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Mercury Professional Development, Inc. | Phoenix, AZ
 

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Hamish Knox

When our clients are elephant hunting or are selling in the enterprise space, we encourage them to engage their executives in peer-to-peer selling to their counterparts at prospect organizations.

Read Time: 4 Minutes

#1 “Most of my team’s most important prospects for new business are on vacation during the summer months.”

You’ve experienced a “donkey moment” during an argument. The other person metaphorically digs in their heels, they physically lean back and probably cross their arms. These moments are wimp junctions. Wimp out and your conflict likely escalates to a lose-lose ending. Take the “un-wimpy” path and your conflict deescalates with greater possibilities of a win-win resolution.

Some managers start looking for fires to start with their team, so that they can swoop in to the rescue. They have no time to set up a meaningful accountability program, they’ll say, because they have too many (self-started) fires to fight. Most of the leaders I work with are dubious at first that they could ever play the role of the Primary Arsonist. Yet it’s easier to fall into this pattern without realizing it than you might imagine.

A leader's only valuable is their time, which is too often wasted on activities that don't generate a good return. A leader's number one asset is their people, which are too often left to waste with no clarity around expected behavior or a path to advancement in their organization. To make the best use of their only valuable and achieve the greatest return on their number one asset, Sandler recommends a leader invest at least 50% of their time each week with their direct reports, splitting their time amongst the following four activities.

All salespeople with a small amount of experience have a 30-second commercial (a.k.a elevator pitch, popcorn introduction, etc.) down pat. And that's the problem.

Many leaders, especially if they were promoted from within, struggle with performance management. Not because they are bad leaders, but because they easily slide back into "doing" instead of "leading".

David Sandler said, "If you live a straight life in an unstraight world you're going to get killed." Yet salespeople get (metaphorically) killed daily by selling in a straight line. Salespeople sell in a straight line when they are attached to the outcome of their interaction with their prospect, typically closing a sale, instead of being attached to the process of (dis)qualifying

A leader's most important task is to create clarity for themselves and their organization. Without personal clarity life satisfaction decreases and complacency sets in. Without organizational clarity productivity suffers and turnover increases

Think back on your sales appointments over the past two weeks. How often did you use each of the following: "is there anything…" "could you…" "would you…" "can I" "I'll follow up on… does that work for you?" Each of those questions creates an automatic reflexive (Pavlovian) response in our prospects. The response to the first four is typically "no" and to the last one is "sure (but I won't answer)"