Becoming a good sales professional requires the same type of training that other good professionals endure. Athletes, physicians, college professors, firefighters—you name the profession and the people at the top pay a price every day to stay there. The price they pay is conditioning.
Can you imagine the football team showing up on Sunday for the big game and they hadn’t worked out, practiced, reviewed the play book or watched the films of the previous game? But how many sales people show up unprepared and unconditioned?
Conditioning is the “hardware” as opposed to the “software.” Conditioning is a way of life. It’s a set of rules, sometimes philosophical, but always practical. Follow the rules and you’ll always be conditioned to make the best use of the system.
Here’s an example of a Sandler Rule that helps condition you for business development:
Stay on the right side of the Trouble Line. Sales people can make a choice to be either on Pay Time or No Pay Time. Trouble occurs when you spend too much time on the “No Pay Time” side of the line.
Divide your many job duties into Pay Time and No Pay Time. Pay Time is defined as the time when a prospect is directly involved and there is the possibility of moving a sale forward. Typically they include prospecting and cold calling, making presentations, negotiating a deal, while No Pay Time might include paperwork, developing proposals, and research.
Many sales people find themselves on the wrong side of the trouble line. This is unproductive and will not get you to your goals. You must decide when your Pay Time is and commit to staying there no matter what.
What happens if you’re one of those football players who just shows up?