Welcome Tony J. Hughes, today’s guest blogger! Tony always provides highly insightful sales articles and we are excited to feature his post!
I’ve lived the bipolar existence that is professional selling, and I’ve stared into the abyss of what seemed an impossible revenue target.
Most companies operate with insanity as they thrash around demanding relentless hyper-growth. In this pursuit, they hire like crazy, reduce the size of territories, increase the targets, fire up the team with a punchy sales kickoff, and then unleash the flamethrower to blast sellers. They exhort salespeople to step up or face the wrath of blowtorch pressure from stack ranking and performance improvement programs (PIPs) to manage out those who fail.
The irony is that many good sellers are chewed up and spat out because of management’s inability to analyze the data and provide viable territories and positive reference clients; or its failure to deliver the right tools, such as coaching and support, to enable sales; or its lack of intrinsic value without the right product-to-market fit.
In contrast, the best companies know that nothing good happens unless someone sells something, and they respect and value those on the front line who provide this service. Selling can make a person soar, and I’ve watched sellers excel as they helped their customers achieve success. Intent is important, and so is work ethic. To succeed, you can’t be a snoozer, and you can’t be hung up about how others perceive you.
It’s Digital And Cold Calling, Not Instead Of
Want to hear more from Tony about sales, especially generating new business by combining traditional and digital outreach? Watch his recent Webinar with us … on demand!
Selling is a blue-collar trade dressed up in Wall Street clothing. You must put in an honest day’s work, day in and day out, and be able to look yourself in the eye and know that you actually deserve success.
No matter how well sales are currently going, no matter how much you feel like it or not, no matter if there is time pressure and others are screaming at you to do non-selling activity, you must prospect every day. You must know that the only thing that creates a consistent sales funnel is consistent prospecting activity.
Just as I’ve seen the best, I’ve also seen the worst in people, as they tried to manipulate, lie, cheat, or steal their way to the top. Don’t do it—your integrity is everything. Selling is not something you do to someone; it’s something you do for someone. Your brand and reputation is your most precious asset. We live in an age where any client or employer can peel back the facade. You must be the real deal and be able to look at yourself in the mirror. Take social media seriously, and invest in creating a strong and authentic personal brand.
Selling, like boxing or MMA, is both scientific and mystical, both art and brutality. Real selling demands that you give yourself completely to what you pursue. You can’t make it unless you are actually the person worthy of the success you seek. You must step into the ring and face your fears, passionately speaking up for what you believe. You must be willing to be pummeled and fall to the canvas with everyone watching. Then to get back up, knowing you’ll be pounded again.
About Tony J. Hughes
Tony J. Hughes is an experienced CEO and company director who brings proven leadership in building great sales cultures and driving profitable revenue through customer success. He is ranked by Top Sales Magazine as the most influential person in professional selling in the Asia-Pacific region and was recognized by LinkedIn as the #3 expert thought leader globally on B2B sales in 2018. Tony’s latest book, COMBO Prospecting, is out now to rave reviews. He can be found on LinkedIn, as well as at TonyHughes.com.au and RSVPselling.com.