If you want to be successful in any sales career there is simply no replacement for good old fashioned hard work. The bottom line is you will need to get up off your comfy chair and hit the streets making connections. It really isn’t rocket science but for some reason we tend to either forget that, or find excuses to not actually get out and hustle. How many times have we heard the term “getting back to basics”. It is something that we talk about often but don’t always do.
You can make sales or you can make excuses. It’s hard to do both.
I had a meeting last week that reminded me of the importance of “doing the hustle”. I get meeting requests all the time from a variety of suppliers, from private lenders looking to get in front of our team to marketing sales people with the next ‘big’ marketing thing they want to sell me. I tend to guard my time closely so am cautious about who I schedule appointments with. The request last week was from a private lender with commercial and investment connections. My first reaction was to put them off until the next industry event and simply connect there. I thought about the fact that he was obviously getting out and meeting brokers so decided if nothing else I could hear what his value proposition was and tell him a little of the Axiom story so if he ran across anyone in his travels that might be looking for a new home he would at least have some frame of reference to potentially refer individuals our way.
He went out of his way to accommodate my tight schedule and location. The meeting was indeed much better than I had expected and it turns out there may be some substantial opportunity for both of us. Time will tell. One of the things that I asked during our meeting was about his background. I also indicated that I was pleased that we had met and confessed to almost not taking the meeting. He went on to tell me his background with one of the major FI’s and told a story of how when he first started he recognized immediately that a series of his predecessors who had failed had likely failed because they got comfortable behind the desk and did not actually get out in front of the customers. He made a point to get out of the office and actually get face to face with his customers (as he had done with me). The result was taking that branch from something like 163rd out of 168 nationally to being in the top 20 in the country. Impressive results indeed!
It was a great reminder of the power of simply hustling and doing the extra little things right that not everyone is doing. In this day and age of advanced technology it is so easy to take the easy way out and send a tweet or an email. Why not pick up the phone? Why not get face to face with your prospects? It is usually “you” that they are buying and can you really convey who “you” are over an email? In an overly high-tech world where most people will opt for the path of least resistance, it is even easier than ever for you to stand out. Get in front of your prospects live and in real time. Don’t take the comfort and simplicity of an email or an electronic message of some kind. That is what your competition is doing. By all means qualify your prospect first, but once you have get off your backside and go see them! Assuming you are good at what you do you will leave an impression.
We have more methods than ever to make the initial connection or introduction. What you do with that is up to you. One of the things that I try and do with all of my relevant social media connections (FB, Twitter or LinkedIn) is to pick up the phone and extend that connection to a live, offline interaction. What do you do to grow your base of connections?