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This Year’s Fashion is Last Year’s Flavor

Image by Jordan Tan.

More and more, I notice how much sales development is a fashion business.

New ideas are attractive because they are new and sometimes novel. There is a long line of magic bullet answers being offered for deep, systemic problems. Shiny objects are trotted out one after the other, each offering some hope that selling can be made easier, salespeople more effective.

Many of the ideas presented are good, and many have a foundation in some truth. Many more are attempts to deal with complex and complicated problems with seemingly easy answers.

It’s fashion. Every season is a new line, or maybe a new play on an old line that finally comes back into fashion.

The real path to improvement lies in the fundamentals. It always has. The real path to improvement is difficult. It always has been. The easy answer is that the answers aren’t easy—at least executing on what really needs to change isn’t.

If you are a salesperson, you need to know that the improvement you need is gained through learning and practicing the fundamentals of effective selling. There is no new set of clothes that you can put on that will make you more effective without you having done the work.

If you are a sales manager, your team’s success depends on you helping them to execute on the fundamentals of effective selling—and your executing the fundamentals of good sales management. There isn’t any single answer to what ails you and your team that can’t be solved through the fundamentals, through blocking and tackling.

If you are a sales leader, your sales organization’s path forward to your goal is through the disciplined execution of the fundamentals of effective selling. There is no magic bullet, no shiny object, and no easy answers. If you want your team to outperform their peers, then build the sales force with the greatest command of the fundamentals.

Questions

What is your fashion right now?

How much of your  fashion is based on improving the fundamentals?

Are you easily drawn in by seemingly easy answers to complex and complicated problems?

What has to be underneath the new fashion for the new fashion to succeed? What’s timeless?


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