By Paul Johnson
759 words. Abstract: Salespeople have a blind side, just like quarterbacks. A simple 3-step approach allows catastrophes to be avoided before your sales are sacked.
Are you prepared for what’s going to “get you” tomorrow? I’m not suggesting you live in fear or continually look over your shoulder. Yet I’m puzzled why people, especially salespeople, don’t invest in preparing for what they KNOW is bound to happen.
The movie The Blind Side starring Sandra Bullock made people aware of the value of the left tackle. Most people might correctly assume that the quarterback would be the highest-paid member of a football team. What fewer people know is that the left tackle is often the second highest-paid member. Their job is to protect the right-handed quarterback from the rusher they know is coming from their left — their blind side. Football teams pay for protection — insurance, if you will — to prevent predictable problems before they happen. They know it pays to take the long view.
Tackle the Investment
Not taking a longer view is costly. You’ll waste important opportunities, and experience frustration, stress, and unneeded expense. Conversely, when you prepare to protect your blind side, you’ll gain confidence, make better use of your time, and enjoy more money and other rewards. You’ll find yourself long on success and short on failures.
Yet few people invest in protecting their blind side. Although they know specific problems will likely happen, they’re content to deal with them when they arrive. It’s hard not to fall into that mind-set today. Our fast-paced lifestyle makes it hard to do everything we know we should do, and fewer resources (“doing more with less”) further exacerbate these situations. Yet many times we erroneously choose to do the conveniently urgent instead of the strategically important work that will deliver consistently powerful performance.
If you’d like to avoid getting blindsided (again), consider using this three step approach.
I. Get Real
When you consider all of the places that problems can come from, it’s easy to be overwhelmed. Gain some control by evaluating the threats; then you can focus on the ones with catastrophic consequences.
The odds are exceptionally high that the money you recently spent on your life insurance premium will be wasted today, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have invested in that payment because, if you did die today, the consequences could be catastrophic for your family.
While most of your business decisions don’t include death as a consequence, some are pretty serious. For instance:
- Have you been selling to the “wrong” decision maker?
- Does your new client really have the ability to pay you?
- Will the objection you’re not prepared for tank your sale in the 11th hour?
Get real about your potential problems by evaluating their threat levels and then making sure you have prepared to pre-empt catastrophe.
II. Get Records
Once you’re aware of the potential catastrophes coming from your blind side, make plans in advance of them happening to avert them. By “get records”, I mean to write your plans down. Put every action plan into permanent media, a record of what will happen. Like records on a turntable, you want them to be repeatable and accessible. You want to be able to get your hands on the plans you want to use and the tactics you’ll employ at a moment’s notice.
III. Get Ready
Once you’ve evaluated potential threats and isolated the plans and tactics in the form of records that will help you avert them, it’s time to prepare. Review the records on a regular basis to ensure you’ll know how to foil impending catastrophe. Practice those tactics that will help you handle that objection you know is coming, or confirm you are indeed talking to the decision maker. Play your records over and over again so you don’t have to think about them.
Be Comfortable, Not Stupid
If you find yourself blindsided more often than you deem comfortable, you probably haven’t taken time to objectively assess impending threats. We all have too much to do, but don’t let that excuse doom you. When you take time to sit down and assess potential threats, you’ll discover that relatively few carry catastrophic consequences. Once you get clear on what those consequences are, you’ll find yourself motivated to address them… in advance.
If you want to be the highest-paid member of your sales team, you can’t do it if your blind side isn’t protected. Your company can’t hire you a left tackle, so you’ll need to put your own plans in place. If you’re ready to bring more power to your selling game, it’s time to Get Real, Get Records, and Get Ready.
© 2010 Paul Johnson. All rights reserved.
About The Author:
Paul Johnson is an expert on ConsultativeSelling and co-author of the new Top Dog Recession-Busting Sales Secrets; get it at http://tinyurl.com/recessionbust. Learn about Consultative Selling at http://consultativeselling.com
Note: This article is available for reprint at no charge. We only ask that you include our copyright notice in your reprint, along with the About the Author information we provide at the end of the article.
A Question for your Comments: When did your preparation pay off when a potential catastrophe came knocking on your door?
Posted: under Achieving Results (Production).
Tags: articles, author, blind side, catastrophe, consultative selling, design, motivation, paul johnson, performance improvement, personal development, productivity, results, sales, Sales objections, selling, shortcuts, strategy, success, trouble breaker, writing
Comments (1) Jun 01 2010