Welcome to MondayI was listening in on a sales team conversation. They were setting very low expectations for the month of March. Here in Victoria we have three four day weeks out of four and a lot of people seem to be on holidays.This got me thinking about the results this team were setting themselves up for.Sun Tzu, Buddha, Jesus, Henry Ford, Greek philosophers and many others all recognise one important human characteristic. “If you think you can do a thing, or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right”Mental BlocksI learned to swim on holidays at the beach while growing up in Korea. As a part of the swimming program I was required to do a series of dives. While attempting to do a backwards dive I hurt myself. In retrospect it was probably not a serious injury, however, it placed a mental block in my brain. Even today, almost 50 years later, there is no way I can do a backward dive without this incident rushing into my mind and creating fear.While the ability to do a backwards dive is not so important, my brain continues to put up blocks for other more important activities. In fact, psychologists tell us the brain is very good at finding and remembering reasons not to do something.Deliberate plans are required to overcome the blocks our brain puts in place.Setting PrioritiesEarly in my sales career I was competing for a major ERP systems implementation and software development job.We had moved from a long list to a short list to being one of two organisations being considered. The decision date was looming and it was obvious we were in position two – not a nice place to be with the decision being made on Friday! We knew we were not the ideal fit, however, we had proposed some innovative modifications they liked.Gerry and I decided to make one last pitch. We got in front of the decision maker and did everything we could to budge him! His mind was made up. He was ready to sign with our competitor.I knew the sales person from the winning company very well. I called up Bill to congratulate him. You could feel the excitement coming over the telephone line.”Are you going to get the contracts signed today?” I asked.”No,” he said, “I have made an appointment for Tuesday morning so I can get away for the long weekend”.Those words came back to me like when I read the business section of the paper on Tuesday morning. Over the weekend a Japanese company had put in a takeover bid which the board were likely to accept.
The First Law of Professional Selling
“When there is a deal to be closed stop all other activities to finalise the deal”It never ceases to amaze me so many people just do not get it. When a deal or opportunity is there to be closed do not hesitate – close it!If Bill had gone out that day he would have had a signed contract, a fat commission check and his company would have a big deal. He had ignored the first law of a professional sales person and lost.What you accomplish this week is up to you. There may be some things which are genuinely out of your control. If you do not think it is possible, however, you probably will not ask, and if you don’t ask the opportunity might just go away.Today’s question and actionsThe moment you give up is the moment you let someone else win. If you’re in business or sales the very first question you must ask each morning is’What deals or opportunities are there that can or need to be closed today?’Extend this to everything you do by asking the question ‘Is this activity going to help me achieve my goals today, this week, or this month?’The answer to these questions will help determine the priority of all other activities for the day.Have a great week!March 25th 2013By Gregory Ferrett