During a recent personal coaching session a high-level salesperson summarized the challenges she was experiencing. It all had to do with change. She was troubled with accepting some of the new realities of her industry and marketplace. In addition, she was less than enamored “with all of the new shiny objects” (and sales training) she was being asked to assimilate by her manager and the company she represents.
I asked her, “What’s your relationship with change?”
She went silent for a moment. Then she replied, (I’m paraphrasing) “I don’t know. I’ve never been asked that question before. I guess my relationship with change is kind of crappy.”
I had to giggle as I acknowledged her honesty and we started the process of breaking down her chain of thought. We began with the changes in her industry and her target market, and then we talked through the changes inside of her organization. In just under 45-minutes we were able to re-direct both her attitude about change and also give her three definite steps she could take to take control of her scenario, versus allowing all of the CHANGE around her to smother her.
A few key questions to begin with:
Do you have the ability to CHANGE and adapt in response to the CHANGE in your industry, the marketplace and your competitor(s)?
Are you able to adjust your thought processes, methods, practices and strategies in pursuit of your target client?
If not, now more than ever, you’re going to have to figure out how to do all of this. Allow me (in this short article) to offer you three definite steps that you can take that will serve you very well in your changing business landscape.
- Adjust your mindset—adapt to changes NOW
One of the things I see often (and it makes me cringe) is a great resistance to change on the part of a salesperson or entrepreneur. I witness a lot of grouchiness and time and energy wasted discussing what is changing and how uncomfortable all the changes are. Then, when others (their internal and external competitors) have adapted to the change and are kicking ass, the salesperson wakes up and say’s, “Shoot, things suck for me…I gotta’ DO something—fast!”
On this very subject, here’s a link to a podcast that I recently recorded with a great sales pro, Chad Schneider. Chad and I discussed how a veteran salesperson can easily fall into this trap and how they can, and should, place some of their efforts into reinvention.
You shouldn’t wait until things get really bad (or go wrong) before you adapt to the shifting sands around you. Instead, you should develop the mindset that you’ll be an early adopter of new best practices and take control of the change versus letting stuff just happen to you that winds up derailing you from your intended income stream.
- Identify OPPORTUNITIES to enact change
If you think about it, when we are in a crisis mode, we are being PUSHED into some sort of change. It’s uncomfortable, unwanted and usually very inconvenient. (Nobody likes to be pushed!)
Conversely, if we are able to identify an opportunity to make a positive change or adjustment to our market, strategies or methods, we’re actually being PULLED. The decision to identify what’s really happening in our industry or the marketplace we work in, and a willingness to make change PULLS us naturally and organically in the right direction.
Make a COMMITMENT to identify compelling opportunities to make change or modify a strategy you’re using!
- Use RESISTANCE as a catalyst for change
Another phenomenon we often see in sales is when a newer or struggling salesperson retreats from activity (and productive forms of data analysis) when their message is met with resistance in the marketplace. Instead of shrinking away from a little resistance (from your target prospect) we want you to EMBRACE the opposition and use it as a catalyst for change.
The good news is that the changes we’re referring to may be very small. They may just be tweaks to:
- WHAT you’re saying
- HOW you’re saying it
- WHO you’re saying it to
- Or…how you’re THINKING about or responding to the resistance
The last bullet point is HUGE. Most salespeople don’t have a clue of which critical ATTITUDES they must adopt regarding rejection and/or failure as they are plodding along. We spend quite a bit of time on this subject in my fast selling book: The CAP-Equation – A Foolproof Formula for Unlimited Success in Sales I suggest you pick up a copy of this book if you have not had a chance to read it.
Resistance is actually a natural and essential part of your professional growth process. It gives you awesome feedback and data if you thoughtfully analyze that statistics. I will suggest that you EMBRACE the resistance you’ll surely receive. I urge you to look at the opposition as something positive and use it as a facilitator for any change you need to proactively make in response to your changing industry, market or competition.
Okay. Those are the three steps I’d like you to incorporate into your thought process and practices. I hope this blog article was beneficial to you. Whether it was or not, I LOVE comments!
Please give me a shout out below…an “atta’ boy” or “this sucked.” Also…if you know of somebody in sales or leadership that can use this, PLEASE SHARE it with them!
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Joe Buzzello is a nationally recognized expert on direct selling and sales leadership. He has built legacy sales teams and experienced unprecedented success in individual and business-to-business markets as well as the network marketing industry. Joe has held executive level positions for Fortune 500 companies, but he has never strayed far from the art and science of selling, which he loves. In early 2014, Joe began writing, speaking, and coaching through his platform, www.joebuzzello.com and The CAP Equation©. Please visit Joe at: http://www.CAPequation.com