Time for Spring Cleaning

Lately, I’m on a mission to clear out things that are gathering dust and that I don’t need. Several weekends ago, I went through this process, and I was elated after unloading the back of my very full Tahoe at Goodwill. Today, a friend’s Facebook post inspired me to do even more. After  three hours, I can confidently say that I’m happy with my work, but also achy and tired. Emotionally, it feels good to have let go of things that I’ve been hanging onto for years. In some cases, the items that I finally purged were collected during prior relationships. Though there was clearly no more use for them, for reasons unknown I kept hanging on. Until today.

What are you hanging onto that no longer serves a purpose today?

It is easy to become stuck in ruts, isn’t it? You churn through your day in the same way that you did yesterday, the day before that and the months and years slip by. The world changes, but you don’t. I see this quite often with salespeople, especially now. A blind eye is being turned to the potential that using social media offers them, because heck, they’ve been successful up until now, so why bother to change anything. It reminds me of the old adage, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, but breaking old models and routines is exactly what’s needed.

Unless you are seriously living under a rock, you have to have noticed how the world of business is changing. Products like Pinterest and Instagram are giving people and businesses new ways to express themselves. Tools like LinkedIn and InsideView provide salespeople with the amazing potential to reach their prospects in new and more relevant ways. So, why the resistance?

I suppose people will tend to resist what they don’t understand. That lack of understanding leads to fearing the unknown, which leads to…sitting still. And that just might explain why companies like CSO Insights and others predict that again this year some 48% of salespeople will not hit their quota.

The new reality for salespeople is that buyer behavior has changed. Your prospects don’t care about your worn out sales pitches and tactics. They demand smart salespeople who understand their business. They expect relevance and results. Stop bombarding them with emails and cold calls that merely waste time, these buyers say. In truth, most salespeople aren’t listening.

Listen, I’m not suggesting that you ditch everything you’ve ever known about selling, but I am saying that it is probably high time that you did a little spring cleaning. Time to take a serious personal inventory of attitudes that may be getting in your way, or perhaps you are relying too heavily on sales approaches that used to work, but if you are really honest with yourself, you know they are not as effective as they used to be.

Clearing clutter kick-starts new energy and opens the door for new opportunities. As Frost said, “Two roads in the woods diverged - and I, I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference.” Which road will you take?

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