there other reasons?, or What would it take me to do to make you comfortable to go on ahead with our service?”
- On getting feedback
- Follow up is just as important as the initial proposal or the pitch. Do it. “You can try the following phrases: “Is this what you had in mind so far? or if ever you are going to try our service, what will be the key reason for you to try it? Last month, you decided to try our service, may I know why you did so?”
- On General Reminders
- Surround yourself with positive people. Spend time with people whom you want to be.
- Seek continuous learning and always stay up to date with current events across industries.
- Read/listen to audio book 1hr / day on selling/ self help books.
- Follow blogs and community on selling as a profession.
- Read 1hr / day on current events.
- You are always self-employed. Your service as sales professional is your own business. Hence, work doesn’t end after work hours, because you don’t stop being the owner of your own personal services business after work hours. Don’t feel bad for any “overtime work” as long as you are improving yourself.
- Manage your territory well. Set meetings that are in close proximity within each other. Cold calling should be geographically dependent to some extent.
- Know what you want, and resolve to pay the price for it in advance. Resolve to be the best, and do not give up until you have reached it.
- List your goals.
- List your reasons for why you need to close accounts.
- Plan your numbers and funnel (number of cold calls, meetings, new leads, and follow ups each day) – how will you achieve your sales target.
Do all this. Then make sure to never short sell yourself or your services. Always mean business.