The late philosopher Socrates, born circa 470 B.C., is credited with the often-quoted phrase, “Know thyself.” Who knew that one of the best pieces of advice would remain relevant for so long, especially in the sales profession?
Salespeople are bombarded with new ideas, tactics and strategies to grow business. But in the midst of all these great ideas, remember Socrates advice and the importance of self-awareness and sales success.
Increased self-awareness leads to increased self-responsibility, which results in increased sales.
Here’s an example:
Bob’s business-development efforts pay off and he sets up a first meeting with a prospect. The prospect immediately takes control of the meeting and begins interrogating.
The meeting looks and sounds more like cross examination than a sales meeting.
Who are you currently working with?
How long have you been with your company?
What makes your services different than XYZ?
Bob’s heart rate increases. Negative thinking and emotions take over. “Who is this person? Is she just trying to discredit me and my company?”
Bob gets defensive and launches into a full-blown feature/benefit dump, with the goal of showing this difficult prospect how credible he and his company are in the market. Not surprising, no second meeting is scheduled.
Bob leaves the meeting wondering, “What just happened?”
Many salespeople would shift the blame for this bad sales meeting solely to the prospect. “She didn’t take me seriously because of my age. She just doesn’t like men. She’s way over her head and probably has no authority to make a decision.”
The self-aware salesperson has a different response and carves out time to reflect upon the meeting because they recognize:
It’s easier to blame other people for problems, but blame seldom changes the future.
The self-aware salesperson takes time to reflect and ask the powerful questions of self-responsibility and accountability.
? = How could I have better prepared for this meeting?
? = What questions could I have redirected to turn this meeting from an interrogation to a conversation?
? = What will I do differently on the next sales call?
? = How could I have framed up this meeting to be more consultative and conversational?
True self-awareness = self-responsibility = increased sales results.
Self-aware salespeople recognize AND ARE AWARE that success in life is their responsibility. They don’t assign blame. Instead, they reflect and figure out a better way to overcome adversity and challenges.
Carve out time for introspection and reflection. Grow your self-awareness muscle and sales.