LETS GO: Drops whatever isn’t productive or purposeful to make room for growth
If you’re looking for life lessons in sales, the Sales Coach is here to share nuggets that worked for him in a life-time spent in sales. He shines a light on overarching, higher order positive behaviours that can help you build resilience in your sales practices and habits. His today’s conversation with Sales Enthusiasts is about how Letting Go of what doesn’t work is a powerful growth habit practiced by sales champions.
Let’s listen in on their conversation …
The Sales Coach was meeting the Sales Enthusiasts on the weekly mentoring video call … A Sales Enthusiast said:
Sir, We were talking about this just before you logged in… Is Sales Resilience all about ‘doing what needs to be done’, or is it also about ‘choosing not to do somethings’? If so, what is that behavior that has to do with ‘not doing’? And, how do we know what we should not do?
The Sales Coach (SC) said:
“That’s a very thoughtful question. And I'm proud of you all for asking! Yes, Sales Resilience and or Sales Excellence is as much about what you choose not to do. I would credit a major share of my professional growth and business achievements to practising that one behaviour.
It is two small words. But they pack power. Practise it and you will not only grow your business and capabilities but also your confidence and serenity. We will get to that in a few moments. But before that, as always, let’s start with a story.
My story for today is borrowed from the Internet. Likely, you would have heard it before. It’s the story about a Professor who holds up a glass of water in his hand and asks his students – What is the weight of this glass? There are several guesses. 50 gms, 150 gms and so on.
The Professor says “Hold on. The absolute weight of this glass doesn’t matter. It all depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute or two, it’s fairly light. Hold it for an hour and its weight might make my arm ache. But if I hold it for a whole day, my arm will go numb and will feel paralyzed. I would give anything to drop the glass and get rid of the weight. The glass doesn’t change its weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it feels to me.”
So, that’s how it is with sales as well. If we hold on to whatever is not productive or purposeful, there will be no room for growth. Therefore, the two word behaviour is – Let Go.
Remember, for a space craft wanting to move into higher orbits, holding on is not an option. It has to first build the escape velocity to get beyond earth’s gravity and then disengage from the mother ship.
A sales professional too has to learn the behaviour of being able to let go what no longer serves him, if he wants to experience growth"
Sales Enthusiast (SE): “We get it Sir. You’re saying we should be willing to Let Go. But what is it that we should let go? Can you elaborate Sir”
SC: “Of course. Here is a
List of 5 Areas to Practise ‘Let Go’ Behaviour
(1) Opportunities Prospected –It’s important to constantly apply the effort/outcome trade-off test to all pipeline opportunities and let go of those that aren’t worth pursuing. Pipeline pruning helps grow a healthy prospect base
(2) Customer Relationships – Sales champions know when to stop working on an account. They don’t hesitate to let go of relationships that are not working out for the Customer and the salesperson. But they take care to close the relationship gracefully and stay in touch anyway to revive business when time is more appropriate
(3) Sales Practices – Exemplary sales professionals renew themselves by reviewing their sales practices and letting go of what doesn’t produce desired results anymore. In dropping whatever no longer works for them, they make time and resources available to train and learn new best practices.
For example, they would let go of driving all the way to meet Customers who are ready and willing to do virtual meetings with them. In the time thus released, they would possibly invest in mastering virtual selling skills.
(4) Products – Smart sales professionals understand that it doesn’t pay to push the entire product suite on every Customer they meet. So they begin with deselecting whatever their Customers do not need. This helps them focus all their time and energy on products best suited to specific needs of the Customer.
(5) Sales Behaviours – Much like a master sculptor, who begins by chiseling away all the stone that is not necessary, before he finishes and polishes what he wants to showcase, top sales performers take a close hard look at their repertoire of sales behaviours to let go of behaviors that are a drag on their efforts. In doing so, they make room for practicing positive behaviors that build their sales resilience muscles.
For instance, many long time Key Account Managers get lulled into doing for their key accounts on requirements what is best left to their service teams. This costs them prospecting time and their new business acquisition suffers. Top notch Key Account Managers consciously let go of this tendency to overdo their servicing of key accounts, mistaking activity for productive effort.
SE: “Now we know to let go of what isn’t productive or purposeful to be able to grow. What we won’t let go is, of course our conversations with you every week”
Pause to reflect: If we hold on to whatever is not productive or purposeful, there will be no room for growth … A sales professional has to learn the behaviour of being able to let go what no longer serves him, if he wants to experience growth
Action Question: What are the opportunities, relationships, practices, products and behaviours you can let go of, to grow better and faster?
Related Readings: Mercuri 100 Ways to Sales Resilience Page on Determined & Mercuri Insight Document on Do you get lost going deeper for one enquiry of your pipeline at the cost of ignoring others
Takeaway Quote: “Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on”- Eckhart Tolle
About the series: This is the 94th in a series of 100 Posts that seek to build your Sales Resilience ... as an individual salesperson, as a sales team, and as a sales organization. Because a Resilient India needs Resilient Sales.