Who are these people seamlessly living a parallel existence among ordinary urban and suburban Americans? They scrape the most basic livelihood, yet are relatively invisible to everyday people. They are commonly called “the homeless”. A refugee from that adjacent universe pointed out these individuals’ enormous business acumen. More importantly, he illuminated how their success translates to important lessons for the conventional business world. Modern entrepreneurs love to glamorize the hustle. This parallel existence demonstrates that trait’s purest form.
Often seen as a necessary evil for superstar sales professionals, market research fuels revenue generating activities’ by conserving very valuable time. The parallel hustlers literally must expertly manage their time with prospects just to eat. They vigorously compete for optimal locations to find prospects. They experiment with different techniques to engage the next prospect. In working their territory, they must determine quickly who has a dollar for them. They also know who is foreign to their territory.
Successful traditional sales professionals use market research to confirm what experience has already informed them. When new opportunities emerge, the research contribute to their considerable knowledge base. If fundamental shifts, like regulatory changes or significant new competitors, occur in their industry or niche, they pay more rigorous attention to new market intelligence. Continued success depends on vigilance, trusted contacts, and knowledge of the landscape. Professionals who most aggressively use these tactics eat the best!
The Big Ask
Ultimately, sales success depends on asking for money in exchange for goods or services that the professional delivers. The Big Ask is that step. Regardless of how polished the sales pitch is, professionals in both worlds must ask for the business. In the alternative world, some sales people approach with a menacing demeanor. Most sales are fundamentally emotional; thinly veiled threats sometimes work. Other approaches appeal to prospects’ compassion. Some hustlers charm, while the next one literally sings. Who has not put a dollar in the performer’s hat? Great asks strike an emotional chord, then deliver!
True motivations behind The Big Ask vary, as well. Some hustlers feed substance addictions. Many sales professionals mindlessly feed luxury addictions. The consistent thread features successful sales professionals focusing on a transcendent object, pushing them to work tirelessly. Recognizing and committing to that item or experience inspires achieving goals. Nevertheless, success requires contributing value and delivering results. Successful hustlers and professionals must honestly identify and focus on their transcendent cause to persevere through the daily grind to generate more business.
Whether hustlers or sales professionals, their desires are consistent. They approach each work day knowing that they need to bring knowledge and skillful navigation of prospects to survive. Furthermore, as skill level improves leading to more results, additional opportunities emerge in both worlds. The hustler is not perfect. Nor, should their story be romanticized. The same observations apply to conventional sales professionals who manipulate their target market. Still, success results from hustling and grinding. Fundamentally, rewards result from approaching business with vigor, enthusiasm and optimism. How many managers lust for such commitment levels from their teams?
By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond