Just do it is the Nike slogan that suggests that whatever it is we have to do, we should just get on with it. Oftentimes when we are doing sales work, we make the same mistakes or lose deals for similar reasons. We may even be aware of what we need to change and we tell ourselves, “Just do it.” But then we don’t. Or we do it but we don’t do it well.
Spencer is a salesman who is particularly skilled at sales openings. He creates relationships easily and immediately generates leads. At the same time, he can struggle with answering the final questions a customer might have so he can ultimately secure the business. Sometimes, a new exciting lead can capture his attention leaving an old lead hanging. He should close the deal. Why doesn’t he just do it?
Each of us has strengths and blind spots in how we approach sales and in fact, how we navigate our life in general. Certain skills come natural to us and certain skills do not. How do we leverage our sales strengths and account for our challenges?
Self-awareness is the key first step to achieving both outcomes. However many of us don’t know our strengths and it is even less likely that we are fully aware of our blind spots.
Fortunately, leveraging strengths and minimizing our challenge areas are highly coachable opportunities. Rather than telling you to just do it, coaches can help you add new skills and strategies to make you effective in your role or, help you identify others within your work sphere that you can rely on for assistance.
Through coaching, Spencer learned that his warm, big-picture perspective was natural for his personality type. He discovered that his personality easily built relationships and generated leads and in fact, this was the most energizing part of his work. Yet he was leaving deals on the table. Why didn’t he just follow through?
Strengths tend to come with a corresponding blind spot. Big picture thinkers can often miss details. Individuals attracted to new possibilities might not follow through on existing opportunities. Once an individual becomes aware of these tendencies, he or she can begin to formulate strategies for success.
Spencer discovered through coaching that he needed to develop a system to track and follow through on his leads. Telling him to just follow through without working on a strategy to achieve that would give unreliable results. Likewise, he partnered with a co-worker who helped him account and prepare for the important details that the customer would want to know at the end of the sales process. This resulted in plenty of leads and plenty of closed sales.
Whenever we have an accurate and in-depth appraisal of our strengths and blind spots, we are far better equipped to leverage our natural tendencies and devise ways to get around our challenges. Telling ourselves to just do it without any new approaches or strategies dooms us to making the same mistakes over and over again.
What would you like to improve on?
Ann C. Holm, MS, PCC, is a Professional Certified Coach specializing in executive, career, and sales coaching. In addition to being a certified Master practitioner of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, she offers the Type Coach online assessment, with a focus on personality as it relates to the process of generating leads, closing and maintaining sales accounts. Ann owns and operates a successful coaching practice and also lends her talents to the 3PL Sales Success program, which she is co-created with Joe Lynch.