My mother used to love watching the Lone Ranger. In 22 minutes of black and white programming, the Lone Ranger would identify the problem, figure out the vulnerability in the opposition’s plan, then solve the problem before riding into the sunset. This practice literally executed like clockwork. The problem is that modern problems are not solved on a pre-determined schedule. The conflict is never black and white. The good guy does not always win. And, the sidekick is just as likely to receive the blame (undeservedly), as often as he saves the day (without proper credit). Truthfully, Tonto really helped a lot! The Lone Ranger model no longer works in the current business universe. Only actionable, measurable results genuinely matter! Victory belongs to the individual who claims it truthfully and explicitly. Winners write history even if they had significant help. The present-day business development scenario needs a more accurate reflection of the truth!
In the modern business environment, the sidekick may not even be in the same physical location with the hero, nor close to the problem that they seek to solve together. Any business hero in the process of solving a significant problem in the name of revenue growth, first needs support and sufficient resources. A great suit and a corporate brand name may gain a sales team entrance to compete for a given deal. However, to secure victory a functioning, coordinated effort must execute in synchronized lockstep! Victory happens when the proper strategy coordinates with a team implementing exceptional execution! Any break in that process means that a competitor probably kicked your butt again. From the executive with absolute budget accountability to the clerk that is responsible that the correct file is emailed to every participant in the process, the details that are delegated must evolve into the execution that was promised. Anything less, may lead to key individuals and lesser luminaries updating their resumes. Delegation only works when every meaningful step embraces consistent planning, followed by accurate execution. In short, give the right tools to the right contributor to achieve a clearly defined goal. Delegate what can be offloaded so that the sales hero comes in as the deal’s closer. Be sure that all participants feast!
Nevertheless, the best crafted plans can still go wrong. The key to success despite the doom option in this trade-off is that any individual stumble does not disrupt the entire sales process. The ability to avert doom before claiming defeat at the moment of a massive misunderstanding is the difference between exceeding your revenue target and another sub-par quarter that results in executive recruiters’ phones ringing! Doom is not fatal. Multiple dooms are not fatal either, but in the aggregate enough disruptive events may redirect an individual’s sales career elsewhere. But leveraging the potential of sales doom into the inspiration to continue improvising solutions, ultimately grows solid revenue results in career saving magic that minimizes turnover. Practically, this path to success depends on persistently encouraging prospects to share their innermost fears that are personal to them first, and the organization second. No matter how well-polished and accomplished the decision-maker appears, his primary objective remains career-preservation!
For a sales professional, significant revenue wins result from repeating successful habits for customers’ benefit. Every prospect has different expectations, individual incentives, and eclectic preferences. Nevertheless, every single customer has one essential common trait. They chose you! Unearth common traits that secured positive possibilities. Identify common feedback that pointed to unsuccessful interactions. That step means swallowing hard when accepting criticism for the sales professional’s unsuccessful efforts. Learn what you can. Then, improve. Reject those pieces of feedback that are not specifically pertinent! Ultimately, success comes from appealing to the most prospects that share the future vision of success that profitable sales efforts deliver. Specifically, the prospect’s interaction will contribute to them identifying, then meeting their individual needs. It is not the goods, or service. It is the bond that has been established, and then warmly secured. Trust is key in that bond. Success clearly relies on securing multiple binds to secure multiple prospects. Each bind does not have to be identical, but the sales professional’s ability to connect must consistently result in the overall belief, if not full expectation of mutual success.
By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director, Hunter And Beyond, LLC
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