You’re a salesperson. And while you might work for a company, the fate of your career rests squarely on your shoulders. Your book of business is like owning your business and if you fail, there is no one to blame but yourself. It’s one of the many harsh realities of a sales career.
With that kind of pressure, it’s easy to want to take matters into your own hands concerning everything. After all, if you want it done right, you have to do it yourself, right?
Well, sort of. Any entrepreneurial business owner will tell you, the “if you want it done right…” attitude is a double-edged sword that will come back and cut you one day.
On the one hand, if you do everything yourself, you know it’s being done to your standards and on your timeline. You know there are no ulterior motives and that the end result of one project will be perfectly in line with the end results of all other projects. You’re in control.
But the other side of that coin is human error. While your intentions are good, doing everything yourself is going to lead to the ball being dropped somewhere on the way, because we are not built to be good at everything. Sales teams are a thing because we are built to rely on one another and work together for an end goal. Poet John Donne famously said, “No man is an island,” stressing this very same concept.
Here are some of the dangers you could get into by being too independent and tips on how not to get stuck being your own island, running the risk of being swallowed up in a sea of stronger elements.
People buy from people they like. A good product doesn’t hurt, of course, but showing genuine interest in your prospect’s business and being respectful of his time can be the difference between you and a competitor’s product. But if you are doing everything yourself, you are probably stretched too thin and often short on time. Putting off that proposal or illustration for just one day may mean that your competition gets in before you and make the impression you were hoping to make.
How can you learn more about your prospects, your product, the industry trends if you are constantly juggling projects that you could easily delegate? Make time to hone your craft and sharpen your skills by becoming an expert in your field. Your breadth of knowledge will become an indispensable resource for all who work with you – and will create a clear path toward stronger production.
When you take on the “I am an island” attitude, not only will your quality of work and reputation suffer, but so will your personal relationships. Do not sacrifice your friendships, your marriage or time with your kids in the pursuit of single-handed perfection. No job is ever worth losing the people you love. If nothing else, lean on your team in order to be a better person to those who are closest to your heart.
Missed Team Members
You may be on the lookout for someone to help you – an assistant, an internal, a scheduler. And while you may desperately need the assistance, don’t just hire the first person with good credentials. Take the time to look for people with principles similar to your own. Get to know them personally and find out how they feel about goals and deadlines. Ask questions to confirm that they not only understand your goals, but that they understand how and when you want to get to them.
The ESA Advantage
Executive Scheduling Associates brings the best of multiple worlds to your team, so that you can focus on sales and, more importantly, family.
Your dedicated scheduler will not only schedule your appointments, she will work with you to make sure she is calling on the people you want her to call. She will help you rank your prospects so that the best of the best are loaded into your calendar first. She will assist in zoning your territory, so that you can maximize your time with clients and spend less time in your car. Your scheduler can write and send your correspondence, plan your travel, assist with administrative tasks like expense reporting and even plan your client events.
Why do it all yourself? Let ESA bring you back to the heart of selling.
What is the most stressful part of your sales job? Tell us in the comments below.