Being in Sales has an incredible upside. Unlimited earnings (or at least more variable pay opportunities than most of us!), flexibility in your schedule (try to find a sales person on Friday afternoons that is not with a “client”), and the opportunity to travel (living out of your car still counts as travel). However, all of these have a natural “dark side”. In fact, everything listed above is a sales stereotype. Some good in them as many folks romanticize the “idea of being in sales” and some find it repulsive. Why? Because the behaviors of sales people support the stereotypes—don’t be one of them! Sales is about targets and quotas of activities, contracts signed, and widgets sold. Have these things in abundance and you have freedom and control. Off plan? Well, plan to loose all of that freedom and the
One of the biggest areas of weakness in salespeople I observe is that they always and often seem to go for the immediate sale. Close the deal now. I know it is a small one, however, I have to book revenues and keep up with my targets right? However, I find that it takes just us much work, effort, time, and investment for just about any sales situation. And for some reason this is one the hardest things to change in salespeople. I personally think fear, trust, and the anxiety of waiting make it hard for some.
So why not sell larger deals if it takes the same amount of time and energy?
- Perception/Trust. We all perceive that larger customers take too long, even more time than our sales plan will tolerate. What if I put all of that time in and the deal falls apart?
- Skill. Sometimes larger deals get missed. The salesperson does not know how to approach or engage the customer that requires more then booking the order. They don’t know their product or service once they get “off script” from their training.
- Earning the right to be disruptive and to challenge. Most sales people I know are afraid to challenge, ask questions, and make recommendations that are off the script or fall outside of the proposal.
- Fear of not meeting short term quotas. If you take on too many long term meetings how will you ever meet this month or quarter?
- Believing that sales is “only” a numbers game. Sales requires numbers and effort. However there is something to be said for balance, efficiency, and getting better at sales.
- Big deals get others on the team involved. All of a sudden a salesperson needs to get a team together and possess skills in project management, resource allocation, problem solving, solution architecting, and much more than just relationship management.
Larger deals do take time. When they come they are game changers. Be patient and realize larger customers challenge what you know and make you better. So that the small ones seem easier.
Don’t believe me right? Most don’t. That is why sales is so hard. It is hard to believe and trust.