Leave it to Scott Ginsberg to some up with a video sales training winner. In this 3-minute entertaining and informative video, Scott convincingly professes the validity of your sales efforts, even if you are the only salesperson for your company of one. In fact, we must always remember that regardless of who we work for, we are in effect, self-employed, actually working for ourselves.
We are typically not selling our company, our products or our services until we first sell ourselves. That first impression is what our prospects are actually buying. They are "buying into" our understanding of their need and our ability to solve their problems and provide solutions. We are selling ourselves first. They must accept us as viable or nothing else matters.
This is why working on ourselves is important. Think for a moment of all of your hours spent each month working out, developing your body for maximum appeal and energy. Think of the hours spent in front of the mirror making certain that your appearance is just right. Think of the product training that you might acquire each month to further your knowledge of what you are selling. All of these are wonderful and beneficial ways to invest some of your time on a regular basis. Now, think of the amount of time spent in self-retrospection and personal development. For many of us, that amount is zero, with hardly a thought given to it at all.
After 26 years in sales, mostly with technical products and solutions, I have come to the conclusion that our success, like many other important issues, is subject to the Pareto principle, known better as the 80/20 rule. I submit that we need to spend 80 percent of our time working on ways to become more personally effective and 20 percent on actual product and sales skills development. Many may consider that counter-productive, yet if you know everything there is to know about your product then fail in front of the customer, have you really made any progress? A wise gentleman once said "if I only have four hours to cut down a large tree, I will spend the first three hours sharpening my saw." He understood the benefit of proper preparation and personal development.
The most difficult challenges in selling, especially for beginners and entrepreneurs, both with limited experiences and training, are those associated with the salesperson as a person. Anyone can learn product knowledge, can memorize scripts (although I do not subscribe to this) or can direct people to other resources. Most failures in sales are of a personal nature. I have witnessed brilliant engineers who come out to the field and fail miserably shortly thereafter. It is not because of their lack of knowledge or training, it is because sales is very demanding, and requires specific skills and personality traits. They needed "saw-sharpening" time.
There are numerous resources available in the personal development industry as well as the sales industry, available in print, recordings and live. One of the most convenient is "drive-time university," that "windshield-time" many salespeople are familiar with. Turn off the radio or music CD and plug into something that will feed your mind. Learn new skills. Become more effective. Open up a new world for yourself. Discover new ways to be successful with less stress and better results. Take responsibility and action; no one else will provide this necessary training for you. Mastery of superior selling skills can be yours if you are willing to invest in yourself. Are you?