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Fishy Salespeople? How to Finally Stop Handing Out FREE Fish to Your Sales People
By Jeff Hardesty, President, JDH Group, Inc.

Do you remember the good ole days when sales managers used to just sit back and wait for their salespeople to come into their offices and ask for help?

Do you remember the good ole days when sales managers used to just sit back and wait for their salespeople to come into their offices and ask for help?

Maybe they needed the old veteran to come in and nail down the close. Well, we all know you just can't do that any more. Sure, that would put a few more sales in the win column (in the short term). But in the long term what are you creating? Nothing but needy, dependent salespeople without an ounce of personal selling confidence.

Showing your people HOW to prospect, HOW to set appointments and HOW to close sales makes your job easier and everybody's paycheck fatter.

If that's the kind of vision you have for your sales team, then it's time to close down the all-you-can-eat fish-fry and open up the all-you-can-catch fishing school.

Wouldn't that be nice? You bet it would. AND profitable, too.

And so we've come to the reason for this article. You see, Self-Sustaining Salespeople are not found; they are developed. Sure, it still takes a certain style of person to succeed in this business, but once you find them, everything else can (and should) be taught. And it's all been broken down into an easy to follow step-by-step system.

But before we teach our future sales stars the secrets to prospecting and closing, we have to help them. HOW? We show them how to make the shift from just hitting their revenue goals to (with our inspiration) becoming Self-Sustained Business Professionals.

Did you notice I used the phrase "business" professional, not just "sales" professional?

That's because to be a superstar in sales, you have possess the proper insight and mindset about business.

That means having a keen insight into the details of your own business cycle, from pre-contact to revenue receipt, as well as an understanding of your prospect's world, and how it relates to their business objectives and what is important to them. Not you, but to them. You must understand how your prospects measure success.

Let me put that another way:

Sales Superstars must understand the business they are in. They must respect the business the prospect is in and they must recognize what the prospect values in that business.

To do that, Sales Professionals MUST become Business Professionals.

I've interviewed hundreds of sales people for every type of position. I found it funny that most candidates were quick to put down a "higher" level of achievement on their resume compared to their peers and the quota objective from prior sales positions.

However, when I asked them what their system and process are to achieve such "superior" results, most (amazingly) could not explain their results from a "business" level.

So, how do you do it? Inspire self-sustain business professionals?

I can tell you that just affirming the objective of executing to revenue is not enough to make it happen. Eavesdrop on any Monday morning sales meeting, and you will see that just about every Sales Manager has the same intention. They may not be "achieving" it, but is always their marching orders.

What those of us in Sales management really need to do is develop a customized Masters level curriculum in "Executing to Revenue" and "Becoming a Self-Sustained Business Professional."

To achieve that ideal, you need to indoctrinate every new sales employee to a system that develops a result-oriented plan, executes to proven tactics and manages the everyday conditions that tend to throw us off track.

Sound good. But can it really be done? And done quickly?

Well, the first step to becoming a self-sustained professional is running your business with critical metrics, processes and systems. Sounds a lot like the way an entrepreneurial business owner runs their enterprise, right?

In the Business of Core Competencies, I help sales individuals and management identify their essential components, and the performance metrics necessary for successful results.

We classify those metrics and discover how they are inter-related with each other and dynamic to preferred results. And by training specifically to these core competencies one at a time, we can control our destinies and routinely achieve our desired results.

You see, there are basically two kinds of people when it comes to results.

Those who point their index finger outward say it's not their fault things didn't turn out well. There were "conditional" reasons for their poor results. But, those who point their index finger inward evaluate what they could have done differently to avoid the negative outcome.

They know the difference between factors, which they can control and conditions, which are outside of their control. They seek out and modify routines and behaviors that are within their control, to improve efficiencies in gaining the required results.

So, ask yourself: Are you inspiring self-sustained professionals or management-sustained individuals?

Interesting question, isn't it?

Self sustained business professionals identify the essential elements and components that comprise your selling process. They realize how they affect your desired result dynamically, and make adjustments in routines and tactics to assure consistent results. No matter what month it is!

Now, here's a sure-fire method to identify self-sustained business professionals in your sales organization.

Evaluate the sales results for the month of December. Who was at or above quota? Realistically, December has only 13-15 selling days versus the normal 20-23 selling days in the rest of the calendar year.

December brings with it holidays, personal vacations, and general mental re-grouping for the new year. For most B-to-B selling individuals, if you don't have your number by mid-month or so, you might as well forget it.

But, if you understand your essential core competencies and performance metrics that lead you to desired results, you will customize a plan to achieve those results. You will start to execute to the plan prior to the holiday month, and your December revenue goal can be routinely met. And the same goes for a personal vacation month.

Makes sense doesn't it? Great! So, what are you waiting for? Go inspire those Self-Sustained business professionals on your team!



Jeff Hardesty is president of JDH Group Inc.( www.convertmoresales.com ), a sales performance training company based in Powell, Ohio. He can be reached at jeff@convertmoresales.com

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