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Sales

Sales

Do This One Thing To Be The Best In Sales [And Career]

Sales

Sales as a profession is not just limited to getting fancy titles, job descriptions, uncapped commissions or getting your team to bring them up to speed with respect to their product material or sales collateral  -and prepping them up for the next pitch.

 

Well that is given – for sure – but what differentiates you from others in this profession are not the rudimentary things like knowing you general set of customers, company and the training sessions given to you [or your team]; it is about being a ‘chief problem solver’.

 

It is about being a leader who solves the sometimes acute pain points and spearheads a team with an overarching goal of achieving not just sales targets but also improving the people results of the company.

 

Much of my inspiration stems from the piece written by Keith Rosen about Resign Today as Chief Problem Solver – and it clearly states that ‘If you want people to take greater ownership around their roles, goals, and the daily challenges of what they [your people] face, let the right question be the answer they need to further develop and refine their skills, thinking, and strategy.’

 

Being a problem solver solves many things on the career front:

 

  • You are no more dependent on titles to get your next raise or promotion.
  • Your analytical and critical thinking becomes a strong plus point over others for you to land your next big job or promotion.
  • You view situations with an eye for improvement and discernment that enables you to dissect the situation like a surgeon and find out a solution that best meets the problem in the face.
  • You can build a team from scratch and manage a P&L with ease (though, of course, there will be challenges – but aren’t you as a problem solver adept at figuring out what works and what doesn’t?)
  • Although sales require an individual to unearth the pain points by probing questions, but you can also transport these skills to any other profession and hold multiple positions – and then can also land you into a CEO-oriented role with a different title and responsibilities.
  • You understand your customer more deeply and become precognitive enough to know what will happen next in the conversation
  • As a customer champion, you get more repeat business and earn more money – now isn’t that worth the challenge of becoming a problem solver?
  • And most importantly, being a chief problem solver enhances your personal brand in the market and makes you a thought leader and a subject matter expert whilst you keep learning the tricks and trade of selling!

 

After exercising your brain in problem solving, it becomes wired to figure out solutions – consciously and subconsciously – making you indispensable for the company.

 

What are you doing to be at the top in sales?

Business, Entrepreneurship, life, monetize your no's, Sales

The Power Of Saying “No”

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Saying “no” to one thing gives you a huge opportunity to include a schedule of powerful ‘yes’ tasks on your calendar.

This sounds quite fundamental; but most of us are bound by a bundle of tasks that are a concoction of yes, maybe, no et al. As a result, we are inundated with so many chores that just never seem to end.

To be a thorough essentialist (borrowing this term from my favorite essential advocate, Greg McKeown), one needs to cut out from the clutter for the most important priorities of the daily miniature of our lives, which eventually leads us to realize our long-term goals that make a difference or a certain level of impact on not just our lives but on others, too.

When you say a aching “no” to even your dinner dates, you say yes to complete an important marketing presentation that could give you a promotion. (Well, this a debatable scenario – but this is just to give you a different perspective.) Okay, let me make it worth an execution: when you want to read 60 books in 3.5 months, you have to say no to TV, your favorite iphone pings, and even your much-loved PS2.

This is because you can only focus when you extenuate less important things in life. It is the result of continuous, deliberate efforts towards your ideal life.

So why is this so obvious but the most overlooked topic? Because somewhere deep down our hearts we all want to help others, please others, and in some cases makes them feel the most special. However the truth of the matter is that we don’t always need to please others; we need to create a special haven for only our dear-most ones and just be naturally helpful  – as and when warranted.

So the truth is not-so-obvious: the reason the universe gives us an opportunity to say no to certain things is because it also bestows us with a rational decision making power of choosing the vital few from the trivial many – though, I think we still need to consider both of them sometimes, given the context we are into, but you get the point – focus, largely, on the vital few. That way you will create a multiplier effect as a result of practicing your core responsibilities – towards your work and life in general.

No’s fuel us to our real life, no-nonsense and a spirited world (versus saying yes to everything and spreading yourself too thin – and eventually landing up with a chaotic life and becoming an escapist.) As Seth Godin so rightly says ‘Instead of wondering where your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from – makes sense?’

As with the case with sales, entrepreneurship and business. When you start practicing the art of saying no to some business avenues that never seem to connect with you and your know-how or your approach towards certain business opportunities, you connect with the most fundamental but critical missions and purpose of your business existence. You become positively calendar-critical  (in my parlance), and business conscientious.

And in the long haul, it is when you respect your time and priorities, people invariable start respecting you and help you in your prioritization.  This is because they will understand that fact that you give your 100% focus on tasks that matter to you and will also do justice to their priorities by giving full zest and concentration whenever you help them. That way, you will eventually start to monetize your no’s into tangible yet quality results as your ROE (Return on Energy).

Say a small ‘no’ to trivial many and get better results by saying ‘yes’ to a vital few.

Practice essentialism. And get better, incrementally.

Sales, vulnerability

Why Vulnerability Works In Your Favor At Your Workplace (And Personally, Too)

vulnerability

Ever felt a little exposed, and sometimes awkwardly exposed to new environments, cultures, and experiences at your work place? Even if you feel it is the same dragging day at work packed with meetings, writing documents or simply networking with other colleagues, you do feel vulnerable with every new touch point you make. To some, it may feel, why do we really have to feel palpable with new things? Can’t it just be safe to stay in a set pattern of doing things instead of infusing alterations in our status-quo?
So here it goes: let’s first fundamentally understand vulnerability and then deduce its benefits at work.
Vulnerability to an extent is being susceptible; being influenced via various aspects; but the best definition of vulnerability, to me, is: positive disruption.
Why?
Think about it: when you encounter a sense of ‘shakiness’ – a wave of hurriedness via mix of frantic uncertainty and searing thoughts – you tend to embrace a creative tension, which, eventually, helps you arrive at a new route. Being susceptible makes you have a proclivity towards personal innovation via navigating a stream of emotions that lead to a more coherent move in your professional life (though not limited to work).
Vulnerability is the accurate measure of strength and courage – especially for entrepreneurs. When you go all in with risk, uncertainly, and emotional exposure, you apparently get the best out of a situation. Reason being, vulnerability is a universal condition, and not a choice for a vital few. It is up to you how you apply it in your personal and professional situations.
According to Sarah Vermunt, vulnerability is the key to connection. When we open our hearts and minds to genuinely ‘get’ the position of others – it could be while making amends with a person, asking for a raise or a promotion or even talking to our kids when they didn’t have a good day at school, we forge connections that yield spiritual and emotional impact in our lives. The very susceptibility that connotes weaknesses or helplessness to some becomes our unrelenting strength and courage.
This very word also springs the seeds of humility and a giving nature. You give out the best in you – be it to your spouse or at your work place – by accepting yourself for the person you are. Sometimes, when we see someone cry while giving a speech or a keynote presentation, we instantly connect (and sometimes land up crying as well): this is a real connection.
As what Dr. Brene Brown argues in her speech in TED talks, “You cannot selectively numb emotion.” She explains, we’d love to numb out the bad emotions like grief and shame and fear, but you can’t do so without also numbing yourself to emotions like joy and happiness. Feeling comfortably numb seems safer, but think of the possibilities (and not just the pain) when you courageously wear your heart on your sleeve.”
So don’t be scared of being scared, as that is how you will inch closer to be ‘you’.

Photo Credits: www.geniusawakening.com

Sales

4 Ways How Slow is the New fast

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I am testimony to the fact how one is overloaded with work, which never seems to end. No matter how much one tries to settle with zero work on their plate at the end of the day, we just seem to be getting that one notification of a new mail or a meeting alert when we are all set to excitedly wind up for the day.
We make all the plan for a much-awaited weekend – but it just seems to wither away with a mounting to-do list, even for the weekend. In our quest to reply to every message, every query, every question, we think we are quick and proactive, but the reality is: we are running too fast to actually understand why we are in this rut at the very first place.
We hustle (because we have to) – only to realize that our hard work is not rewarded. (Yes, it happens – most of the times.) We make a strategic plan of action for the next day to start with full gusto and vigor – only to see that some unexpected tasks come our way and we miss our deadlines. We attend 6 sales meetings a day, make the minutes and present our plan – only to find that we miss the nuances – those little things – which the prospect mentioned in the meeting. (We just slip by). Oh wait – you also have your lunch time and that is booked for your cold e-mails and new networking messages. Now this is a classic recipe of speed sprinkled with mismanagement and poor organization of work and time.
So what should one do? Just hasten up more and keep going along with the momentum – only to realize that you are going nowhere? Or sit down with cup of coffee and a clear note pad and slow down to the core priorities that need to be taken care of?
Now the problem is: no matter how hard we try to slow down, we still kind of spill the beans while cooking them (weird analogy, but that’s what I can think of with respect to my status quo).
Welcome to the chaos of today’s work culture. I remember quoting myself on my Facebook profile: the chaos of professionalism can never beat the passion of naïve. But would alter it a bit and say that the chaos of speed can never beat the mindfulness of the moment – in arriving at a pace that makes a person cope up with speed while being slow.
How?

  • Accept that you are busy. And accelerate. You need to know your limitations – understand the fact that you are a human and not a micro chip that processes thousands of bytes of information in a fraction of seconds. You only have 24 hours in a day and you can only function for a limited period of time. You need to be empathetic with your work schedule and your will power, which would eventually be tampered if you don’t think through your priorities.
  • Don’t confuse busyness with productivity. The world we are living is delusional. We think if we are busy, we are getting the desired results for the company. However, sometimes, we are just chaotic and irrationally exuberant for blathering or talking too much – and not getting things done. (You know what I mean.)While we all know that we are busy, but we never figure out the why. What is keeping our lion’s share of time in tasks – do they serve the purpose? Are they inching us closer to our targets? Align your purpose with the key business targets.
  • Carve out 30 minutes of think time. Whether you are a night owl or a 5am early bird – whatever category you belong to, take out 30 uninterrupted minutes just to plan for the expected and the unexpected chores for the day. Assign all the tasks in the order of urgency and importance and delegate the rest. Remember: we all have limited willpower and our stamina and initiative kind of slows down if we invest our energy in the not-so-important tasks. In short: align time with your energy and measure your ROE at the end of the day to determine if you were successful n carrying out the to-do list as per your plan.
  • Start slower to get faster results. Build a base for yourself by slowly getting the most arduous tasks knocked down from your list; it builds a momentum and sets the tone for the day. Secret sauce: do the most demanding task as slowly as possible. It increases your concentration and your focal point for the day. Your goal should be to give quality results to the organization instead of having abundant unattended things that need to be ticked off – and still not finding gratification after accomplishing this feat. So: negotiate for your workload with your boss and arrive at a middle ground to do full justice to your key responsibility areas.

To sum up: invest in the moment; be mindful of the very purpose of your work – instead of getting through the day. Slow down to understand the definition of speed – and work towards getting closer to it.