At the beginning of my sales career I was told that the reality of sales life is much like seasons. You’ll plant your seed, nurture it, they’ll be times of spring where leads are hot and blooming and a time for reaping the fruits of your labor.
What wasn't shared was what I do in those tougher winter seasons. Those slow months; when cancellations happen, when the for sure project you were about to close doesn't happen, when your own colleagues or company lets you down and you don’t deliver the goods to your clients.
In Key Account Management we can experience those winter seasons. Those times won’t necessarily mean you'll be less productive, but it does mean you may need to apply a different mindset and approach to achieving consistent success.
I’ve failed numerous time, succeeded, learnt, grown and achieved more every year. What do you do in those times where sales are difficult and your back is against the wall?
Here are 6 mind-sets and approaches I’ve learned to build into my weekly sales habits to ensure I’m more prepared to win in those tougher seasons.
Never rely on past success as an indicator for future results - It’s one of those disclaimers you see in financial services advertisements and reports. They’re right there is no guarantee there are only things that are controllable and outside of our control. When you look at your success the key question to ask is what from my success can I repeat that will give me a stronger likelihood for continued success. You can’t right down ‘get lucky again’. You may have been more persistent in 2015, perhaps you spent more time on developing your writing skills to put across your message and you noticed more positive responses. Whatever that is identify it, apply and keep testing the results to see what will help to support success for future results.
Keep communication high, helpfully and frequent with your client contacts - You do this already and any good account manager would. Don’t become that annoying account manager who checks in with nothing to give or say. Look for these interactions to be permission based. You should know exactly what frequency and type of communication your client needs. If you don’t know then nows the time to ask. Build in a week by week strategy to bring something of value and connect in a helpful way. Do this while working with your client on widening the scope of potential opportunities together.
Never sell to the month or quarter, sell for the year -Too often we can be focused on that selling month or quarter and I get it. You’ve got targets to reach, revenue to achieve and commission to make. You can still do that and allow your conversations to embrace wider and future sales. A lot of the services or products you offer may compliment this approach already. Even so what if you could forecast 2,3 or even 5 year sales built into one agreement. You know your product or service better than your client. Figure out what the long term view and benefit of using your service or product is for your client. Message this in the context of their world and look for longer term commitment based on this value and not on cost. You’ll be on your way to selling more.
Keep focused on what matters most each day - It’s easy to get distracted and I wont go on about those things as you can read a previous post on ‘beating those Weapons of Mass Distraction’. Focus on the one or two things you know if done on a daily basis will give you 5-10X the payback on your effort and move you closer to your goals. If you can build in this discipline. You’ll not only see your productivity rise but your sales as well because you’ll be focused on what matters most.
Keep positive and persistent -This is an area I come back to first and foremost every day. It’s what defines those who win and lose. Remaining confidently positive and passionately persistent. This isn’t always easy to do. You’ll know what motivates you best. For me it’s setting a goal for each day to complete and coming back to the WHY of why I do what I do. This fuels me with a deeper sense of purpose and keeps me positive and persistent because I know what I teach and share can help a lot of people.
Work on your personal growth and development daily if not weekly -If I had to choose one of these 6 to work on first it would be this. If you’re working on the skills to make yourself more effective, then by force of growth you'll become someone who is more successful. That’s why I appreciate you reading my posts and it’s the reason I write. By writing I not only get to share things I’m passionate about, but I learn more about myself, my client relationships and what I need to do differently to 5 or 10X my own success.
Out of these 6 which ones are you doing and which one will you develop first?
Thanks for reading
If you’d like to know more about what I do, have more information on any of the topics I write on, or know how I help others see massive sales growth from their key customer relationships connect with me at www.jermaineedwards.com
Jermaine - Founder of Key Account Hack System - Helping you retain your Key Accounts and grow sales from your high value customers