A wise man (and an awesome guitar instructor) once told me to find inspiration in everything around me. While I’d like to think of that lesson taking on the form of some Kung Fu flashback, the truth is I remember thinking he must of become “one with a joint” before our lesson. I mean, how does one learn from EVERYTHING around them? It really didn’t take me long to realize he was spot on. In fact, to this day, I try to learn from everyone, everything and try to have some laughs along the way. I was thinking we were long overdue for a “fun” post and thought I would present for your approval . . .
The Wedding Crashers Guide To Sales Success!
Rule #15: “Always have an updated family tree!”
Lesson: This represents Pre Call Planning and continually updating our information. The big mistake many sales people make comes in the form of Googling (the individual and company) before the initial meeting and then ending the process. It needs to be an ongoing process (perhaps in the form of a Google Alert). The updated family tree also means taking the time to keep up to date on who the existing as well as the up and coming players are.
Jeremy Grey: (quarterbacking a touch football game) John! Red seven!
John Beckwith: I don't know what red seven means.
Jeremy Grey: Hot route!
John Beckwith: I don't... What is hot route?
Jeremy Grey: Will you just go stand on the other side please?
Lesson: Say what you mean and lose the “jargon”. If you have a need to use jargon, use the client’s; after all people like people like themselves. Right?
“Don’t take a trip to negative town”
Lesson: Aside from the importance of being positive, people avoid negative people like the plague. Who needs a downer? I know people that even when someone mentions their name to me, I immediately associate them with complaining, negativity etc. Taking a look in the mirror, I know I too have taken a trip to “negative town”. The problem with that trip is that some poor soul inadvertently comes along for the ride.
Another lesson to consider: You’ll feel better when you stay away from “negative town” and quite frankly, its so much easier to feel like conquering the world when you are positive.
You may even have to give your attitude an enema by clicking here http://salesplaybook.blogspot.com/2009/09/when-your-attitude-needs-enema.html Motor Boating isn’t just a cool water sport . . . who knew?
Yelling: “Mom Meatloaf!” doesn’t get you fed!
Lesson: Needless to say, we need to get out and hunt if we want to eat. Yelling, complaining and yes, even over talking what “we are gonna due” is useless until action is added to the equation.
“I almost Nun chucked you. You don’t even realize!”
Lesson: None that I can think of but I think we should say it to 3 people today in the spirit of being totally random!
John Beckwith: Don't waste your time on girls with hats. They tend to be very proper. Jeremy Grey: Yeah? Well, the proper girl in the hat just eye-f**ked the s**t out of me.
Lesson: Careful how you qualify. Better yet, rethink all those companies you thought were too big, too small or, dare I say, too likely to reject us!
Jeremy Grey: Tattoo on the lower back? Might as well be a bull’s eye.
Lesson: Preconceived notions of any type can be disastrous. One of my favorite examples comes in the form of the rep looking around the prospect’s office for conversation starters. You know, if you see pictures of kids, they must be into family. Golf thing a ma jigs then clearly they are golfers . . . or they borrowed someone else’s office and they can’t stand those things.
I’ve also seen this in the form of pre judging the disposition of someone by title. Example: All CEO’s must be outgoing, I want to conquer the world types. All financial type people are bean counters and introverted. No one has pre conceived notions regarding us sales folk, right?
The other side of this lesson is for us to be mindful of getting pigeon holed by our customers. I see this all the time in the printing industry where clients label one printer as their high end 4 color printer, another one as a short run, quick copy type of vendor etc. The long and the short of it is . . . don’t let others define you or your company. Take control and manage their perceptions!
Rule #76: “No excuses. Play like a champion”
Lesson #1: When you screw up, don’t make it worse by inventing some BS excuse. Come clean!
Lesson #2: Times are tough right now, no doubt . . . time for us all to kick it up a notch or three and play our best game ever!
Jeremy Grey: [speaking to the priest] This girl's fit for a strait-jacket. I mean she's f**ked three ways to the weekend. But you know what, Father? I dig it!
Lesson: Step outside your comfort zone. By the way, a year ago Thanksgiving weekend, I stepped outside my comfort zone in starting this blog and jumping head first into Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook. It was scary and quite foreign for the first few months and now I’m stronger for it. Facing fears and stepping outside comfort zones can and will make us stronger! Does lots for one's confidence too!
Action: Define one sales activity that makes you uncomfortable and face it head on! OK, good talk, now let’s all get out there and in the words of the immortal Jeremy Gray get some “strange ass” (new customers)
Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics (CGX) one of North America’s leading general commercial printing companies. Paul has over 25 years of sales and sales leadership experience. He has trained, mentored and coached over 3,000 sales and sales leadership professionals. An accomplished public speaker, Paul has delivered numerous key note addresses. He has authored numerous training manuals, articles, blog posts and is currently working on his first book for release in 2011. Feel free to email Paul firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Paul Castain's Sales Play Book is blog dedicated to strengthening our sales game, supporting rock star development and developing jedi like skills. All that is required is a willingness to learn and a sick sense of humor!
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