Can you stop your mind from wandering
And focus on what the prospect speaks?
Can you keep your eyes wide
And awake to the buyers frustrations?
Can you appreciate their needs
Without imposing your will?
And can you close a deal
Without clever tricks and word play?
Selling without selling
Closing without closing
Allowing the sale to advance at its own course,
This the supreme virtue.
Last week I visited Alaska to bicycle 400 miles of mountain passes. I have never been there before and it is wilderness beyond measure. Although a challenge, it was an extremely enjoyable experience. At times quite difficult, yet I believe in the Paradox that joy is found through struggle. Throughout the ride I passed many glaciers, whose melting waters ate away the hard granite. Their soft, yet incessant flow, creates sediment and grit that wears away great crevices and gorges. The water is cold and would flow through my hands, yet over time could wear away the hardest rock.
While riding I reflected on the numbers of people who couldn’t fathom the challenge of riding mountain passes. They see the task as something impossible and something out of their reach. Yet with time, anyone can do such a thing. I’m no athlete. Yet slowly mile by mile, like the grit and sediment of glacier waters, anyone can “eat” away the miles. First one, then ten, then 70. Before you know it, you’re done and ready for dinner.
This applies to many things in life, and of course Sales. The Tao commonly speaks of the power of water. Last week I saw this viscerally first hand in Alaska, how tenacity, persistence and grit can move mountains. Far too many see the hard as “too hard”, not believing that if they break the problem up into series of “one mile”, it can be completed given time.
Wear away mighty mountains
With time,sediment, and grit.
With grit, the Master Seller works opportunities
With tenacity they chisel away objections
With persistence they wear away concerns
Each sale has its own nature
And can be won
given enough time,
Given enough grit.
Each Seller is responsible for many tasks
Yet all tasks are not equal.
Do the difficult ones while they are easy.
Do the key tasks while they are small.
Getting started is often the greatest struggle.
The longest sales cycle,
Begins with a single cold call.
Start with quality beans
Rinse, soak and flavor.
Cover with lid and bring to boil.
Checking every so often until done.
So too treat slow opportunities,
Knowing that some deals close quick
While many close slow
Patience and tenacity are
the skills of a good cook.
Place slow moving deals on the back burner,
turn the heat on low
and keep checking.
Like the seasons
Each sale has a cycle.
Some a few days
Some a few years
Prospects buying when they need to
Not when the sellers needs a sale.
Awake to the buying cycle
The Master Seller generates urgency.
By understanding fears,
They connect the dots
showing how they can help.
They create desire.
Closing the deal
It’s done sooner rather than later.
I was reading a LinkedIn forum hosted by the Sales Association and it was discussing what differentiates successful sellers from the rest. Reflecting on some difficult wins I can’t help but think its a case of tenacity and discipline. The sales cycle of some deals can become quite lengthy. And often sales professionals lose interest and the deal withers away.
There is practical day to day explanation about this is in my very first blog post:
“The Master Seller listens before talking
Sells without effort
Sharing without preaching
Explaining without judging
Demonstrating without closing.
Never assuming the sale, the seller never loses one.”
The trick here is they never assume the sale is won. They keep at it; doing all the things we expect of great sales people: following up, keeping in touch, overcoming objections, and genuinely trying to serve. This kind of patience is unusual.
“If you want to speed up the sale
you must give the deal time to breath
If you want to dispel objections
you must allow them to flourish
If you want to take new business
you must give time and patience.
This is the path to success.”
Winning sales folks “stick with it”. They don’t give up. They keep at and again never assume the sales is lost.
If you’d like read more about this you can find the blog posts at https://taotechingofsales.com/2012/11/03/listening/
This is the 100th posting of this blog and quite frankly I’m surprised! I can’t help but think:
“Tenacious and deliberate
The dog barks and barks
Wearing away patience
Until the door is opened.
So too does Pat.
Accepting the thrice weekly schedule
Patiently uncovering new topics
Wearing away his complacency and laziness
Even setting aside golf at times.
Barking the blog
I would like to celebrate this posting by thanking all the subscribers and readers who have been so supportive with comments and advice. I know at times these postings can be quirky and obtuse. Yet each week more people subscribe and past readers fail to hit the “unsubscribe” button. Their good will is an inspiration, their patience heroic and forever they will have my most undying appreciation.
Thank you Master Seller and best wishes,
With dogged persistence
Soft drops of rain
Wear rills and gullies
In the hardest of mountains.
So too does the Master Seller
Accepting long sales cycles
Patiently uncovering needs
Wearing away objections
Closing deals with resolve.
Knowing your product is intelligence
Knowing your market is true wisdom
Mastering selling is strength
Mastering yourself is true power.
Tenacity, Patience, Focus,
Discipline and Confidence,
Empathetic with Humor
These are the keys
to true power.
Awareness is the fundamental task of marketing; to take a solution or product that you’ve polished and honed and generate a conversation about something that hasn’t existed before. By awaking the market place, the task is to have buyers consider “This might work for me!”
When there is no conversation, there is no awareness. In the dark, your solution will fall like so many before it, into the rubbish heap of “good ideas”. Persistence and tenacity are the keys to success.
1. What is your competition, their pros and cons?
2. Distinguish the niche market, your solution can help.
3. Define your marketing tactics, delineate market channels your niche reside.
4. Create a marketing message that speaks emotionally to your audience.
5. Trial your message in one campaign and test if it speaks to the buyer.
6. Polish and tune the message as you roll out, channel by channel.
7. Measure ROI on each campaign.
Have you taken the time to awake the market place? Are you clear on how you position your products? Does the message you share speak to the needs of buyer?
Are you making the unknown, known?