I remember attending the first true sales training event of my professional career when I began working for Worldwide Express back in 2006. I had accepted a position with the Philadelphia Center City office and was required to travel to the corporate headquarters in Dallas, TX for a weeklong introduction to the business and to our company delegated sales process. There were more than 70 fresh Account Executives in the class, most of whom (like me) were very recent graduates from colleges and universities nationwide. It was an intimidating experience. We were led by a very charismatic, energetic VP level executive, and he expected us to perform well. Excelling in sales training meant following the rules and sticking to the script. I played along and did just fine, ultimately surviving my initiation. But I definitely left with a bit of a sour taste in my mouth with regards to corporate sales training.
To grade the value of a salesperson on the execution of his designated script or some other type of prescribed gimmicky process serves to do nothing more than diminish the value of the person altogether. Any “Joe” off the street can learn a script. We can teach elementary aged students the 7 Steps of a Sale. Is that what we believe really makes a salesperson successful? If so, I should probably find a new career. Because I honestly feel that I have a whole lot more to offer the marketplace than that which is prescribed by someone else. And you should too. After all, that’s why many of us likely got into sales in the first place. We valued the uncapped potential associated with building our business through the development and promotion of our own talents and work ethic within the framework of a successful organization. A successful salesperson doesn’t sell a product or a script, he sells himself, and he does it at an exceptional level.
The value of a salesperson rests in his ability to relate to his clients and build longstanding relationships. Pretty simple concept, right? Great relationships lead to countless business related opportunities. Effective management of the opportunities given leads to future work related commitments. And future commitments lead to the growth of client relationships and ultimately to the overall success of the salesperson. Those are undeniable facts that we can all agree upon. It’s the described path that we must take to establish those relationships that’s truly up for debate…
My position is this…there is no better you than you. God created each and every one of us with a unique purpose in mind. We are not robots. We are meant to learn from others and incorporate some of those lessons into our own personal growth, but more importantly, we are meant excel at being the very likeness of whom God has challenged us to be. And we will never find the best of who we are within a script written by someone else. Each of us has the power to write our own story, our own script. And we all have certain strengths and abilities that are unique to the people that we have become. Those are the things that we should be selling. Our individual talents and skills are the gifts that we have to offer those around us, and they will serve as the cornerstone of all of our most successful relationships, not only in business, but in life in general.
Every salesperson will face competition within their industry. None of us will ever likely be in a position to sell a product or capability that has not been matched by a competitor. There are lots of sales books out there touting what it takes to “close more deals” and “have this year be your biggest year ever”. But the fact of the matter is that those books are someone else’s success story, not yours. I challenge you to write your own plan for success. Ditch the script and start selling yourself. Embrace the qualities that make you unique, and hook up with people who will appreciate what YOU bring to the table. Your success will never be defined by anyone but you. So excel at being your best, and the relationships, the sales, and the prosperity will follow.
May God Bless!