March 16th, 2015
If It Isn’t Fun, It isn’t Selling!!!
Last week I was in Arizona speaking at a conference, during my program I used the phrase: If it isn’t fun, it isn’t selling!, and the reaction I received was interesting. Most of the comments seemed surprised or somewhat taken aback as I discussed the topic, others were curious as to how to have fun during the sales cycle.
I have to confess, I have somewhat borrowed that phrase from Sam Hagerman, Camp Director at my old Boy Scout camp, Camp Decorah; his mantra was: “if it isn’t fun, it isn’t scouting”. I did tell Sam I changed his statement to fit my audiences.
My message last week was more about emotion, selling, managing and building an environment of high performance. There were two aspects around this topic that are important to understand in creating great culture. First, in every organization that I have been with or have consulted in that had great cultures, those sales teams not only worked hard, were professional in their approach they also had a culture of fun. Sales Managers that created a culture of high performance always made sure they brought an approach to managing that included accountability and high expectations, but also one where the team had fun together. A few ideas to focus on:
- Build Belief: make sure your sales teams believe in your company, products/services and each other. This is the emotional work for sales leadership.
- Make sure your sales contests are sales games! They need to be fun, with exciting themes and creative. An annual sales trip for spouses/sales teams is a must, these kinds of sales incentives build camaraderie, memories and teamwork.
- Create opportunities to socialize with your team; organize pizza nights to breakfast meetings. These kinds of events allow everyone to talk, laugh and build respect between team mates.
The second aspect of creating fun and selling is with prospects and clients during the sales process. In my program I stressed that I don’t mean you need to be a jokester during the sales process or less of a professional, but a more relaxed approach can separate you from your competition. Many years ago someone told me there are 3 rules in selling: Emotion, Emotion and Emotion. You must have it, you must transfer it to your prospect and they must take action based upon emotion.
As a friend of mine Jeb Blount, the founder of Sales Gravy likes to suggest to his training clients, ask yourself about your prospects: Do they like you? Are they listening to you? Are you listening to them? What kind of sales environment are your creating?
As a salesperson your interaction with your clients or prospects will always create an emotion-positive or negative. Focusing on a positive, fun and interactive approach will lead to a connection with that person(s). That connection is critical to building the trust and confidence you need to win the opportunity. Several idea’s to improve the power of connecting:
- Identify the Personality Style of the person you are speaking with, based upon their style, work with them on their communication mode. But bring your personality.
- During any meeting, bring a lighter touch to your conversations, while having an agenda for your meeting, being prepared with a Pre-Call Strategy tool is great, make sure you add a sparkle in your eye and smile on your face to your approach. It’s ok to be yourself!
- Make the experience memorable. This is the power of creativity, ask yourself: “What can I do break through the traditional sales process and make the relationship unique?” If you use social activities in your sales process, can I align an activity that fits your prospect; i.e. a wine tasting? Sports events? Or if you are selling in a formal sales process can you bring something else to the table during a sales call; a best-selling book autographed by the author, or an invitation to your Rotary Club meeting?
Having fun and taking a lighter personal approach can separate you from your competition and that pays off with greater commissions. You will also enjoy the sales process and that emotion and approach will be felt by your prospects. What are your ideas around having fun and selling more?
Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 17 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for organizations throughout the world.
He was recently ranked for the third year in a row by Top Sales World magazine as one of the Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers for 2014.
Ken has written 5 books, his latest book is: SLAMMED! for First Time Sales Managers, Ken provides Keynotes, consulting services and products designed to improve business performance. Need more sales management resources? Check out his Sales Management Tool Kit or the Acumen Project.