Shake, Rattle, and Roll

Shake, Rattle, and Roll

 

Imagine that after making numerous phone calls and exchanging emails, scheduling and rescheduling, you finally get to meet a particular decision-maker. You’ve done your homework. You know the company as well as anyone who doesn’t work there already. Maybe better. Your presentation is slick. You’ve honed it to perfection. There isn’t a single slide in it that shouldn’t be there, and you’ve practiced so much that you know exactly what to say.

When the appointed hour arrives, you deliver it with panache. Everything goes according to plan. You answer all of the prospects questions, and as far as you can tell, the only thing that remains is for him / her to sign on the dotted line; right up to the point, that is, when he / she says, “I’ve heard it all before”. 

Has this ever happened to you?

If so, then you’re not alone. It’s a wonder that it doesn’t happen more often. That’s because few people seem to be truly capable of discarding the sales-process-box they’ve put themselves in.

The truth is that there’s no box. Never has been. And so when you decide to think outside of one, you’re simply giving yourself permission to let go of the mental and emotional walls that have imprisoned your thinking all along.

If you really want to think in a different way, then you have to figure out how to disrupt the expectations of your prospects. You have to shake, rattle, and roll. In other words, you have to become unpredictable.

You see, it’s because you’re predictable that your prospect really has heard it all before. Every other sales person is doing it that way, too. Every one of them is following the same model more or less. That means that you have to be different. 

So the question is, “What should be your next step?” 

Hybrids

Napoleon Hill, famed for his book Think and Grow Rich, talks about two kinds of creativity. The first amounts to making something out of “thin air”; that is, in the absence of anything else. He cites Thomas Edison’s cylindrical gramophone as an example. There was nothing like it at the time he invented it. Hill says that such inventions are rare and that the great majority are the result of combining other things; that is taking two or more known ideas and joining them together to form something else – a hybrid if you like.

Academics have a track record for this. First they say that Method A is the be-all and end-all. Then it’s Method B, and then after that it’s A + B. It’s unusual for anyone, however, to say that it’s D and to be right about it.

This in no way takes away from the validity of each approach. It simply illustrates how unlikely it is that anyone will discover something that is entirely unique.

This should encourage you because it means that you don’t need a radically new solution to shake things up. Instead you only need to do what others aren’t doing.

How could you shake up your sales process?

If you’ve ever asked yourself how you could shake up your sales process, then you are already miles ahead of everyone else. If you feel that everything has become rather ho-hum, then start thinking about what you could do to make it exciting again.

Break up the process into each of its component parts and then imagine what it would look like if you ignored all of their underlying assumptions.Ask yourself why you follow a particular order or why some steps are included while others aren’t.

Recall all of your sales successes and failures, and then compare them meticulously. You’ve probably been over them already hundreds of times, but this time you’re looking for the subtle clues that you missed in the past.

You may have to do this several times before you’re able to uncover the nuggets of truth that have eluded you thus far. 

How could you rattle the market?

It’s one thing to shake up your sales process; it’s quite another to rattle the industry itself. To do that you need to craft a sales process that sets you apart from everyone else. 

How do you create something like that?

The short answer is that you have to figure that out on your own. You won’t read it in a book or hear about it on a sales training course. When you create something that changes an industry and that puts you at the top of the tree, then there’s no one who can tell you how to do that.

Having said that, you can gather together a lot of pieces to your new puzzle by doing your own research. For example, if you read the top 30-50 books on selling, do you think that you’d know about all there is to know on the topic? Do you think that you’d know as much as the world’s top salesmen or women? You can rest assured that you would.

Armed with that knowledge you could do a content analysis. Not only would you identify common themes about what to do, but you would also notice common problems. If you focused on the unsolved problems, then you’d be headed in the right direction to find a solution.

After that, you’d simply have to stay focused on it until you worked it through.

If you adopt the attitude that there has to be a way to overcome the problems, then eventually you’ll find it. You’ll have to keep on rolling and do whatever it takes, however, because there are no shortcuts.

 

 

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