One of the things that is difficult for most salespeople to do is ask for help.
Here is the 5 Minute Rule I talk with my coaching clients about. Once you’ve spent 5 minutes trying to figure something out yourself – think about what resources you have that can help you.
Would it make sense for me to climb out of my kayak and carry/drag it around the rapids on the Saranac River, rather than use this lock? Of course NOT!
Yet time and time again, salespeople try to do it all…. all by themselves. Let me tell you from personal experience that takes longer, uses up more emotional energy, and wastes effort you don’t have to spend.
Many times the obstacle you currently face has been solved by someone else who ran into that exact same obstacle sooner than you did. Use your resources, ask for help – then expend the energy you have saved to work hard moving forward once you’re past the obstacle.
Select A Destination!
Now that you know where you’re starting from it’s time to figure out where you want to go.
You have an understanding of what you have that you want to keep PLUS what is missing in your current role.
Take those two pieces and create a vision for what you want your career to look like.
Without a starting point & ending point, navigation is useless. Knowing both allows you to determine direction, the path to take, and what obstacles you mkight find along the way.
You will also be able to identify any skills you need to learn, provisions to pack, and tools to bring along.
Always keep in mind the words my father quotes all the time
“The difference between an adventure and an ordeal is attitude.” ~ Bob Bitchin’ of Latitudes & Attitudes Seafaring
Have fun while creating your destination vision.
To get where you want to go, 1st you must know where you’re starting from!
It may sound counter intuitive to figure out where you want to go, by looking at where you are right now, so bear with me a moment.
The idea I want you to consider is having a clear and accurate understanding of where you are right now will help you to decide where you want to go.
Step 1 – what do I have
It is time to take inventory. The ‘how to’ is up to you;
- chat with a friend & record it so you can listen later (letting them know of course)
- make a list
- find pictures that represent what you have (or even are pictures of what you have)
- ask others about what they see looking from the outside
The importance is to have a clear understanding of the entire picture of where you are starting from before moving to step 2….
Step 2 – what do I want to keep
This might seem funny, but asking yourself what about your current situation you want to keep is critical to your happiness upon reaching your destination.
What would you miss if you no longer had it in your new role, new company, new scenario? In sales we typically are trading our time, effort, and expertise for money. One example could be to make sure that you don’t go for more money… if free time is of the utmost importance to you.
This part is something I suggest you work on yourself. What you end up with in step 2 will bet the parts you work to keep as you move forward to where you want to go – make sure they are important to YOU, not the people around you.
Which brings us to step 3….
Step 3 – what do I want
This could also be called the ‘what’s missing’ step. You know what you have, you know what you want to keep. What is missing from your current situation?
The how to can look the same as in step 1, before you pick a destination get a collection of must haves for yourself.
Take the time this week to go through all three steps and then stay tuned for next week and part 2!
When you’re looking at your sales career, there are a lot of outside forces at play. Which is a lot like sailing – the wind, current, tides, boat traffic (pleasure & commercial), and we haven’t even mentioned where you’re trying to get to.
Which is why the first question to ask yourself is:
What outside forces
do I need to contend with?
My experience shows there are four main categories I need to consider when answering that question for myself.
Personal “What Are”
- all the fun things that will be a distraction?
- the monumental events that are going to take place this year?
- my current “happenings” that are stressing me out?
- am I going to make goal?
- will my boss react to _________?
- can I get around this obstacle?
- are the players I have to answer to?
- am I worried about judging my performance?
- is helping or hindering my progress?
Prospect & Customer “Why”
- don’t they call me back?
- am I spending my time on this account?
- haven’t I earned their trust?
These are some examples for you; your personal questions might be different. Take a moment to figure out What outside forces do I need to contend with? Then take the appropriate action.
Being blocked is an experience we have all had in sales.
It might have been a prospect we couldn’t even get to listen to us, let alone move forward in the sales process. Or perhaps a month where no mater what we did – we felt thwarted at every turn.
Step One – remember to breathe. I know that sounds simplistic, but most of us (when frustrated) hold our breath instead of taking a breath – and letting it slowly out. Which is why I typically give that advice as step one, regardless of the situation.
Walk Away – not forever, but for a moment. Walk away from what ever is blocking you, you may even find a way around the situation while you’re off walking. Any distance between you and the situation will help.
Get Help – although self reliance is important to sales success, remember to use your resources when you’re blocked. Another perspective, experience level, or personality could help move you off the spot you’re in and get the momentum going.
Don’t forget to check out the Navigation Edition of A Chip Off the Block for more on what to do when your way is blocked.
Are you unsure what do you do when your way is blocked? Check out the Navigation Edition of A Chip Off the Block for tips on:
- What outside forces do I need to contend with?
- Know where you want to go!
- Getting Around
- If you aren’t moving faster than the water – you can’t steer!