I have to say, it stings a little bit (or sometimes a LOT) when you realize that it’s time to give yourself an attitude adjustment and take your own advice.
I have been in the sales industry for so long that it’s easy to cruise around sometimes with my rose coloured glasses on and my fancy ‘online sales training program’ thinking that “I’ve been there” and “Done that” so I’m basically the expert. ***insert face palm here***
Well girl-friend, one thing I love about the Universe is that it has this beautiful way of giving me exactly what I need and when I need it. I was reminded recently of how important humility is in this profession and why despite well over a decade of experience, there will always be a surprising curve ball in sales that I won’t be totally prepared for. It sucks and it can really level you when you’ve been riding a high but these little life reminders are important and they keep me grounded in the most impactful ways.
2019 has been an awesome year!
It has been mixed with tonnes of new business challenges and I have taken on some ambitious goals above and beyond my career as an insurance advisor, but I’m appreciative of the growth I’ve achieved and I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished. I have done things this year that I had only dreamed about and the proof is in the pudding that we all have the power to actualize our dreams. I’ve been riding this wave for awhile now but in the last couple of months, I experienced a couple of personal set backs that took my head out of the game and threw me off course. Nothing too serious – just life stuff. But I really realized how ‘out of it’ I’ve been after I was challenged by a couple of prospective clients on my selling style in the past few weeks and I didn’t react the way I normally would have.
Usually, I’m a chameleon.
I can pivot and shift and change to suit the needs I have identified within my client and they always get the best version of me that I feel is most closely aligned with them. This, my fellow saleswomen, is called style-shifting and it’s an incredibly powerful skill to have in our profession.
However, after weeks of travel in October and a household full of sickness (plus a hospital stay in November), I was completely off my rocker and having a tough time maintaining my own mental state let alone the ability to style-shift. So when I was challenged in new ways by two new prospective clients, I suddenly lost my touch and I didn’t know how to handle the new styles they were throwing at me. Challenges that would usually be met with a simple pivot or shift, were met with frustration, anger and annoyance. These are NOT native traits for me and this is NOT a state that I’m okay with living in….. at the end of the day, this type of approach just isn’t my style.
One of my superpowers is that I understand the control I have over my own thought patterns.
Once a negative or crappy perspective has been identified, I don’t typically sit with these types of feelings for too long before I actively do something about them. I was annoyed with these people and their process but I was making excuses and telling myself ‘They just need to let me do my job!’
Then it hit me,
“Lynsey, you are a professional saleswoman and you have created a sales training company to help woman find solutions in these exact same scenarios – take your own damn advice!”
Now you would think that this would be a pretty simple and easy concept for me, but at the time, it was revolutionary! I got so stuck in MY ways and MY sales process that I had totally forgotten about how different each prospect and each sale can be. Some come easier than others and some require a heck of a lot more time, care and attention so it was about time to give myself a good kick in the ass and make that shift! When I realized that I had unconsciously let myself slide back into what was comfortable for me instead of my prospective client, it was one of the most unauthentic and depressing moments I’ve had as a saleswoman. I don’t have these moments a lot, so it really sucked!
That is not who I am or how I operate. I am a chameleon and my clients needs have always and will always come first.
So what did I do?
Girl-friends, I wrapped up my pity-party toot sweet and gave myself a much-needed kick in the pants. From there, I was able to change my mind-set and then I changed my style. With the first client, I thought back on our earlier interactions and how she had presented herself to me. In reflecting on this, I realized that all she needed was more of me. She needed more information from me. She needed me to walk her thoroughly through the process. She needed to feel empowered and included. She needed my best at every single stage of the sales cycle. My experience does not give me a free pass to skip through crucial steps with her and once I identified this for myself, the nature and tone of our conversations changed immediately.
This was a direct result of an attitude adjustment on MY part – not hers.
With the second client, I had to draw on my own experience about what it means to express polarizing opinions as a saleswoman.
This client expressed some pretty intense (and at times, uncomfortable) thoughts on subjects like politics, gender equality and relationships that I wasn’t prepared to discuss. My personal opinions could not differ more from this persons so I had to be thoughtful in my word choice and always try to drive the conversation back to neutral grounds. I know first hand from experience that being outspoken on a topic like sex, drugs, religion and politics can be the difference maker in whether or not some one wants to do business with you, so I try to keep my thoughts on that to myself as best as I can. Just because I have an opinion (and I ALWAYS have an opinion) doesn’t mean that I have to express it and risk damaging a potentially profitable relationship.
We are all entitled to think how we want to think and it is not my job to change anyone. It is my job to keep the focus on the task at hand (solving a problem or fulfilling a need for the client) and then to service that client to the best of my abilities.
So I was challenged – in two very different ways with two very different clients – but it forced me to level up again, stay on my toes and keep my head in the game. It can be so easy to coast in sales and rely on your tried and true techniques but this was a great reminder that the only way to grow is to be uncomfortable sometimes. Nothing that has ever been truly worth it to me has come easily and if it takes feeling weird and having to give myself an attitude adjustment, then I’m down.
Plus, weird is totally my thing so BRING IT ON, Universe!
All my love,