Very few people go into selling as a vocation, something they wanted to do from an early age. Yet when we spend any time with high performing salespeople one of the most striking things about them is how engaged they are, and how passionately they believe in what they doing. Selling is something that gets in the blood stream, something that when you realise you are good at it you can’t stop doing it. As the old saying would have it, ‘selling is the most fun you can have with your clothes on’.
This is intriguing, why does it have this affect on some people? We think we have found the answer.
At face value that doesn’t seem to be a big deal, but we think it is. What happens in front of each customer is unique; no matter how disciplined the process, how grooved the technique or how seemingly repetitious the conversations, there are uncontrollable variables which create the potential for unplanned and original things to happen. A salesperson’s ability to be creative, to weave new approaches on the fly, into the way they manage this particular interaction requires flexible innovative thinking.
And whilst they are doing that their performance is being formed in real time. This call, this meeting, this customer review, will impact the targets they achieve, the standards they have set for themselves. Their performance is created as a function of their ability to manage each of these unique interactions; the ratios that track their productivity change as a result of every different customer connection they make each day. In other roles a bad day can be recovered or compensated for, work can be made up. In selling a bad day can have performance repercussions for many weeks, even months afterwards.
This we have found is a major reason why successful salespeople love what they do. They have the potential to redefine their role, to take it to a new level of performance every time they engage with a customer. And they can do that in their own way, finding a new approach, a new line of questioning, a better objection handling technique, or a new hot button to press.