Being invisible to people around you can be deadly in any profession, but particularly in sales where career opportunities are hotly contested by the high energy sales crowd.
Being invisible guarantees that you will go unnoticed and take yourself off the career advancement path.
Sales people can stand out from the crowd, but it’s not by practicing traditional ways.
It’s by practicing a few new fundamentals which apply to any individual in any organization performing any role.
And the payback from being outstanding in these 8 tactics in a sales organization is off the charts.
I’ve always made a point of constantly thinking about opportunities to apply my twist to a task in front of me to the point where it was an obsession. A way to make this a part of your DNA is to consistently ask yourself the question “How can I do this differently?” when confronted with a new task.
Just having the subject top of mind will lead you in the right direction. Ask yourself this question every day!
Purge every aspect of copying from your being. This is tough because it’s almost second nature to look at how and what others are doing to deal with an issue and apply a similar approach—to benchmark others and comply with best practices.
We have been conditioned to believe that we are better off when we follow the best in the herd.
This is nonsense of course. By copying others, all you really do is temporarily change your position in the crowd; you don’t separate yourself from it.
Pull a 180
This one is more risky but it’s a great way to step out. Look at what everyone else is doing and do the opposite. Amazing results are achieved by contrarian acts.
Fake right (where the herd goes) and move left. Keep ’em guessing; your move will draw attention.
Learn to focus on the critical few things you need to be successful. It’s so tempting to chase the possibilities that are out there but the problem is that you are busy but ineffective in delivering quality results. The problem is that you rarely catch the car you are chasing.
Remarkable sales people are mindlessly focused on a few critical things that are not on anyone else’s radar.
Leave “comfy food” off your diet
Shed the low priority tasks that prevent your ability to focus on your key priorities. Holding on to “comfy food”—the stuff you have been doing for a long time, and love to do but has low payback in terms of your success—may satisfy your appetite for busyness but it won’t enable your quest to stand-out from the sales herd.
Hook up with weird people who have the natural inclination to not be a follower. If you’re going to seek stimulation from others, lean in to people who don’t follow the rules and have “off the wall” views.
I see many more organizations these days who are looking for non-traditionalists as a source of creativity and innovation. If you want to be part of any crowd, pick the weirdos crowd.
Getting things done consistently is an amazing way to stand apart from other salespeople. The ability to achieve beats planning skills any day. Stay away from the planners; you can’t learn anything from them in terms of being distinctive.
Don’t stop planning, just loosen up on it and focus on execution. Get your plan just about right—spend 20% of your time on it—and keep your feet moving executing it—spend 80% of your time on it.
Jump in to the messy inelegant world of implementation where results get delivered. Standout people get stuff done; they don’t sit around pondering possibilities.
Unfortunately we have been taught our whole lives to be perfect; to get things exactly right. And the measuring stick for being perfect has been how well we have complied with the rules of the day dictated by teachers, consultants and sales pundits.
The problem is, of course, perfection doesn’t really exist and while we chase it, we waste precious time that could be spent achieving results.
So be imperfect (a lot) while others are seeking the impossible dream. Try stuff, fail and learn — the new formula to standout from every other salesperson.
There is no scientific formula to leave the sales herd behind, but these moves will help sidestep the perils of extinction.
I know. They worked for me.
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