Confessions Of An Inquisitive, Driven Mind
When I started in sales everything seemed so easy and felt so natural. Working in a fast moving consumables industry I quickly progressed from internal sales to external salesperson and then onto becoming sales manager. In doing so I neither studied nor committed to developing myself for progression in my chosen profession. I believed I was just good at it and I enjoyed it. "Some people are just born salespeople", as the saying says, and I figured I was one of them.
Then a fantastic thing happened to me. I was head-hunted and offered a job selling capital equipment which gave me the opportunity to earn more money and have a better life style. Naturally I took it … and then found myself struggling in a way I hadn't envisaged and wasn’t expecting. Over a period of months my self-confidence waned and a state of almost desperation replaced my usual ebullience and optimism. It didn't take too long until I had forgotten how to enjoy my work and I'd resorted to questioning myself about all sorts of things. I was learning that salespeople may not be born after all!
Seeing I was struggling my M.D. (a former salesperson himself) invited me to join him on a sales call for an opportunity he had been working on. I went with him; sat, listened and watched what both my M.D. and the prospect said and did. The call was a very good one … as was the result with the meeting concluding with the prospect agreeing to place the order with our company. Most striking to me though was just how easy he made it look.
The call was just the tonic I had needed because in replaying it back in my mind time and time again after the call, I decided that whilst my MD had said nothing I wouldn’t have or couldn’t have said, nor did he do anything I couldn't do, he said and did it all differently. I had discovered that salespeople can be made, and that really good ones definitely are! At that time, without my knowing it I had become interested in the mechanics of selling and over the years since that interest has only increased. (I openly confess I'm a "sales-saddo" and probably need a hobby!)
As I Learnt It … I Wrote It
Moving forward and starting with the things I had picked up in that call every time I did, saw, heard or experienced anything effective I wrote it down and set about working on understanding not only what had worked, but why it had. A few pieces of paper quickly became a folder and eventually a folder became several lever arch files stuffed with tips, tools, techniques and disciplines of the most successful people and selling skills I had the pleasure of studying. What I had uncovered and recorded were their 'sales secrets'. Each had been dissected, modelled and tested to prove that it would work for me. In applying them, these 'secrets' of top performing salespeople helped me grow my sales as they will for anyone else willing to apply them correctly (as I have proved over time with thousands of salespeople, sales teams and their companies alike).
Similarly over time, besides selling I studied management, running businesses and looked at What It Takes to Succeed across various walks of life (business and sports included - although the same things apply across any endeavour where someone is looking to achieve more).
As the financial crisis hit in 2008 I took what I knew and applied it as General Manager of a mature business. Previously a company that had experienced limited growth for many years, the business started to grow with turnover doubling within 3 years and trebling within 5 years of my joining it. Profitability soared as well as increased turnover was managed with higher efficiency and structured procedures, keeping costs down.
Today the contents of those lever arch files (and much more besides) - the 'secrets' form the basis of everything in our programs and seminars. And for me there's nothing better than sharing them with people who want to achieve more, are prepared to apply them and make them work. I trust that in having read to the bottom of this story you are a kindred spirit; if so we can do great things together.
I look forward to meeting you at one of our training programs, events or via our consultancy service. Until then I wish you every success in all you do!
Founder and unashamedly proud salesperson!
Sign up for our newsletter and we'll send you a complimentary copy of our eBook the Golden Rules of Selling (worth £5) to say thank you. You'll hear from us every time we publish a new post on the Wit2S* blog as well as to let you know when there's a new episode of the Wit2S* podcast. You can also be among the first to know when there's a new program/seminar/event or eBook. *Wit2S is a trade name of Professional Sales Development and stands for What It Takes To Succeed.