The life of a salesperson can be a stomach pit of a rollercoaster or a Mai Tai sipping Fiji vacation. We live month to month, quarter to quarter and next thing you know, a year is up and you are examined on your sales performance. Where did that time go? What did you do in between and maybe more importantly, did you stop to reflect?
I drive eight hours to North Dakota at least twice a year. Upon putting my car into drive and then pressing down on the gas, I know my end goal. It’s to see that last mile stretch of dirt road to my aunt and uncle’s canola spread farmland.
The next eight hours, however, are a bit of a blur and unpredictable. Will I stop four or five times? Eat McDonalds or Subway and should I monitor my mileage to see what this car is really capable of? It’s a full eight-hour journey.
My aunt would always ask, “how was the trip?” Until I started being mindful, I always said, “it was fine.” But truly, it was a pandemonium-stricken traffic jam for two hours. Then it became a game of, “find the fry I dropped on the floor,” and ended with, “how I can invest in all this land,” for the next five hours. When I’m mindful, the trip was fun and I was afforded some close encounter family time!
These details in between the end goal make our total experience. Traveling on vacation or selling a couple million-dollar software deal, there’s a whole lot goin on in the middle.
In sales, it’s our daily effort from organizing customized qualification questions to ripping through 50 cold calls in order to talk to one person who’s interested in discussing election results. Being present in your sales journey makes all the difference. Prospects notice too.
For instance, when you’re at the stage of taking notes and learning what your prospect is experiencing, give these two ideas a shot.
Mindfully gather the issue
Write the proper note down and ask a few questions around it. Typically, that first issue is immediate pain, but a few questions after will give you the cascading effect. If you understand them as a whole, the prospect now knows you care. Not to mention, your particular thought to each question helps your overall understanding so you can prescribe confidently.
Feel it like it’s yours
Part of being mindful in this qualification process requires you to take a bite of the “pain pie.” We all like to be validated. We all want to be heard, check Facebook for that proof. When the prospect gives you an issue, feel it. Believe it with them. Know it DOES suck and if you can help in this process, wow, what an accomplishment we’d experience.
These two ideas occur more regularly than signing final contracts. This is the journey we’re on every sales cycle before we ever see our commission checks fatten. How fun! We’ll win some and lose more, but knowing it’s an opportunity to talk with someone who’s asking for help is enough to make me smile. Being mindful in each sales opportunity will allow you to help more people and if not, you’ll have detailed stories for happy hour. Remember the journey!