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If Sales Were Easy, We'd All Be Millionaires

Sales is easy to get into…. but tough to master.

And relying on instinct and assumptions of how to sell won’t take you far. My first sales gig back in my early 20’s was 100% commission. Needless to say, I starved.

Even with a great product, my enthusiasm wasn’t enough.

I only had so many tricks in my toolbox. And prospecting? Zero strategy really.

Let's just say we started with the letter 'A' in the 'yellow pages'. Everyone and anyone went into my sales funnel.

As a national buyer for a major department store in the next stage of my career, I saw countless salespeople’s pitches completely miss the mark. I could see my own early mistakes and got a quick hands-on tutorial of 'what not to do'. Some salespeople were either too persistant and annoying and some wanted my business so badly, I could practically see the desperation on their faces.

The ones I did business with?

The ones that offered tailored solutions I wasn’t aware I even needed. The ones that offered something new. Something that gave me the 'edge'. No 'one size fits all'.

I did a lot of business with salespeople that represented organizations that also wanted to get to know me and understand how to best serve me - and went above and beyond. These became strategic relationships. Bottom line, I did biz with the ones I knew instinctively was not just about the product I wanted but a company I wanted to align with, that's how damn good they were.

And one of the biggest swing factors to getting the biz? Mitigating my risk and exposure.

Not putting my own company at any risk (or my job for that matter) was a massive win. The ones that made the deal so sweet, they even took away or minimized any potential losses or dissatisfaction.

Put your money where your mouth is.

Be so good, it's almost foolish to say no to you.

Transitioning from buying to selling mid-career, I took that buying knowledge with me. And that was a huge advantage in my sales career and eventually in my sales leadership roles leading other sales professionals. Sitting on the other side of the fence with my buyer experience under my belt made me a force in revenue generation.

But one of the biggest assets in my arsenal was the level of ongoing sales training and learning. I had the privilege of receiving an abundance of top-notch sales training from the best organizations in the world (Check out Gartner The Challenger Sale collection of trainings for one). I was able to certify my expertise and all the continued up-skilling took my sales acumen and success to a whole new level.

The biggest takeaway I learned was that you can't have new sales methodologies without first looking at the shifts and changes to buyer behaviours.

New buying trends calls for new sales learning.

Coming full circle in recent years, I taught B2B sales for a college's Business Degree Program. It underscored that validity and need for proper sales training. I was taken by the observation that nearly everyone who starts out in sales has the same assumptions of how to sell. "Look at my product, you should buy it, see how many shiny colors it comes in?... and here's a special price just for you... if you buy today....wink wink."

Basic sales skills won't cut it.

Be savvy at sales. The only way to do that is to expand your sales knowledge.

Stay current with new buying behaviours.

Then make your offer and your sales approach so good, you won't have to 'sell'.


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