October 29, 2018
The Rainmaker

Seven sales & marketing (life) lessons

The Rainmaker by Ken Cook

To be successful in sales, focus, make things better for others, realize you need relationships to be successful and enjoy the journey. Sounds simple to say, but it's not so simple to do.

Let me offer seven lessons very appropriate for the sales and marketing arena, and appropriate in the broader scope of daily living.

1. You don't need a big dream or goal.

They are usually too far in the future to have any worthwhile impact in the immediacy of today. Rather. be absolutely dedicated to achieving short term goals.

Instead of multi-year plans, think at maximum in terms of one year, and then back that up to this quarter, this month, this week, tomorrow and today. Energy in the short term produces results. The path is never as you plan. If you look too far ahead you will sometimes miss what is right in front of you.

2. What makes you happy is not as important as you making others happy.

In sales the satisfaction of the customer is the ultimate measuring stick. If customers are happy they are inclined to buy.

Therefore, strive to deliver happiness; it will contribute greatly to great sales results (as well as making you happy).

3. Success is largely a function of luck.

Yes, there is considerable hard work to get desired results. But circumstances, timing, confluence of events, it's all luck. You were lucky your client had time to see you. You were lucky the budget had some fat in it. So, be generous when your hard work pays off with a sale. Share the success with the team that helped you, and recognize without good luck many of that team might not be there to support you.

4. Be a teacher.

In sales, be generous. Help others by sharing what you know. Doing so builds stronger relationships and helps customers be happy. There may not always be a direct line benefit. So what! Share anyway.

5. Be passionate about what you do and share that passion.

Too frequently selling situations evolve (devolve?) into competitive comparisons. Customers seek to make comparisons because they want to make the right decision. However, in competitive comparisons customers are instead avoiding making the wrong decision. Passion, though, advocates something. Passion stands for something. Sharing a passion invites a customer to share in what works and could work for them.

6. Be respectful.

How you treat the waiter who served lunch to you and your customer is noticed. The customer will depend on you to interact with her entire team if she buys what you're offering. How you deal with people, all people, indicates a lot about how you will deal with her people.

7. Take a breath.

Selling is a high-pressure enterprise. Injecting panic or desperation into it makes it worse. The moment a selling situation begins to feel overwhelming, step back and take a breath. A moment's separation can inject clarity and override the high emotions dominating stressful situations.

Now – repeating myself – to be successful in sales, focus, make things better for others, realize you need relationships to be successful and enjoy the journey.

Ken Cook is the co-founder of How to Who, a program on how to build strong relationships and how to build business through those relationships. Learn more at www.howtowho.com.

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