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  • Writer's pictureBrian Burns

Why You Should Treat B2B Sales as a Performance Instead of a Job

It’s easy to think of selling as just something you do to pay your bills. However, adopting this mindset is an effective way to kill any passion you may have had when it comes to B2B sales. As a result, those who consider their sales jobs to be nothing but ‘work’ are typically less successful.

On the other hand, salespeople who treat their jobs like a performance, or art form, are usually the people you envy. These are the killer salespeople you see in magazines, on those ‘top 100’ lists, who enjoy massive sales numbers each quarter with the equally massive commissions (and vacation homes) to match. But, why is this the case?

It’s simple really: when human beings see something -- no matter what it is -- as even remotely laborious, they tend to avoid putting forth their full effort. Let’s face it, no one excels at any job if they approach it as a chore; they need to enjoy what they do and treat it as such. The same goes (even more so) for salespeople.

Being Present

Simply being in a prospect’s company or on the other end of the phone does not mean you’re actually there. While your body is present, your brain could be in another realm whenever you’re interacting with prospects.

This is bad practice, but unfortunately something I see consistently with new salespeople. Instead, you should give a prospect or current client 100% of your attention, and treat every second they give you as a gift.

Why? Well... because it is. But, beyond that, your attentiveness will go a long way in proving you’re truly interested in what the other person has to say. This, in turn, leads to better conversations with prospects and helps you stand out.

Emphasizing Your Intention

As salespeople, we’re trained to say the right things when selling our products or services. However, if our intention is not felt by the prospect, then the pitch holds no weight and almost always collapses.

With this in mind, you should ensure your intention is emphasized when speaking to a potential customer. Let them know you’re there to help them solve a serious problem or make their business significantly more efficient. Once your prospect knows your goal is to make them and/or their business better, selling becomes a lot easier and trust (albeit a small amount) is almost immediately established.

Commanding The Material

The greatest performers know their material like the back of their hand. They can cite it from memory without even thinking twice; exuding confidence with each syllable.

While they may have spoken the same material hundreds of times, they deliver it in a way that comes off convincingly natural; as if they’re delivering it for the first time. This is the way you should approach your pitches, no matter what you’re selling or who you’re selling it to. After all, if you’re confident in what you say, it will be undeniably apparent to the prospect and give them the same confidence in your product and its ability to provide value.

Telling Stories

For centuries, storytelling has been an effective technique for communicating ideas. Telling a meaningful story can help change someone’s way of thinking and help them see the bigger picture.

This is why storytelling remains an important ingredient in becoming an incredible salesperson. Being able to clearly iterate ideas to prospects, while providing a clear picture of what could happen should they continue on the same path is one of the best ways to close a deal. At the end of the day, stories present challenges to prospects and can convince them to think bigger and take action.

Delivery is Key

I've mentioned the importance of standing out to your prospects many times before, but the best way to do so is to be your passionate, inspiring self.

In a sea of boring salespeople, who mistakenly think delivering the same dry sales pitch with little to no emotion is going to get the job done, you need to be the outlier. Your goal should be to create engagement with your prospects. To do this effectively you must ensure your delivery is as impactful as possible.

Rethinking Your Goals

For those who think of sales as a job, they may measure success by how many phone calls they’ve made or meetings they’ve scheduled with potential customers. However, if you’re treating each interaction as a performance, your aim should always be to close the deal.

Anything short of that should be seen as a failure and one you can learn from to sharpen your strategy for the next prospect. If you’re in need of B2B sales guidance or simply want tips on your journey to becoming an incredible salesperson, I highly recommend listening to my podcast The Brutal Truth About Sales & Selling.

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