Many of you have already heard about the Tikker® watch. The watch calculates the amount of time you have left to live your life. As a result, you focus on making good choices to live a full life in the time you have left. You also end up obsessing about your mortality as you watch the seconds diminish…. Tick, tick, tick.
Does this sound like your company’s Annual Sales Campaign?
The sales campaign clock is set on January first and the contest starts (think Hunger Games® and the gruesome start to each game). You and the rest of the sales force leap forward into the marketplace.
Each week, your Management sends out a campaign update. It’s hardly positive reinforcement.
The update reminds you how many selling days are left in this year’s campaign. The annual sales campaign marches on. Tick, tick, tick.
The update reminds you how many selling days are left to win a fabulous prize in the quarterly sales contest. Tick, tick, tick.
The update lists who are the Top Achievers in the territory, leaving you to figure out just where you stand compared to Them. Tick, tick, tick. Onward marches the annual sales campaign.
You are constantly reminded of your annual sales mortality.
If you make your numbers, you retain your position. If you don’t, will management reduce your customer base to “motivate” you to sell more new business? Tick, tick, tick.
If you retain your position in the company, are you regarded as mediocre? Even if you have a loyal and retained customer base that you kept in the black even during the meltdown in 2008? Even if your upsell and retention rates are through the ceiling?
Tick, tick, tick.
There is always that Upper 20% of Sellers. Their performance is touted by management: “Sell more! Sell like them!” Tick, tick, tick.
Onward and upward towards the quarterly close of the sales campaign.
Are you a Seller who perceives every year’s annual sales campaign as a march towards your own Sales Mortality? Create a path that becomes your own foundation for this year’s campaign strategy. Tick, tick.
There’s an entire universe outside of your sales organization experiencing the same negative, status quo annual sales campaign phenomenon. They are just as tired of that demeaning environment as you are. Tick.
You are the CEO of your own career.
Being the CEO of your career includes investing in your own professional development instead of counting on your sales organization to do it for you. You are capable of motivating yourself with more positive tactics, tools, methods and authentic selling behavior.
You can’t move forward until you understand what’s holding you back. It may be your own sales culture.
- Develop your forward-thinking mindset that customers value.
- Develop a selling focus which is strategic instead of tactical.
- Emphasize collaborating with customers.
- Stop counting down the hours left on your management’s timeline.
Liberate yourself to do what you actually do best: Sell. You knew it all the time, didn’t you?
Babette N. Ten Haken, President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, catalyzes business transition, startup growth, and professional development. She works with non-traditional sellers, engineers, manufacturers, and technical startups. Her book on sales and engineering collaboration strategies, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.