Tuesday, April 27, 2010

You know what they need to do, so why isn't your team selling?

Couple of weeks ago I put a call out to Leslie Simone to ask Leslie if she would write a "guest blog" for the Print4Pay "MFP Solutions Blog". I had the opportunity to work with Leslie for a short while last year and found her dedication, desire and determination was nothing short of outstanding. So, it's with great please that we post her "guest blog" for all of our readers.

You know what they need to do, so why isn't your team selling?

Your firm has leading edge products, and virtually every business in the surrounding zip codes could use one of your offerings. . . So why aren't your salespeople selling?

To increase revenue and profitability, technology firms all over the globe, in every language, plead with their sales people to “drive more activity, study the products, use presentation materials with clients”. . .and so on. So if the advice is sound, why aren't salespeople doing it? Why are well-intentioned mangers with shiny shoes often unable to alter sales behaviors with costly industry training seminars, and the standard weekly 15-minute-sales-meeting-scolding?

There is a deeper reason that sales people aren't hitting their highest potential. It is their negative traits. Early in my own technology sales career, I knew I needed to be involved in more situations. But I am a perfectionist. At first, I would book 13+ meetings each week, but then not be able to prepare all of the proposals to my satisfaction, I'd feel foolish in front of customers, or arrive late, laptop trailing, calculating last minute solution options in the clients' parking lots. So my larger-than-life perfectionist trait decided that I simply needed to make fewer meetings, and ensure that I rarely lost a situation. Inevitably, I then spent even more time working on bullet-proof proposals and facts. Meanwhile, looking at my impressive closing ratio, our President kept wringing his hands, begging me to make more calls. It wasn't until I identified my perfectionist trait that I actually envisioned a way to successfully alter my behavior, balancing a strong closing ratio, and a healthy sales funnel. I saw that while the good side of the trait had helped me win awards, as I took on more responsibility, that trait that was like a boat anchor, virtually halting my progress. Once I distinguished the negative impact of the trait, I willingly gave up my need to run nine possible scenarios for each proposal--which the client never knew, nor needed. I also became more adept at building relationships, as I focused less on my masterpiece of numbers. By examining and owning my perfectionism trait, I had the freedom to design something that worked for both me, and the organization, to spur each of our success. And then finally regained time for the occasional round of golf. . .

Where have you been thinking that your company has unrealistic demands, or that your employees simply “don't get it?” Summon the courage and heroism to interview your co-workers and ask them which negative trait they see in your way, and then commit to taking it on this month. Suddenly, you'll find that a lot more of your aims are in your control. . . . Good selling!

For additional insight or information about how to increase capacity, improve the quality of work, or shorten the sales cycle, contact leslie@handelgroup.com or visit www.handelgroup.com.

Bio: Leslie Simone, Senior Consultant of the Handel Group, has been working with the Handel Methodology for over ten years, co-hosts a monthly TV segment on topics of interest to professionals in the Northeast, leads crash courses to executives in New York, and consults executives one-on-one throughout the country in developing extraordinary leadership.

-=Good Selling=-

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