I am a member of a mastermind group full of the best and brightest minds in sales. I see what they do, listen to what they say, and observe how they interact with the organizations they are teaching to improve their sales process.
They are so gifted in teaching others the process of sales. They inspire me to improve and hone my own sales process.
In fact, I worry deeply that my sales process isn’t that strong. Now granted, my business has grown three straight years, and I am well ahead of plan in year four (2016), so I am not complaining.
But, as a result, I wonder if my success in sales is more about attitude than it is about process?
Now granted, if I allow myself to think on it deeply enough, I do have an actual process…when I whiteboard how I get from identifying a new prospect to closing a deal, it is very clearly a process.
But it is a very simple process. And who knows, maybe that’s why it works for me. My process probably wouldn’t be sufficient for a large enterprise organization dealing in overly complex sales.
Or would it?
I don’t know. Maybe people get so wrapped up into the complexity of a sales opportunity, following the “process” so tightly that they can’t see the forest for the trees. And they are so worried about the little details, they forget to deal with the people involved in the sale, they forget to deal with the humanity.
In fact, my recent success in sales, to be honest with you, has NOTHING to do with following a strict sales process…
…and MUCH more to do with my attitude, my confidence, and my charisma in doing what I do.
This is NOT a boast. This is NOT me being cocky. This is reality. I am good at what I do, and people like my approach to the work I do.
And in many (but admittedly not all) instances, this is enough to get my sales expectations achieved.
Back from my political days, I used to say that success in fundraising was a momentum sport. Well, it goes without saying, success in sales is VERY MUCH a momentum sport as well.
In fact, when you have achieved a few victories in sales, that is HIGH TIME to push hard on other opportunities, because your confidence (and yeah, cockiness), shines through.
And to prospects questioning whether to work and partner with you, this is appealing. Keep that in mind.
Attitude has as much to do with your sales success as following the officially recorded “sales process” documented in a three-ring binder sitting on a bookshelf in your office.
Said another way, sales is oftentimes more about your confident humanity, than about how strictly you follow the process and read the scripts.
Process matters, yes. But your ability to read the situational humanity to go off script, coupled with your ability to show your confidence, is the difference between the also-rans, and the folks meeting or likely exceeding their numbers…
He is a former marketing strategist, national political operative, and lobbyist.
Todd has published five books, writes a business + lifestyle column, is a distance runner, and lives in Chicago with his wife Stephanie + family.