The Complacency Trap
In a recent podcast episode, I had the pleasure of hosting Andy Gole, a renowned sales expert and author of “Innovate Now”. Our conversation revolved around the concept of recurring revenue and the potential dangers it poses to organizations. Andy introduced the concept of ‘narcolepsy’ in relation to recurring revenue, a phenomenon where organizations become complacent and resistant to change due to the steady stream of income.
This complacency, as Andy pointed out, can be particularly harmful when faced with unexpected events, or ‘black swan’ events. Drawing from various historical examples, he emphasized the need for organizations to be prepared for such unforeseen circumstances. I shared my own experience of losing a significant portion of my sales when I relied too heavily on recurring revenue, highlighting the dangers of falling into this complacency trap.
The Importance of Business Development
Andy stressed the need for organizations to consciously dedicate time to business development, rather than solely focusing on maintaining current customers. He emphasized the importance of alignment from top leadership and suggested starting with exercises like weekly bold behavior drills to encourage and celebrate bold actions. According to Andy, such initiatives can transform the culture and mindset of an entire organization.
We both agreed that coaching and motivation are crucial in driving change and preparing for black swan events.
The Power of Bold Behaviors in Sales
Andy also shed light on the importance of bold behaviors in sales. These are actions taken by buyers to show their engagement and seriousness, such as filling out a credit application, introducing the salesperson to the CEO or team, touring the plant, or checking references. However, he was quick to point out that salespeople must earn the right to these bold behaviors by demonstrating a bold vision and behavior themselves.
We discussed the trap of assuming engagement based on conversations with prospects. We highlighted the need for prospects to take action and show engagement, rather than just agreeing to conversations. We shared a story about a salesperson who had great meetings with a buyer but failed to address the buyer’s concerns about pricing, quality, and service. This situation could have been avoided with bold behavior, such as reaching out to the owner of the business.
Implementing Urgency-Based Selling
Andy suggested implementing a program like urgency-based selling to generate respect and self-respect, focusing on bold vision and behavior. He mentioned weekly bold behavior drills and collecting testimonial letters as exercises to initiate change.
In conclusion, I encouraged listeners to check out the podcast episode and emphasized the importance of regularly evaluating their sales process and approach. I shared a story about a sales team struggling after the financial crash, highlighting the difference between being successful in a hot market versus being a truly great salesperson. Andy agreed and added that competent salespeople are able to hit their numbers in all markets, even during a recession.
John is the Amazon-bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.