My first book, The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need, is a framework. The first half of the book is made up of the behaviors and beliefs that constitute the mindset necessary to succeed in sales (and most other human endeavors). The second half of the book is made up of the skills you need to sell well now.
The framework didn’t come to me all at once. I discovered it over time, as I led, coached, and developed salespeople. What I noticed was that most salespeople had certain strengths that they weren’t able to use to their advantage because they were deficient in some other attribute or skill.
In the simplest terms, some salespeople had excellent skills, they simply lacked the right attributes.
An example is a salesperson who has all the skills to succeed in sales but lacks the mindset. Think of the salesperson you know who is really good at prospecting, but lacks the discipline to actually turn the prospect into a client. (Check out my free 9-video training course on building your model sales week)
Other times, the salesperson would have an outstanding mindset, but lack the skills. They were disciplined, optimistic, and proactive, but had no business acumen at all. No matter how hard they worked, they had a tough time making an impact for their prospective clients because they couldn’t create any real value.
The reason I wrote The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need is to provide salespeople with a lens through which to view the attributes necessary to becoming someone worth buying from, as well the skills they need to develop and improve and sell effectively now.
Your Strengths Aren’t Enough
You will find a lot of people who tell you not to focus on your weaknesses. They will, incorrectly, tell you that you should focus on your strengths instead. This is poor advice. Your deficiencies will hold you back. You need to shore them up to a level where they no longer prevent you from succeeding.
Let’s look at a few of them.
- Self-Discipline: Let’s say you are really good at prospecting and you have deep business acumen. But you lack self-discipline (the first chapter in the book, as it is the cornerstone attribute, upon which all others are built). Your deficiency in the area of self-discipline will hold you back; you won’t do the work you need to do, you’ll work in reactive mode, and you will procrastinate.
- Optimism: Maybe you are super-disciplined, but you are cynical, negative, and skeptical. You don’t believe in your company because you believe you are smarter than the people you work for and with, and you are too cool for school. Your negative attitude will prevent you from selling. You will transmit to your prospects that you lack the confidence in yourself, your company, and your product.
- Initiative: A deficiency in one single attribute or skill can cause you major problems, like a lack of initiative. Sales isn’t a passive game. You have to take action before action is required of you. You have to be proactive.
- Closing: Maybe you lack the ability to close, to gain the commitments you need. It could be that you lack the language you need. Or perhaps asking people for things makes you feel bad about yourself (really a lack of confidence). You can do many things well, possessing most of the attributes and skills, and still come up short.
Your strengths are important. But being super-competent in some areas isn’t enough to offset your deficiencies. Each of the attributes in The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need is necessary for success, but not sufficient by itself. This is why salespeople underperform, and the lack of a framework is why sales managers struggle to help their salespeople.
Right now you can download two sample chapters of The Only Sales Guide, including the Table of Contents, which includes the attributes and skills. You can also preorder the book now and receive some super cool bonuses. Check it out at preorder.theonlysalesguide.com.
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