Last week, before ending my Inner Circle sales meeting, I asked for opinions regarding my members’ most pressing concerns. I should not have been surprised when I heard the, more often than not, being related to sales. After all, without sales, you have no business. Without customers, you have nobody to service.
My mind shot to another recent response I received from those attending my Mastermind Owners Retreat in Cancun. The concern this group mentioned time and time again involved the negative behavior referred to as procrastination. In preparing for this week’s article, I decided to couple these two concerns together.
I remember (like it was yesterday) the night I asked an undergraduate class of students at Fairleigh Dickinson University if, after graduation, they wanted to help people. The entire class responded with a resounding ‘yes.’ I then asked if they wanted to be their own boss after they graduated. Again, virtually 100% of the students answered in the affirmative. My third question involved their interest in making a lot of money. No surprises here. They all responded with hands raised instantly. I followed by asking them how many people after graduating we’re planning to become professional sales people. Not one single hand went up. (Interesting, but not a surprise.)
The reason for this is quite simple. With very few exceptions, when you say the word sales person the words manipulative, aggressive, liar, cheating, dishonest, car sales, insurance, closing, up-selling, and overcoming objections shoot into one’s mind.
It should come as no surprise that any person responsible for “selling” hesitates to ply their trade in fear that they will be categorized as one of those negative terms listed above. I am not saying that many misguided sales “slugs” have less than admirable objectives. I do believe however, that a professional salesperson genuinely and sincerely has their clients interest in mind, and can make a very comfortable living from helping people acquire what’s in their best interest. Once this proactive mindset drives the actions of sales people, there is no need to procrastinate at all.
One area where procrastination does raise its ugly head is associated with lead generation. It has always confused me when companies spend a significant amount of money to generate leads and, once their effort pays off, their sales people find 1 million reasons why not to follow up expeditiously. (Very strange.)
It would be easy to refer to this lack of action as simply being lazy, but I have to think that it is more connected with fear. The question “what- if” comes into play. What if they don’t answer my phone call? What if they really are not interested? What if they don’t like my price? What if I call them in a bad time? What if they are just shoppers? What if, what if, what if?
Once we start asking ourselves “what if” questions, it becomes easy to procrastinate and delay our next action since we do not want to become disappointed, rejected, dissed, or forlorn.
I think you know what’s coming next. The sooner you identify your current (real) position in the world of your prospect, the sooner you will be in position to respond appropriately.
We all procrastinate at times, and I also fall into this rut. The truth is that the sooner we address the truth and the reality of any single situation, the better we will feel; and the sooner we can deal with the pending situation.
The choice is yours. Put off the inevitable or, as a popular shoe company reminds us, “JUST DO IT.”
Mike Marchev is always looking for a few more proactive travel professionals to join his Sales and Marketing Club. firstname.lastname@example.org.
*** You want more to think about? Check out my weekly podcast (Mike’d Up Marchev) at www.TravMarketMedia.com Also listed on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google and iHeartRadio.