FAQ with Ryan Sauers: Business Insights to Apply to Your Life
This week I am beginning a series of posts where I answer questions that I am frequently asked. After all, I truly believe we should give away our best advice for free (so that’s what I’m going to do now).
Q: “Ryan, based on conversations you’ve had with other salespeople, what is the most common thing that they are struggling with?”
A: This answer is three-fold. First, you have a group of salespeople (no matter what their level of experience is) that have an excuse for every situation that comes up in the sales cycle. There’s always something that is keeping them from selling. For example, recently, a salesperson told me he would sell more if he had the newest iPad. “Really?” I asked. “I could outsell you with my notepad versus any new iPad.” Needless to say, I did not see a big future for him and was over all of his excuses.
Second, you have a group of people in sales that struggle with new business development. While they are generally good with their current clients, they cringe each time I talk about prospecting. They have shared many reasons why they have not had time to develop new business. Here is what I see. They spend most of their time on either a few prospects (in most cases, not nearly enough) or working with active clients. If your job demands new business development, this is not a strong plan unless you can get all the NEW business you need out of your active clients. (Note to reader: No matter how much your active clients like you, you are going to lose some of them; oftentimes, to no fault of your own. This means you must develop and close new business simply to remain EVEN! It is basic math.)
Third, you have a group of salespeople that use newer prospecting technologies and/or a mix of traditional ones for that matter—these same people tell me they are good at developing relationships and synergy with prospects once they are in front of them. But, guess what? They tell me their struggle is the actual ability to set a meeting with a prospect in 2017, as they do not want to meet. And, I say, “You see, I promise someone is getting that meeting—and it is not you. You have not given them a compelling enough reason to take time out of their busy life and spend it with you. Deep WHY-level thinking is what is required to improve here.
In each of these cases, I help salespeople figure out where they are, where they desire to go and a realistic strategy of getting there. Simply having “the gift of gab” or being a “people person” means zero when it comes to sales. In fact, if I had a dollar for every time I have heard someone say such a phrase... well... I would have lots of dollars.
Thanks for reading and be on the lookout for some future Q&As to come in the form of video and audio, as well. In the meantime, if you want to learn more, here’s a recent radio interview I did that may connect more dots for you.
Have a great week and let me know how I can help you.
Ryan T. Sauers has spent 25 years leading and/or consulting with printing, graphics, promotional and visual communications related organizations. Ryan is President of the independent consulting firm, Sauers Consulting Strategies, founded in 2010.
Key areas of focus of the firm include: sales training, marketing strategy, personal branding, leadership development and organizational change.
Sauers is a frequent national speaker and columnist. He has been recognized as one of the top 80 CMOs in the world and achieved the top designation of Certified Marketing Executive through Sales and Marketing Executives International.
Sauers is an adjunct university professor teaching leadership and communication courses to current and aspiring leaders. He is a Certified Myers Briggs, DiSC and Emotional Intelligence Practitioner (one of few in US to achieve all 3 rigorous certifications related to human communications, personality & behavior).
Sauers is working on his Doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership and hosts a radio show in Atlanta (Marketing Matters). He is author of the best-selling books Everyone is in Sales and Would You Buy from You? More info at: RyanSauers.com