Every salesperson has a proven way of business development and strategy to acquire new clients. Regardless of which sales system we use and think of as being the most efficient one, at the end of the day the method always goes through our own filter. And here comes a question: should we tamper with something that works well? Maybe routine, as well as tried and tested sales methods, is simply the best way to achieve sales goals and gain professional satisfaction?
In theory, sounds great. We know full well our business line, we know our clients. We know where we are already present, and in which new markets our business model could still be exploited. We have worked with all different types of clients, we’ve got our portfolio of successes, failures, and lessons learned. On the surface, it might seem like the best idea would be to draw on experience and act in a known way. But here’s an important nuance that influences the big picture: sales is one of the business areas where managers truly benefit from the so-called x-factor – an elusive spark that attracts customer’s attention to the product and the brand.
That’s the thing – no matter how talented the sales manager is, their spark might go off pretty quickly if it’s not properly taken care of. The job of a salesperson, as common as it is, might be one of the most misunderstood professions on the market, and the salespeople quite often hit the burnout phase much sooner than other occupational groups. The factors that are exciting in the beginning (good product, service novelty, new business network, first successes) are natural enthusiasm boosters that enable the sales juniors to close the deals. Enthusiasm doesn’t mix well with routine, though, and this brings us back to the bottom line – there must be a person who’s happy to talk to the client first, before any sales theory can convert to their continued great results.
Sales is one of these areas of business that keep pushing you to get off the beaten track. At some point, the good old sales methods somehow stop working and in the meantime, the clients start to lean towards some more innovative ways of presenting services and products. And this is where the ever-vigilant competitors win. What’s more, even the sales success per se becomes less and less exciting – the routine actions, even if bringing us new contracts and customers, are no longer rewarding. This place is just one step from work burnout. Imperceptibly, something that had allowed us to hit the targets and simply have fun at work, went away.
The key thing in all this is awareness. Taking care of your x-factor, to be precise. Broadening your business knowledge and experimenting with different ways of communicating with your potential clients is a simple way to make you feel that your sales experiences are every day, in a way – new. True that it takes some maturity and readiness to fail from time to time – in this business, setbacks are inevitable. Sales is a never-ending sine wave, but if you approach it with curiosity and openness, you’ll allow each and every moment to inspire you.
Over the years, this topic has been a matter of particularly deep interest to me. As a Business Development Manager and Managing Director, many times I had to take a step back and look into my ways of managing sales and approaching clients – especially whenever I noticed I started to feel out of steam. I think that if you are aware that in sales this kind of feeling might happen to you from time to time, you can make changes early on. By doing this, you can very easily restore your motivation, but most importantly, it is such a great way to keep sales exciting and interesting for yourself! There are countless little things that one can do to spice up the daily tasks.
And actually, what I’ve learned about routine and sales, applies to what I currently do in Rite NRG even more so, and this is why I value all my sales experiences so much. Building truly great teams for our clients requires an out-of-the-box approach, where there is absolutely no room for schematic thinking! Each and every company is different, with its own business culture and unique way of executing projects. And at the same time, all of them need one common thing: excellent project teams. And so, what I’ve learned in sales helps me put together these teams, exactly because of the fresh approach, of which I made a strict rule for myself.
At a glance, change might be associated with discomfort, but if you try to make it your partner in crime and your tool at work, the impression will wander off. Change the email style. Start a conversation in a new way. Experiment with the target audience. Take a risk and give a new method a try. And just see what happens – make innovation a new rule, make it your everyday routine.