When we are new into selling, we end up viewing everything from the lens of a transaction. We don’t have a large enough prospect base, at the time so we are desperate to get whatever we can so that we can meet our targets.
And then you have the boss, who is not bothered about how you get the sale, as long as you get it. That actually sends out a wrong signal to the sales guy.
I realized much later that in the B2B space, the world is actually very small and you end up meeting the same people, somewhere or the other. So if you have rubbed someone the wrong way, you can count yourself out of business from that person wherever she goes.
Since then I made it a point to ensure that I was always investing on building relationships….so irrespective of where people,e went, I could pick up the phone and just make a call. Since I was investing in the relationships up-front, it also meant that I was clear that I would keep commitments that I made and would inform in advance if it was not going to be possible to keep it.
The benefits of building relationships , as you climb the corporate ladder are extremely high. You get valued because of your relationships. As you climb higher, the problems you have to solve are also much bigger. It helps if you can leverage your relationships to get you moving.
So work to nurture relationships…..its important in all functions but especially so in the sales and marketing roles, because as McCormack used to say – All things being equal people give orders to friends, all things not being equal, people still give order to friends.
Till next time then.
I have written multiple posts on the advantage of having a coach in different areas of your life, whether they are virtual or physical.
In my opinion having a coach has 3 key advantages
- Sounding board
- Been there done that
- Variety of experiences
Sometimes you just need someone to listen to you and showcase the fallacy of your arguments, without you getting defensive. In your official positions, you may have colleagues or bosses whom you could sound your ideas. But more often that not, you end up getting defensive if they point too many flaws. But since you have taken a coach, chances are you will take her feedback more constructively.
If the coach you have chosen actually has worked in your industry and has shown success, then you can be sure that the problem you are facing has been solved by the coach somewhere else, earlier. The coach would have some frameworks based on which they solve problems.
Which brings me to the last point, in terms of the variety of experiences. Since the coach could be dealing with multiple people from different environments, he can cross pollinate ideas from different industries and come out with a solution to a problem which is not being addressed at the moment in your industry.
But the biggest advantage, I think that a coach has is the Accountability or Compliance that the coach brings. You are supposed to take action on the discussions which happen and come back with the results, based on which the next step is decided.
On our own, most of us humans , me included, are lazy and keep postponing things, even when we know our success is dependent on it.
So. look out and get a coach.
Till next time then.
While I talk about a lot of things related to marketing, I also get stumped quite often on some problems. It’s good to know, what you don’t know or where you need assistance. A lot of times our ego does not allow us to confess that we also have limitations.
I learnt this lesson in college when I was doing my engineering studies. I did not understand the subject of Engineering Drawing and I failed badly. I was about to give up, but my elder brother insisted that I undertake coaching. With the coaching I liked the subject so much and took to the subject like fish to water.
Multiple times I have seen that a coach can change the speed and trajectory of your growth by solving the challenges, much quicker than if you had to solve them yourselves. This is not to say that I have not been headstrong in trying to solve problems myself and wasted a lot of time on it.
In addition sometimes the environment that you live or work in limits your thinking patterns. Sometimes you need to break through those patterns. A coach can help you achieve that because she is seeing things from “outside-in” for the things which you are seeing “inside-out”.
That’s where from time to time, I take coaching and / or also keenly follow the blogs/podcasts/videos of people like Jay Abraham, Joe Polish and Dean Jackson. Each coach has a different style of functioning and you need to see with whose thinking you resonate. This is important because if you try to follow or take coaching from too many people, you will end up completely confused.
While all coaches may be good, you need to find the one who is “Good for You”. Here I am mean both commercially and at your brain level. I need a coach who can explain to me in simple terms what are the possibilities. So someone who may be conceptually strong in solving problems, but can’t explain to me, doesn’t work for me.
Till next time then ….. climb higher with the help of a coach.
One attribute that I have found very useful for B2B sales people, is the ability to ask questions to identify the core problem without getting the customer to feel that you are doing an interrogation. If a customer feels that she will just jump away.
But if you don’t understand what is driving the need for your product or service, you will end up being compared just on price.
If you can understand the Real Problem then you can become an advisor and help the customer in their journey. There’s one more reason why understanding the core reason is important….is it that the customer is actually facing a problem or is it that because she has seen others do it, so she doesn’t want to miss out – FOMO.
Visiting different places, interacting with different types of people from different cultures makes one sensitive to different nuances in the way people interact. You can gauge better about what’s being said and what’s left unsaid in a conversation. You can also therefore place yourself in the customer’s shoes and understand the dilemma she is facing.
All this helps in the ability to have a better conversation where you weave in stories and figure out the points where you can put in the questions that also help you build trust.
Till next time then.