Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great. – John D. Rockefeller
Some years ago, our company got a proposal from an Executive Business School to collaborate with them as training consultants in a professional training event. I was happy when I read the offer letter because I felt we wouldn’t have to bother ourselves with seeking participants that would attend the event, as the pool of executive students in the school should give us a good target audience. We only needed to reach out to the executive students, tell them about the training event and the benefits of participating in the programme.
Naturally, we felt we would record success since the school had endorsed the programme. My classmate was also the Director of Studies in the school. By our calculations, we were in for a good deal. But as events unfolded, we encountered a lot of bottlenecks. We realised that the deal was only good on paper. Of course, the final outcome ended up being far below our projections!
Be positive minded but prepare for the unexpected
I have seen cases where friends, relatives and associates are placed in positions and the salesman believes all is now well. These relations and friends occupy positions of influence in companies and you conclude in your mind that it’s time for good business.
You might be wrong after all! You might be in for a shocker because things don’t always happen the way they are expected. This is what I call “doors” becoming “walls”. Doors are walls when salesmen experience roadblocks at places they had expected easy access. Doors are walls when salesmen get disappointed at places they felt they had all the contacts and advantages.
On the other hand, walls can be doors when salesmen achieve results at places they were not anticipated. Outstanding sales results can come in places you don’t expect them. I have closed a lot of sales in organisations I didn’t know anyone. I got a job that paid me my first one million naira as a speaker at a conference I was invited as a guest speaker. I made a brilliant delivery during my presentation at the event and the commercial director of the multinational company that later engaged me for the job was among the audience. He met me when I was done and the meeting that later closed the deal was scheduled.
I didn’t know anyone in the conglomerate. The job came as a result of my performance at the conference. Nothing beats top performance. It is always advisable that you be at your best all the time because you don’t know who is watching. Some walls are doors.
Be strategic and get things done!
Sales job is an active career. You must be seen to be moving ahead and getting things done. You are not supposed to keep mute and depend only on the requisitions from your uncle or aunt who is a purchasing manager at a multinational company or wait for your classmate who just got appointment as the managing director of the company you are prospecting.
It is fine to have friends who are well placed in the companies you are prospecting; after all, it makes sales easy – when all assumptions work the way they are expected. I have closed a lot of sales this way and will keep closing sales using this means.
You are expected to determine acceptable strategies that will work for you and go for them. Depending solely on one sales strategy or on your friends and relations who work in big organisations for breakthrough in sales could be one of the biggest mistakes because things might not necessarily go the way you expect them. Nothing is constant. Smart people create rooms for alternative choices and strategies. Successful people usually design more than one solution to a problem.
Experience has taught me to have more than one approach to a problem. I create Plan A, Plan B and Plan C. But I approach every plan as if it’s the only plan available. This helps me to be focused in pursuing my goal. When Plan A doesn’t give me the desired result after I have explored it to a logical conclusion, I introduce Plan B, and subsequently Plan C, if need be.
The main thing in setting and achieving goals is to define a clear direction and create paths that will lead you to your destination. I believe that if you know where you are going, any road will lead you there. If you don’t know where you are going, no road will lead you there.
The solution to success in sales is to move on with a great mindset and keep applying the best sales strategy. Never restrict yourself; keep knocking at prospects’ doors and keep being positive – because some doors are walls and some walls are doors.
George O. Emetuche
Brain Tracy endorsed bestselling author speaker, and sales trainer. 08186083133, firstname.lastname@example.org