When you observe a successful sales organization or salesperson, it’s easy to assume they’ve always operated at a high level of sales mastery. They open up sales conversations with ease and grace. Thoughtful and provocative sales conversations seem to happen without effort. Asking for the business is easy and, in many cases, the prospect takes the lead in ‘closing the deal’ because of the salesperson’s mastery.
These sales organizations make sales look easy. What we don’t see behind every successful sales organization or salesperson are the hours and hours of practice that helped them become masterful at emotional intelligence, sales and influence skills.
Build a practice sales culture and you will build consistent sales results.
Now, everyone knows practice is essential to improve habits and skills. This isn’t a new revelation. So why aren’t more sales organizations and salespeople achieving mastery?
Sales managers, take a close look at your weekly/monthly sales meetings. How effective are they in improving sales skills? Look in the mirror. Are you modeling successful sales habits and behaviors?
In an interview with SUCCESS magazine, John Addison, former co-CEO of Primerica, discussed the importance of the leader modeling the behavior expected from the sales team. He talked about the importance of focus and how it is becoming even more important in this time of multiple distractions.
“I honestly believe if people would spend 75 percent less of their time staring at their phones, it would be amazing how much more effective everybody could be,” he said. “You’re supposed to be meeting about something, and all anybody is doing is tapping on their phones.” His suggestion is to ask everyone to leave their phones outside the door.
Sales managers, be prepared for pushback and excuses because fear of missing out (FOMO) is alive and growing fast. You are a sales leader, so take the lead in helping your sales team practice and improve thinking, selling and emotional intelligence skills by teaching them the power of focus.
Here’s the hard reality about learning new skills: It requires changing your brain and developing new neural pathways. It’s not easy and requires repetition gained only through practice.
Tara Swart, a senior lecturer at MIT and author of “Neuroscience for Leadership,” said it’s energy-intensive to learn new skills. It’s a conscious processing of inputs, problem solving, memorizing complex concepts, self-control and self-reflection.
Learning doesn’t happen without focus. Mastery doesn’t happen without deliberate practice---which requires focus.
Sales managers, take the lead and model the behaviors you desire from your sales team. Get unplugged, get focused and create a practice sales culture. It’s a lot more fun to lead a masterful group of salespeople than a mediocre one.