Today I want to share with you how sales is both a game of intention, as well as a game of tactics.
What do I mean by this?
Well, I mean when you hear most people talk about sales training, they are really just providing you the “tactics” of what to do.
While these tactics are necessary, and oftentimes can be very helpful…
Tactics alone are not enough to enable success in selling.
Sales is as much about INTENTION as it is about tactics.
Don’t get me wrong.
Tactics are helpful. Tactics serve as a guidepost on what is working now.
The fickle thing about tactics is that they change frequently.
What worked yesterday, might not work the same way today.
Our world is constantly evolving, and one look around you will easily show just how fast our world is changing around us.
That’s why a script that “once worked,” might not be as effective today.
In fact, I think scripts and hard-prescribed tactics can often LIMIT one’s ability to maneuver.
Human interaction cannot be fitted neatly into a box. Anyone with a modicum of life experience and wisdom will understand that every moment is unique.
No moment in time is an exact replica of another. Neither is any human interaction or conversation.
So while tactics can be helpful, and certainly necessary – they don’t provide the full picture.
Putting tactics aside for a moment, let’s talk about intentions.
Intentions are a huge part of the game of sales.
Intentions are something that’s a little less concrete, and a little less tangible to measure.
But they make a HUGE impact on results.
For example, when you’re on a call with a prospect, what’s your intention?
Is your intention to sell?
Or is your intention to help?
It might just be a one-word change between those 2 sentences, but the differences are MASSIVE.
One puts the focus on your needs – the need to sell something, so you can earn a commission.
The other puts the focus on the prospect – the need to solve their problems.
Again, small distinction, huge impact.
The concept of intention falls under mindset, and I’ve found it’s something that’s just not talked about enough whether it’s in sales training or within organizations.
Another way intention manifests is during the year.
If you’re trending well over the last couple of quarters and have been hitting your number… where is your intention now?
Is it still to crush, with all the hunger you previously had?
Or is your intention just to enjoy and coast now, and you take your foot off the gas because you’ve “already been successful” the last couple of quarters?
Your intention determines everything.
For some reason, I’ve been most obsessed with the mindset side of things when it comes to sales or anything else.
Of course, the tactics are always important and you cannot be successful without them.
You must learn what’s working – and more importantly – what’s working RIGHT NOW.
But having the right intentions (mindset) is like having your compass set in the right direction.
It helps guide you to success regardless of the specific tactics used.
Our intentions, I’ve noticed, can ebb and flow.
That’s why it’s important to MONITOR it.
Feeling comfortable because you hit your number 2 quarters in a row? Reset your intention to focus on service and winning.
Made a bunch of commissions and notice yourself focusing a little too much on the things you want to purchase rather than the customer in front of you? Redirect your intention to SERVING the person in front of you.
Focus on helping them SOLVE a problem.
Intention is a big deal in sales, and I believe in life.
Where is your intention? What are you looking to accomplish?
The reason I think mindset and intention aren’t discussed proportionately to “tactics” is that you can’t really bottle up intention in a nice and zazzy sounding “formula” that you can sell…
But you can with tactics.
You can put a nice fancy-sounding name on it, and make it sound all complicated because it’s your own “proprietary formula”
But tactics alone NEVER won the game for anyone.
The intention and mindset have to be right for the tactics to be executed effectively.
Remember, where is your intention?
Is your intention to help or to “sell?”
Is your intention to give or to take?
Is your intention to WIN or merely not lose?
These are the intangibles that cannot be bottled up in a nice “formula of the day…”
And that’s why they aren’t generally mentioned in a traditional “sales training.”
The other thing about sales tactics is that sales scripts are inherently manipulative.
Think about it—we live in a world where people are more exposed to more people, experiences, and BS more than ever.
People are highly attuned these days – we all have amazing bullshit detectors.
So when you’re reading a script – by definition you’re not being genuine. You’re reading a script!
And what is that script designed to do?
It’s designed to manipulate your prospect in getting a result.
Instead of genuinely seeking to understand how you can help the prospect, the script becomes a tool for manipulation.
And with how much more evolved people are these days, your prospect is going to feel that.
It’s a BIG discrepancy I’ve noticed between millennials and sales leaders/professionals from previous generations.
I’ve noticed the millennials I’ve spoken to value genuine conversation & authenticity quite much, and they can pick up on it quite easily.
Whereas the sales tactics and strategies from previous generations mostly focus on scripts and controlled language intended to “manipulate”
I’d say it’s an evolution of our society and way of being.
Curious, where do you put your intention when selling?
What have you noticed about intention & tactics?
Drop a note in the comments below!