Have you ever heard a presenter or trainer speak about a topic and you felt it was common sense, or it was obvious to do what they suggested? Recently, I was speaking with an industry contact after a webinar. He commented that it was obvious what the speaker was proposing. However, when I asked him if he was doing any of the things suggested, he responded. “No, but I know I should.” Are you ignoring obvious sales solutions?
Some of the best business and sales presentations I’ve heard are ones that remind me of what I’m not doing. Sure, much of it is obvious, but if I’m not implementing certain things I know work or I’ve proven successful in the past, often it’s a solid reminder to re-engage those activities. Sure, it’s great to receive some revolutionary approach. However, in reality, implementing a new strategy that will command a lot of time and attention isn’t always feasible with my current workload and time constraints. That’s when a reminder about something I should be doing is a great catalyst. If it’s something I’ve implemented before, the reminder gets me in the right frame of mind, it’s easy for me to adapt and implement and it’s something that’s often natural and comfortable. Still, learning something new is great, if it’s something I can adopt as my own.
Recently, I was working with a person who was fairly junior in his sales background. Actually, he wore a salesperson’s title for years, but he wasn’t exactly a rainmaker. When I met this person, he felt he had all of the answers. I kept hearing how long he’d been in sales and how that meant he knew how to handle every situation. Eventually, we were able to get past some of that and he’s more receptive to direction and ideas. However, I recently gave him some ideas on how he could connect with a client who had been non-responsive. Instead of doing what I suggested, he came back telling me he’d already been trying to reach the client and he’d gotten nowhere. I reiterated my recommendation, which met zero resistance, but I also felt there was an equal amount of acceptance, lamenting in the fact that he couldn’t get him to return his call. He was embracing the excuse instead of trying something he was convinced wouldn’t make a difference. Though what I was suggesting would require a little shift in thinking, and possibly a little effort, I’ve proven it to work hundreds of times throughout my career. After all, as a sales professional, you can’t wait for your phone to ring, you have to take action and sometimes get creative. Other times, the solution may be obvious, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t the right one.
The next time you hear advice you believe is obvious, ask yourself I you’re implementing it. If not, why not take advantage of it? Ignoring obvious sales solutions may have a negative impact on your wallet. I’ll never condemn someone for forgetting about solutions that are proven to work, but choosing to ignore them may just be the mistake your competition wants you to make. And while you’re busy defending why something you’re not doing won’t work, someone else is cashing in on the obvious sales solutions.