No Willie Lomans Please!

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Reinventing yourself

Okay, you have been at this a long time, maybe too long, heck twenty, thirty, or even forty years, and now you’re getting a bit, shall we say, long in the tooth and somewhat tired. But you still love the business, and kind of, still like what you do. You like it enough to stick around for a while, but you need to pick up your game a bit…in short, you’re an old dog looking for new tricks. All right, I get it, so much so, in fact, just to prove it, here are some new tricks, a whole bag of them in that should not only get you out of bed in the morning, but having you leap out of bed, ready to face the world.
Now, stay with me as I reach into that proverbial bag, and pull out some my best tricks.

  • Forget everything you’ve thought was true. All of those age old axioms that you’ve clung to over the years. Things like, “you can’t call on Monday because the customers are in weekend hangover”, and “you can’t call you on Friday because the customers are in weekend anticipation mode” and you can’t call, well you get it. Forget all that hogwash, and just call. Nothing happens until you make a call.
  • And, speaking of excuses you have learned over the years, to keep you from making your quota, throw all of those out as well. They are just holding you back and making you feel good about it. No More excuses!

Now that your psyche is purged of all of those bad habits you have accumulated, let’s start some new good habits.

  • Get into the 21st century of selling. Stop bragging about not knowing what “tweetering” is; or that you don’t believe in Linkedin. Get to work right now learning what they are and how they work. There are books, and articles, guides, and yes, even mentors, to teach you about these things. Learn all about them and start using them to your advantage. Selling the way, you are doing now, leaves you holding a bow and arrow in a nuclear war.
  • Learn about your product. The new sales person is a sales Consultant, with a Capital “C”. Customers are going to buy from people who understand the technology they are selling. They want vendors who can teach them about the products they sell. If you want to be successful you have to bone up on your product’s technology. You want to be a technical sales professional, not a pedlar.
  • You are a sales professional, you have years of experience in your industry, now it’s time to treat yourself with that kind of self-respect. Like all true professionals you have to study your craft. You should be reading books on sales and marketing, watching videos, attending seminars, and doing whatever you need to do to hone your skills. If you are not doing these things, you are not taking your career seriously, and if you’re not, then who will.
  • Learn from young people. They are the ones who are succeeding in your world now, so if you want to work with them, or even compete against them, learn from them. And please, take them seriously. Don’t insult them with the stereotypical labels like GenXer’s and Millennials. These are  inaccurate, insulting, and yes very demeaning, and it makes you as the labeller look bad. Respect all generations, and treat them as you want to be treated.
  • Stay energized. Stay healthy. Get your exercise, eat right, and just plain take care of yourself. You’re not going to be able to learn any of these new tricks, if you’re out of commission. Stay healthy. And if you still drink,  do so in moderation. The image of an old drunk sales guy is pretty darn ugly. And if you still smoke…then, well what can I say?
  • And finally stay curious. Learn something new every day. Learning is the very best anti ageing trick I have in my bag.

These are only a few of the tricks, you can use to re-invent yourself so that you will continue to be a good, and effective, sales person, for a long time to come. But heed my words, or you will find yourself  standing next to the patron saint of all old has-been sales people…Willie Loman. And nobody wants that. It’s only common sense.

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