One of the top New Year resolutions people make each year is to improve their physical fitness. There are no secrets to achieving this goal. People just need to eat better and exercise more.
At the start of each year, top salespeople always plan to improve their “sales fitness.” And just as it is with physical fitness, there are two important factors you need to take into account if you want to build some sales muscle into your results.
- Consider the information you consume
- Take actions based on that consumption
Nutritionists talk about the five food groups. In sales, the “food” is the content that feeds a person’s brain. In order to stay sharp, professionals should regularly be consuming information from the five content groups:
- Motivational – Motivation creates the spark that leads to action. It is a fundamental, but often overlooked, ingredient for sales success.
- Product – Knowing one’s products inside and out is the minimum expectation in an era when customers have access to as much information as most reps and new products appear in the blink of an eye.
- Selling Skills – Like any profession, selling has its own terms and practices that are constantly evolving. What worked just a few years ago may not work today. EX: Cold Calling connection rates have dropped precipitously because few people answer their phone in the days of voicemail and caller ID.
- Industry – Many sellers seek to elevate themselves beyond a commodity supplier to the role of a Trusted Advisor. Achieving that level requires in-depth knowledge of your customers’ industry and their specific company.
- Competitors – Top salespeople know their competitors strengths and weaknesses and how to neutralize and exploit them, respectively.
A person can get the same nutrition from a variety of different sources. Vitamin C can be obtained from an orange, a bell pepper, or a vitamin tablet. Sales content is available in a variety of formats, too, including magazines, journals, Web sites, blogs, podcasts, videos, seminars, conferences, and more. The well-informed salesperson finds formats they like and regularly consumes content from the five groups.
[bctt tweet=”Add some muscle to flabby sales results with these tips. #b2bsales #socialselling”]
When it comes to physical exercise, there are two types –resistance training and cardio training. Resistance training builds muscle and produces outwardly visible results. Cardio training benefits the inner body and is less visible. A person needs both for optimum fitness. The sales equivalent of resistance training is high-visibility activities like phone calls or sales visits. Annual goals in this area vary. One client sought to reach a target sales volume. Another focused on obtaining a certain number of new clients. The important thing is to make sure everyone in the organization understands and supports the goal.
The sales counterpart to cardio training is internal activities that keep everything in balance and operating smoothly. Examples are pre-call research, sales meetings, and administrative tasks. While it is common for salespeople to dismiss these duties as interfering with selling time, scheduling these activities eliminates the inevitable panic when something slips through the cracks due to neglect.
For both types of fitness, the biggest challenge is NOT acquiring the knowledge. After all, there are 72M Google results and 4.8M YouTube videos for the term “lose weight” and 2.4M Google results and 1M YouTube videos for “LinkedIn”. The biggest challenge is having the Discipline to act consistently.
The reason personal trainers are booked solid in January is because many people benefit by having a coach push them toward their goals.
If you’re a Sales Leader whose team could use a “personal trainer”, book an appointment to discuss how Social Selling could help your team reach its goals.
If you’re an individual contributor, consultant, or small business owner, check out the self-study edition of the Social Selling Boot Camp here.