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Success In The Brave New World of Sales

Sales is a profession, and unfortunately, it’s a profession that many people fall into or default to as a last resort. So what does it take to be successful in sales? Is it the right profession for you?

Sales Is A Profession, And It’s Not For Everyone

Sales is a profession, and unfortunately, it’s a profession that many people fall into or default to as a last resort.

As a result, sales leaders waste a lot of time trying to fit round pegs into square holes. So what does it take to be successful in sales? Is it the right profession for you?

We know that the internet has changed the game of sales. The prospect is more educated. Many target prospects are researching you and your company before they ever engage in a formal dialogue.

Others simply meet with you to validate a decision they have already made. There are more competitors than ever.

Sales Is Easier Than Ever

Is it tougher to sell today?

Let me offer a resounding no! It’s easier than ever.

How many of you are old enough to remember selling without a GPS system?

You had the steering wheel in one hand and a Rand McNally in the other trying to find the prospect’s office. (Is there really any reason for someone to show up late today….?)

There wasn’t a website or LinkedIn profile to preview before a phone call or meeting.

Anyone remember cold calling from the yellow pages because the internet did not exist? It was the equivalent of throwing darts at a dart board— blindfolded.

While technology has changed the game of sales, there are timeless principles that work and have always worked to be successful in sales.

Do The Work

Well-known actor, Denzel Washington, shares that his Dad often said these words to him when he was growing up: “Do the work so you can do the work.”

There are books written about the four hour work weeks. Others are touting the value and importance of work-life balance.

Still others write about techniques to achieving financial independence. All of those things can be achieved—after you do the work!

Preparation and Organization

Even back in the yellow page days of prospecting, the best salespeople had a script and a planned approach to their cold calls.

Fast forward to the information age and you will still see that the best salespeople are prepared.

When asking their best clients for referrals and introductions, they have a one-sheet referral page prepared that helps clients recognize referable opportunities.

When prospecting, the prepared salesperson has developed a customized value proposition by industry, position, trigger events and trends— not just a generic ‘here’s what we do’ elevator pitch.

Build and Maintain Relationships

Contrary to many current publications, relationship selling is not dead. Prospects and customers don’t want a professional visitor showing up to shoot the breeze.

They also don’t want just a technical expert with absolutely no personality or heart running the meeting either. The best salespeople build relationships and bring specialized value to the meeting. Value is added by being a shortcut and a problem finder. Value is added by doing something very simple: doing what you said you would do!

Some Things Never Change

Change is the one thing we can be certain of. However, some things in sales never change.

You are almost guaranteed to create your own success when you buckle down and do the work, stay prepared, and build relationships.


This free guide on prospecting sequences will teach you how to develop a series of prospecting touches, arranged in an intentional sequence, to improve the probability that you engage your prospect. Download the FREE Seven Steps to Building Effective Prospecting Sequences ebook here.

About the author

Colleen Stanley

Colleen Stanley

Colleen Stanley is president of SalesLeadership Inc., a business development consulting firm specializing in…

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