I saw a post the other day on LinkedIn that completely re-solidified the ancient, antiquated idea that sales is about nothing but numbers - your numbers, the company’s numbers, the closing numbers, the bonus numbers - all the numbers.
The post was a meme of Leonardo DiCaprio in his role as Hugh Glass, the fur trapper in the movie, The Revenant. He is carrying his friend on his shoulders in the scene, running out of the forest with a look of sheer determination to save his friend’s life. In the meme were the words:
When the Sales Manger Helps You
Get to the End of the Month
Clearly intimating that your sales manager is carrying you, at all costs, to the end of the month so you can hit your sales “quotas,” your numbers.
I got a sinking feeling in my stomach, not only when I saw the meme, but with all the comments below it agreeing with the concept. When will we ever learn that sales is NOT about numbers, and every successful sales person will tell you that.
Sales is about YOUR CUSTOMERS. Not your numbers, not your office metrics, not the team’s closing percentage, and definitely, not about YOU.
The only numbers you should ever worry about as you sell are the number of referrals your customers happily pass along to you, and the number of stars or positive reviews your customers give you after the sale is made, and after the product or service is delivered. Those are the only numbers that matter. Because if you don’t focus on those two areas, your sales numbers will never be sustainable anyway. Your sales career will be a roller coaster that will eventually run out of track.
One of my favorite quotes of all time came from one of the most successful sales people of all time, Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay cosmetics. She said:
Pretend every one you meet has a sign around their neck that reads:
‘Make me feel important.’
That is success in selling. HELPING people, NOT selling people.
Take the next month and switch your focus. Approach your appointments with the mindset of “how can I help this person, or company, today? What do I have that can solve their problems? And how can I present this without sounding like a salesperson?
Walk into that meeting without the anxiety that I have to sell this customer today, or I HAVE TO MAKE this sale. Walk in with the attitude that I’m going to help this customer today, and if a sale is the natural culmination of that, then great.
You will amazed on how quickly your “numbers” improve, especially the number of times you are smiling and feeling relaxed as opposed to feeling stressed and anxious. And the number of times your colleagues go up to you and ask, what have you been doing to put up those numbers?!