Changing “Sales Habits”

By Dave Brock

PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

We know how difficult it is to change our personal habits. For example, at the start of every new year, we make a resolution to lose weight and get fit. We may go so far as to join the gym, sign up for a class. It lasts for a few weeks, then we miss one session–we always have a good excuse, then the next session, again a good excuse. All of a sudden, we have forgotten that commitment and displacing it with something else.

Each of us has lists of these well-intended habits that we want to change that we have never changed. We feel guilty about not doing those things, ironically, often we spend more time feeling guilty than it would take us just to change the habit.

It’s really tough to change habits. Great intentions are insufficient. There is some prevailing wisdom around activation triggers or other types of triggers. These are the little things, that somehow trigger a behavior, which, in turn, triggers the next thing, and the next—kind of like dominos.

For example, my morning routine sets me up for highly productive days. It’s pretty simple, I wake up, do 15 minutes of light exercise, meditate for 10-15 minutes, take a shower and shave. Somehow, that routine gets me moving and productive for the day–wherever I am, whatever I need to do during the day. If I miss/skip any part of it, somehow my day seems a little off.

So all I focus on is that simple morning routine. If I get through it, I know I am setting myself up to be as productive as possible.

High-performance selling is really the consistent execution of great selling habits. Whether it’s the sales process, how we engage our customers, how we create value in every interchange, how we manage our accounts, how we create healthy pipelines–all these things are simply good selling habit. But we struggle to implement and execute them consistently.

In our jobs as salespeople and sales managers, we need to start identifying the activation triggers that cause us to do the things that consistently drive top performance, or to be as productive and focused in executing our jobs as possible.

Like my triggers, they may seem to be small things, things not entirely related to our jobs, but which cause us to do the next thing and the next and the next.

With each person or organization, these activation triggers may be different. One thing we’ve discovered is these activation triggers tend to be easier if the entire organization (or team) is doing them. Seeing our colleagues doing the same thing that we should be doing reinforces our need to do those things. We create positive feedback loops that reinforce both our and our colleagues’ good selling habits.

You and your team have to figure out what your “activation triggers.” They aren’t complicated, sometimes so deceptively simple, we discount them. Here are some we’ve found useful with our clients:

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