I recently met with a company who hired me to train their sales force. Based on my track record, the CEO felt that a live Rock Star Sales Training session would inject a new culture of success, increase sales, improve ROI and turn things around very quickly.
But before I can even begin to design any specific training components for any business, my first priority is to diagnose any deficiencies that can be found in their existing sales process, and then implement the training needed.
Doctor Doctor, Give Me The News
Prior to my arrival I had the sales force prepare a list of whatever it was that they felt was preventing them from closing sales. While the owner of the company thought their recent ongoing struggles were strictly from a lack of sales training, that was only partly the case. After reviewing the notes and speaking with the team, it became clear to me that this was not the only obstacle. In fact, something bigger had to be addressed before we introduced an overall and improved system of selling.
This entrepreneurial company had pioneered much of the technology and tools in their specific industry and became known as the “go to guys” in the marketplace, an admirable accomplishment and one which created an environment where you didn’t have to possess many sales skills. People literally lined up to buy. But now after several years, they weren’t the only player in town. Competitors sprung up to challenge them, and challenge them they did. By the time I met with this company, the new kids on the block were taking a decent chunk of business from them. Everyone had the same overall products, but the difference was that the other companies had better prices, better terms and better customer service.
They were getting their butts kicked at their own game, so before getting into the sales training I told them that they must reconsider their position in the marketplace. If they didn’t adapt, the odds were that over time they would lose even more business. For a company who had some pretty large overhead, including a large office space and dozens of employees, a steady or increased loss of revenues could be disastrous.
Many of us are resistant to change. I know of one salesperson in particular that was so afraid to change and adapt that they lost their entire business. This didn’t happen immediately of course, it eroded slowly over time because they hung on “hoping” that it would change on its own, or thought it might eventually get back to where it once was. It never happened.
Instead of hanging on, embracing change would have been a piece of cake compared to the struggle, stress, and angst that failure brought to this person. To top it off, they were warned about the writing on the wall, and encouraged to change. They even saw others make the move successfully and yet still resisted. Had they embraced the mindset that failure is NOT an option, things would have been drastically different.
Looking for Clues
- Have you tried your best to turn things around?
- Is change within your control?
- Are you as prepared as you should be at your position, whether it’s coaching the little league team or in your career?
- Are you resistant to change?
- Are you fearful?
- Can change be a good thing?
- Are you hanging on to something that has no way of improving?
- Are you going through the motions as if you’re on auto pilot?
- Are you getting beat by the competition, possibly even competition within your own company?
- Are you stuck in what I like to call the twilight zone of uncertainty?
It Could Happen to You
I know of many people who have quit their job, but they haven’t made it official yet. Oh they still show up every day, but they’ve emotionally checked out. It reminds me of that famous movie quote: “I see dead people.” A side effect of this condition is that you probably aren’t excelling at your job, which can be adding to the failure or the bleak outlook.
Change usually happens whether you embrace it or not, so you may as well embrace it! Get back to basics, evaluate the situation, decide what your options are and head in that direction. If you define your choices, list the pros and the cons, then the best course of action will become clear. The safest, surest way to improve your situation and life will tug at your heart strings, you just have to create a safety net, let go, and take the plunge.
Rock Star Life Coach & Sales Trainer