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3 pieces of Advice & a Sales Metaphor

Fourteen years ago, I left my job as a media buyer to become a sales professional, and I’ve never looked back.  I am fortunate to be in a profession where the pay is directly correlated to the amount of service I give my colleagues, clients, and prospects.  Sales has given so much to me that I’m excited to give back what I’ve learned (and am still learning).  

As I sat down to write this post, I thought about the advice I wish I had when I was first transitioning into sales.  So far in my sales career, I’ve learned from both good sales professionals and bad sales professionals alike (and I’ve done my fair share of both good and bad sales along the way).  What is clear to me now is there are a three simple and consistent behaviors that all of the best sales professionals exhibit.  

If I could give myself some advice fourteen years ago, here’s what I would share:

1) “To do a common thing uncommonly well brings success.” - H.J. Heinz

The very best sales professionals do the common things uncommonly well.  What are some examples of common things in Sales? Prospecting, cold calling, writing, networking, time management, research, preparation.  Coincidentally, many sales professionals despise, or outright avoid, these activities (and I did too). It’s no surprise because these rarely get the publicity or attention that other sales activities do (I’m looking at you Glengarry Glenross...“ABC = Always Be Closing”).  Put these activities into practice daily and master them. They will provide job security for you no matter where you go in your career.

2) Pipeline solves all problems.

The very best professionals consistently schedule the most meetings and generate the most pipeline.  Nobody rolls out of bed in the morning hoping they get to spend the day cold calling new prospects, but you will learn to love prospecting as soon as you learn to love hearing the word “No”.  The sooner you learn this, the sooner you will become a master at prospecting. This will lead to more prospecting activities, which will lead to meetings scheduled, relationships built, and pipeline generated.  And pipeline solves all problems in sales. Ask anybody.

3) Win the day the night before.

The very best sales professionals are organized, prepared, and ready to win every day before they arrive at the office.  One of my greatest mentors told me not to leave the office until I’ve completely planned out and prepared for tomorrow. He taught me to win the day the night before, and this has been, without a doubt, the most impactful piece of advice I’ve ever received.  I stunk at sales before I implemented this daily ritual, and ever since, I’ve been successful.  

I’ll leave you with this metaphor which I hope motivates you to implement all of the amazing advice here these Mentorship posts and throughout the Bravado Community.  I believe every good sales professional is like a lighthouse. Whether you are an SDR, a Senior Account Executive, or the VP of Sales, every sales professional can be the light that guides your prospect who is lost at sea (the problem) to the place where they will find the safe harbor they need (the solution).  There is great responsibility and great opportunity in that fact. Embrace it. Honor it. Over time, the right ships will follow your beacon because that is where they need to be. At the same time, there will also be many more ships that see your light and sail right past your harbor. That’s ok too. Keep your light on and take heart because more ships will be sailing in tomorrow.

Good luck and please let me know if there's anything I can do to help you!

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