Over the holiday break, one of my friends put a picture of her dog on Facebook, with the caption, “If I sit here long enough, surely she'll drop something.” I joked, that it reminded me of a lot of salespeople I know.
Unfortunately, it’s a little less of a joke than I’d like it to be. The thing I’ve always loved about selling is that it’s an action sport. As a bit of a control freak, I love how the process of selling always leaves me with some degree of control. Sure, I don’t control everything and buyers are unpredictable, but I could - and can - always make things happen.
Things aren’t working well? Great, pick up the phone and call a prospect that I haven’t talked with in a while. Business is down? No problem, double down on the activities that aren’t working, put in a few extra hours and I’m back on track. Great salespeople always control their destiny.
For most of the last 20 years, there was so much “food falling on the floor” that I’m afraid salespeople have gotten too passive. This passivity shows itself in many ways:
- The buyer’s cut their budget, so we can’t compete.
- They’re just not buying right now.
- They’re only interested in the lowest price.
These and many, many more are the equivalent of my friend’s dog waiting for the buyer to give them their food. I define selling as making a sale that would not have otherwise occurred.
There has never (NEVER) been a time when businesses have needed salespeople who can create demand more than the present. Additionally, while commissions are falling because buyers are buying less and paying less – those salespeople who create demand will see their incomes triple – and what’s better is that the companies tripling your income will love it for all the value you create for them. What’s worse is that salespeople who don’t create demand are at the beginning of a long-term significant decrease in their income.
For salespeople, the choice is clear – if you’re not creating demand you better start.
For companies, the decision is equally clear – if your salespeople aren’t creating demand you better find some that will.