Still wear your first pair of running shoes?
Of course not! What’s happened in between now and then?
Your body matured. Your gait changed. You became more proficient at running. You added extra miles and rough terrain to your workout.
You’ve gone through quite a few pairs of running shoes, haven’t you? I know I have. After I put in sufficient mileage on the shoe, they are shot. The support and overall construction wears out. It’s time for a new pair.
So tell me. Why are you still wearing your first pair of sales shoes?
Why are you still relying on whatever-it-was-that -you-learned during the one-and-only sales training program you either enrolled in or your company offered you?
You are not the young sales or startup or engineering newbie that you once were. You’ve grown, matured and become more experienced.
So have your buyers. They’ve gotten burned more than a few times during the course of their careers. That’s why they are skeptical of all salespeople and the old-school, old sales shoes tactics used to sell.
It’s time to trade in your old sales shoes. For good.
Don’t even leave them around in your closet to fall back on. There’s no going back in today’s globally competitive marketplace.
Earlier this year, I attended a mix-n-meet gathering of startup founders. We exchanged the usual “So what do you do?” chit-chat. Without a single exception, all of these founders told me: “Oh, we already know how to sell. We took a course offered by [the local sales trainer representing you-know-who].” They figured they knew all they needed to know: to secure early adopters, first paying customers and angel funding.
Last week, I ran into many of them again. Guess what? Not one had achieved their sales goals.
To me, selling is like running: you are continuously learning and perfecting your artistry as your expertise grows.
To me, I am constantly learning from others. I synthesize their insights. I adapt, adopt and apply to my own context.
To me, I’m always a student, as well as a mentor, coach and consultant. The business, manufacturing and startup track that I run on has become more complex and challenging. You know what I’m talking about, no denying it.
Are you still are wearing your one and only pair of sales shoes? My advice: take your head (and feet) out of the sands of time. Trade in those tired, old sales shoes for several new and different pairs.
One size doesn’t fit all. It never did in the first place.
Babette Ten Haken, Founder & President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC catalyzes businesses, startups and technical, engineering and sales professionals who want to grow. Top Sales World named Babette one of the Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers and Bloggers, 2013 through 2019. Contact her here.