How to Suffer in Sales
The first way that you might suffer in sales is wishing that you had hot, ready to buy leads burning up the phone lines. Ready to buy leads are much better than targets in the mind of those who suffer, because ready to buy leads don't require that you sell. Targets, or what I call dream clients, require that you displace your competitor, which requires a relatively high level of skills as a salesperson.
You might also suffer in sales by wishing that prospecting was easy. You might wish you didn't need to use the telephone to make outbound calls to prospective clients. You wish that you could sit comfortably behind your screens sending emails to schedule meetings instead. You wish that your brand was big enough on LinkedIn that your prospects hunted you down instead of you having to hunt yourself. Selling is in large part about creating opportunities, and that requires prospecting.
Believing that your client should not perceive you as a commodity, nor should they treat you as suspect just because you're a salesperson will leave you disappointed. Wishing that the bar was lower and that you didn't need the business acumen and the situational knowledge necessary to be perceived as a peer doesn't in any way, shape, or form lower the bar. The reality is that your behavior determines how you are perceived. You decide whether you are a time waster or a value creator. You decide whether you are a commodity or a strategic partner.
It may not seem fair that your prospective client is going to resist making the commitments that you need them to make in order to help them produce the result they believe is necessary now. They will resist having certain meetings, bringing in other stakeholders, and even something so little as providing you with the information you need to do an analysis of their current state. the fact that you must control the process, and you have to sell the client on making and keeping their commitments, well, that is what salespeople do. In fact, that's why we call it selling.
Being angry, upset, or disappointed by the things that happen in the normal course of business is a recipe for suffering. The fact that your operations team struggles to deliver the outcomes you sold is the reality of execution. Your client refusing to make the changes they agreed to make as you were going through the process and causing them not to be able to generate the results you promised, is also something happens in the normal course of business. If you are going to be upset over the things that happen in the normal course of business, you're going to spend a lot of time being upset.
The recipe for suffering is wishing that something was different than it is. In large part, we humans wish that things that are outside of our control were in our control, so we could have the certainty of outcomes we desire. The truth is, the only thing that you can control is yourself, and most of us are very good at that. If you are going to try to exercise control of yourself, you may as well start with working to control your response to things that are difficult, things that are uncomfortable and the things that are outside of your control. To do less is to suffer.
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