Start With a Serious Self Audit

One of the best exercises you can do to clear your path towards sales success is to assess where you are getting in your own way.  I’ve found that in my own career and in those of many I consult with, that there is a lot of time spent “in our own heads.”  We have fears about people and situations that we’ve carried from earlier experiences.  It’s time to take a fearless look at those interactions – face them head on and tell them to “bug off!”  I’m certainly not the first one to bring this up but I will tell you right now that there is not a path to sales success without confronting your “stuff.”

Ask Yourself and Others for Feedback

What this boils down to for most of us is that we need to start by being our own best “coach” or by reaching out to a trusted adviser and being “coach-able.”  Strip away your fear of being made to feel wrong.  Get rid of the pit in your stomach that starts when you think you are not good enough.  By taking an honest look at yourself and your fears you can then start to absorb the feedback from yourself and others that will help you improve your sales career.  A simple technique to begin with is to “interview” a few of your clients.  Begin by asking two simple questions.

  • “What do you feel I do well?”
  • “Where do feel I could improve?”

It’s crucial that you listen without a judgmental attitude.  I’d also recommend taking notes.  Nothing shows you care more than actually writing down the guidance you are getting from another person.  When you start to feel confrontational or scared push that aside as if you were mentally swatting away a fly.  When the conversation starts to dwindle with your client simply ask “is there anything else you’d like to add?”  I guarantee you that this will provide you with two surprises.

First, you are way tougher on yourself than those you sell to.  What’s the message you can get from this?  The fear you have about selling to your clients is a lot bigger in your head than it is in theirs.

Second, I’ll bet you thought you were going to get beat up by your client didn’t you?  What you probably got was a few friendly reminders and suggestions.  Did you hear…

  • “Could you be on time to appointments?”
  • “Would you return my calls the same day?”
  • “Can you get my invoices to me faster?”

Here’s Some Homework

That wasn’t so bad was it?  I’ll bet you’ll find that this will be a technique you use on an regular basis with your clients.  What better way can you think of to let them know you are truly interested in their business.  So here’s your homework.  Open up your favorite calender device (Outlook, Google Calendar, your datebook) and schedule one of these interviews in for next week.  Why not send it out as in online invitation to your favorite client.  Feel free to add the questions in the invitation so your client can start to percolate on them before you meet.

Enjoy the interview process and remember to be open and “coach-able.”  You and your clients will begin to see positive results immediately.

Happy Selling!