Working for Texas Instruments in PGH right out of college. First day on the job and my leader Evelyn shared the following. "Hoyt on this team you don't learn to hold your own in sales by standing guard, but by attacking, and getting well hammered yourself. Hoyt we don't sell to not lose we sell to win! You will be prepared for battle and we will go in swinging. I expect us to win every deal and to do that you have to aggressively attack. Unlearning is more difficult than learning. So start learning the right way. You got it Hoyt, cause if you don't take your briefcase and get out." Damn that was strong, I was intimidated. I thought this woman is crazy, what did I get myself into. No good morning, welcome to the team, friendly handshake. NOPE. She meant business. Looking back, how blessed to have such a strong leader to teach me right out of the blocks. OK, welcome to the world of taking charge. I was ready to embrace it. What she taught me no college classroom could ever come close to teaching me. It was street smart knowledge at it's best. She taught me to be disciplined, organized, attention to detail and timely in every aspect of the sale. She ingrained in me to learn as much about the prospect and the competition before I showed up for my first sales call. And heaven forbid, she said, "when in a sales call shut up and listen." Hoyt, selling is investigational, listen more than talk." Oh, let me share a story about my early stages of sales calls as I worked for Evelyn. I would prepare for the sales call, check in with Evelyn before I departed, then hit the road. I would come back to the office after the sales call and have an AAR, After Action Review with Evelyn. The AAR stood for what I did well and what I could have done better. For the longest time she would always ask me the question(s) I forgot to ask the prospect. Made me so mad. I thought I was so thorough until she asked me the one question I forgot to ask the prospect. What a great learning experience in how to prepare for any sales call. I wanted to come back and have all the answers to her questions. I wanted her to be proud of me. By her always naming the question I forgot to ask made me a more thorough complete sales executive for the next sales call. The benefits are powerful. The more I knew about the prospect the better I could serve them. Even though she frustrated me, she did me right. Eventually the AAR's turned into meaningful strategies on how to close the deal. Blessed to have such a mentor that was sincere in making me the best sales executive in the country. Are you thorough in your investigational work prior to making your sales calls? Gather as much information, for if your going to lead the sale to the finish line you will be doing a service for the prospect and your company. Attention to detail will drive you right to the winner's circle. Success smells so sweet. Don't you think?!
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