- Call reluctance
- Lack of motivation/action
- Good month/bad month production
- Lack of ownership/professionalism in their work
- (And here's the biggie that can bring down the house) Lack of enthusiasm for their work
Many salespeople let their production (the destination) dictate their job satisfaction instead of letting their daily activities (the journey) provide them with the purpose and fulfillment they seek. It's a trap that causes inconsistent production, sporadic motivation, and in the end—burnout!
So what's the solution for creating a long-term, successful sales career?
Answer: LIVE YOUR BLISS!
Your bliss is that activity or experience that when doing it, you feel truly alive. Time slows down, and you find real meaning and purpose in what you are doing. When you find your bliss and incorporate it into the practice of your work, you've just discovered the secret to passion and high performance. Everyone has his or her personal bliss that excites and motivates him or her. When we are engaged in these activities, we find it easy to commit to the practice. Discipline and willpower are not a struggle because we love what we are doing.
Are there actual salespeople who live their bliss and excel in the sales profession? Yes, they are called "Specialists."
The generalists are the majority; they do what most others do and get similar results. Of the 80/20 rule, they make up the 80% who produce the 20%. When the market for the generalists' products or services is not in high demand, they tend to experience a drop-off in production, which in turn can cause stress, and if it lasts too long—they may be forced to exit the company or industry all together.
Specialists have developed creative approaches to their professions. Specialists enjoy top-of-mind awareness, are the highest-paid salespeople in the world, and exhibit natural passions for their work. When we encounter a person who is passionate about the part he or she plays in his or her work, we are witnessing vocation excellence. Think about it: enthusiasm is contagious, and in a time of similar pricing and products, enthusiasm often makes the difference.
Want to experience a dramatic shift in your passion and performance? Try these tips:
Tip One: (Find your bliss) Utilize the 20-10-5 rule.
Twenty—List 20 things you love to do and gain enjoyment from.
Is it baking, golfing, smoking cigars, swimming, fantasy sports, coaching, public speaking, sailing, technology, running, lifting weights, bowling, pottery, event planning (you party hound!), skiing, gardening/harvesting, playing music, wine tasting, dancing, yoga, etc.? We can add to this list ad infinitum.
Ten—Choose the top 10 that fit the following criteria:
- Could these activities be incorporated into the practice of my selling activities (prospecting, presenting, closing, follow-up, client retention, etc.) and have a positive impact on production?
- Could I see myself doing it week in and week out with enjoyment? Said another way, could I find it easy to commit to the practice and make it my specialty?
- One salesperson loved to cook and bake, so she put her bliss to work and would bake treats of all kinds and deliver them to prospective offices in need of her company's services. As an add-on bonus, she would give prospective clients some helpful hints on cooking/baking, free of charge.
- Another salesperson loved to exercise. A self-proclaimed gym rat, she used her joy of working out to share nutritional information with and even train many of her prospects and later clients, a few times a month, as a free add-on service to her core business product.
- One guy incorporated public speaking into his prospecting activities and found various forums to speak at on behalf of his industry as well as his products/services. In a very short time, he built credibility and a large book of business because of his bliss.
- A golf enthusiast helped his clients with their golf swing.
- Etc., etc., etc...ad finitum.
Five—Narrow the list to the top five that you most love to do and start enjoying your work! The key: get creative!
Tip Two: Declare yourself a specialist.
Using one or more of your top five, develop a creative brand message and deliver it effectively.
E.g.: The Technology Lady of the _____ industry or The Friendly Fisherman for your financial peace of mind.
Tip Three: Commit to the "musts" of your job.
Company requirements such as attendance at all meetings, completed paperwork turned in on time, parking in designated employee parking, etc. are examples of the "musts." The professional salesperson is the one who complies with the requirements of his or her employer. Prima donnas abound in the sales profession. Don't be one of them. Selling is one of the most time flexible professions available—this is good news and a major benefit of this vocation. In a 40-hour week, it's possible that your musts may only require 5 to 10 hours of your time, leaving 30 hours or more to "live your bliss."
- Utilize the 20-10-5 rule.
- Declare yourself a specialist.
- Commit to the "musts" of your job.
About the Author
Steve McCann is a speaker, trainer and consultant. He is founder of McCann Research Corporation, a unique company that helps individuals make change simple. He speaks to more than 80 audiences per year in the areas of change, empowerment, and sales motivation. For more information on his speaking programs or consulting, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.