"Work on stuff that matters" is the mantra of Tim O'Reilly. Why in the world would we ever want to do otherwise? But otherwise we do; often and blindly. We waste valuable time and energy, our net results often revealing our hysteresis. With laser-like focus we must keep our mind set on the prize, ie... the goal we have chosen. Our sales productivity suffers greatly with each deviation.
O'Reilly cites JP Rangaswamias saying that "the essence of innovation today is giving the customer what he or she wants." What a mouthful of earned wisdom, yet so very simple in its message. Why do we continuously insist on giving the customer what we think she wants or needs? "That customer knows that part of what she wants is to be able to figure out what she wants. She is both consumer and producer, a partner in the process of co-creating value. The senior partner in the process of co-creating value. So today, if she asks for faster horses, we don’t build her a car. We need to find out whether she meant a roan or a piebald or a chestnut or a bay. When she tries the piebald out and decides she wanted the roan, that’s what she gets. Our job is to make it easier for her to buy or rent or lease the horse, to make it safer for her, to make it more convenient for her in terms of where the horse is to be picked up and dropped" argues Rangaswami.
Yes, it is time for sales innovation. The same old approach to selling will no longer yield the desired results today. What matters to our customers must be what matters to us. How do we learn this invaluable information? We ask! Customers are most happy to tell us exactly how and what to sell to them if we will only ask. They want to be personally served and satisfied now.
Salespeople must be innovators. We must set a new course, forge a new path and set a new agenda to succeed. We must roll up our sleeves and get involved in the day-to-day operations of our customers in order to present timely, innovative and cost-effective solutions to their problems. We need to asked pointed, strategic questions and listen carefully to the responses.
What matters to us is what we choose to focus upon. To satisfy our income needs, we must use innovative approaches to learning new technologies, understanding industries, bolster our sales trainingand deciding upon the best path to the successful completion of our goals. What worked for us yesterday will not necessarily work for us tomorrow. Innovation demands constant personal development and improvement in our relationships. It all starts within each of us.
Innovate. Review and modify your sales philosophy and market approach. Strive to become a better, more productive you. Read; there is so much relevant material available to aid you in all aspects of daily life, both personal and professional. Staying "tuned in" to customer needs and desires will help us as salespeople to satisfy them. Even in today's market, customers will reward us with their trust and their bu$iness, but only if we have earned it.