Are you Working on Your “Sales Game?”

by Joe Sesso on May 18, 2018

“What are you doing to work on your game?” I ask this question of my sales teams and managers often. The ones who know me well know exactly what I’m talking about. The ones that hear this for the first time – they look like a deer in headlights! Here’s what I mean by that question.

Through my years of sales, management and research, I have seen a correlation between sports and sales. Athletes are competitive. Salespeople are too. Athletes like recognition for excellence. Ditto that of salespeople. Athletes need to practice and “work on their game” to stay sharp and on an elite level. Guess what? So do salespeople. It’s crazy that salespeople will agree one hundred percent that athletes need to practice in order to stay at the highest level of their sport, but when it comes to working on their profession (selling), they still subscribe to the “wing it” strategy. I don’t believe that salespeople are “born” and not “made.” It’s simply not true. Here’s another connection to athletics: elite athletes are born with talent, but that talent must be harnessed for the┬áthem to flourish. I could hire a golf coach and play every single day and I will still not be good enough to play in the PGA. But I will be much better than I was before I hired a coach and practiced every day.

The same is true for salespeople. Some individuals are born with more talent for sales than others. If they practice and work on their game, they will be elite salespeople and among the best in the business. That doesn’t mean that a person who is not a natural can’t be successful. Yes it will take lots of practice and discipline, but if they are committed to succeeding in sales, they most definitely can be. They may never be as good as the LeBron James of sales, but they will be the best version of themselves, which is much better than most salespeople who don’t practice their craft.

LeBron James image NBA MVP LeBron James know how to work on his game.

We have an employee in our Boca Raton office who was a very talented and hardworking salesperson. He won the Rookie of the Year award in his first year on the job, primarily selling only one of the several solutions that we offer our customers. He approached me at the beginning of the following year and asked me what he could do to improve his sales. Without hesitation, I responded, “Charles, you are a very talented salesperson. You’ve proven that you can compete with the best reps in our company. If you want to improve your sales, you need to become a more well-rounded salesperson. You need to study the features and benefits of our other solutions and learn how to sell them. If you take the time to do this, you will be the number one sales rep in our company. I have no doubt about that.” Charles is a real student of the sales game, and he took me up on my challenge. The result: he became our number one sales rep, and he did it selling all of our solutions, not just one. He became a student of the sales game.

So how can you improve your sales game? A good place to start is Amazon or your local library. There are plenty of good books that are specifically written for improving sales skills. Grant Cardone is one of the most followed sales experts on social media and his books are a great read. Another book I like that does an amazing job of walking through the sales process is The Conversion Code, by Chris Smith.

In addition to reading books on sales techniques, You Tube is loaded with videos on how to sell. Study these books and videos, then practice the techniques they are teaching you. Have flash cards or your notes by your desk so that you can refer to them when needed. It’s also a good idea to take notes of sales situations that caught you by surprise. Write down what happened, then go back to your notes at the end of the day to see what you could have done or said in that situation to overcome the objection, etc. You can also read my next blog post “5 Tips to Working on Your Sales Game,” to learn about the five pillars of a sales transaction.

Start thinking of yourself as an elite athlete. The sales floor (or your home office) is your field or court. Make sure you set aside time to practice new techniques and strategies. When game time approaches (the workday), your hard work and practice will pay off in a big way! Becoming a student of the sales game will elevate your game to the next level (and make you a lot more money)!

Next week: 5 Tips to Working on Your Sales Game

Twitter: @joesesso


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