What the Stanley Cup Can Teach Us About Sales Urgency

Posted by Chris Mott on Mon, Jun 03, 2019 @ 12:06 PM

Bruins-Blues three takeaways

Urgency is an innate, emotional need to get something done now. It cannot be taught but events can influence it. Let say it’s April 14th and you haven’t done your taxes. A public service announcement plays on the radio, talking about the consequences of not filing. Your gut aches. The ache is your conscious triggers fear which hopefully results in action.

Many salespeople and sales leaders lack urgency while others have trouble managing it.

When we react, we are driven by emotion, and when we respond, we balance that emotion with rational thought. Great salespeople have tremendous urgency to act but they apply in situationally appropriate ways. By doing so they produce equally great outcomes.

Two-days ago, the Boston Bruins beat the Saint Louis Blues after losing the previous game in Boston. Both teams brought urgency and emotion to game three. The difference was that Boston played with tremendous urgency but was patient enough to take advantage of the opportunities presented. Saint Louis was so invested in playing a physical game that they made mistakes.

Urgency without restraint does not work as well.

Salespeople worry about being overly “aggressive” with their follow-up. Much of this is because they accepted a put-off and or did not gain agreement for a logical next step which  usually results in the salesperson chasing the prospect.  When a prospect goes missing urgency is probably the missing ingredient. The adage “time kills all deals” is best seen as absolute, yet many salespeople patiently wait for the prospect to respond. If they had more urgency for getting to a no, they would waste less time, end up with more yeses and both parties would be a lot happier.

Salespeople are usually emotional by nature. One reason salespeople allow time to pass after a put-off is their own Need for Approval. Their urgency is trumped by fear of losing the deal or the prospect. Because a majority of salespeople need to be liked as well as some difficulty managing their emotions, they need help.

Here are some ways to develop more urgency and use it more effectively.

  • Slow-down in the discovery process
  • Take the time to really identify Need, Impact and Compelling Reasons
  • Trust that by asking probing questions you create value with good prospects
  • Do more pre-call strategy
  • Play a little hard to get
  • Ask for more time when scheduling your calls
  • Use the Sales DNA Modifier
  • Role-play weekly
  • Stop trying to be perfect, we learn by making mistakes
  • Bring more humor and playfulness
  • When the momentum shifts go for no
  • Develop some compelling personal goals
  • Publicly commit to things you are going to change
  • Get your spouse or significant other involved in holding you accountable
  • Trust that “luck” happens when you consistently do more of the right things

 If you want to learn more about how to find and hire great sales people attend this highly actionable thirty-minute webinar.

Topics: urgency, lead follow up, reps making quota, closing more sales, delayed closings

Presidential Elections and Sales Leadership - What is Our Best?

Posted by Chris Mott on Tue, Jan 17, 2012 @ 11:01 AM

Ballot BoxIt’s campaign season and the candidates are jockeying for position and advantage. Imagine getting up every day, I mean seven days a week, and putting in sixteen-hour days. Can you see yourself doing this for six, nine, twelve or eighteen months without stopping? Assuming you win, you must then maintain this same level of commitment for one or maybe two terms.

In addition, every word you say is ripped apart by the press looking for a headline that will grab attention and sell “the” story. Things you did twenty or thirty years ago become the most important events of your life and your family is scrutinized to the point of nakedness.

It’s really quite an amazing feat. Witness the visible aging process presidents go through. The expectation is that this is what it takes regardless of whether it’s fair, reasonable or appropriate.

What drives people to do this? Ego is one compelling reason.  The desire to serve, a sense of incredible urgency and passion for the USA are others.

In a documentary about the USA Women’s Soccer team, who first won the world cup long before women’s soccer became mainstream, the team said that while competitive drive was a big reason for their success, the real motivation was to “legitimize soccer for young girls”. When I heard this my reaction was, "Wow!"

Giving your best is both relative and varied. One person's best is another person's worst. Some salespeople maintain extremely high levels of commitment for very long periods of time while others act more like sprinters.

As a sales leader, it’s your responsibility to help your salespeople identify the “compelling reasons” which will result in “their best”. Proactive motivation on your part is required. There is an absolutely terrific scene, which you must watch and have your sales force watch in “Facing the Giants”. In it the coach demands and gets “the best” from one of his players. What is really cool is his strategy for doing this.

By the way, what is your "best" and how do you leverage this yourself?

Topics: sales, sales performance, Motivation, elections, your best, urgency

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