‘How many times did you try it?’ I asked.
‘Three’ was the answer. ‘But it didn’t work well, so I stopped trying.’
WTF? (What The Flugelhorn)
You tried something new 3 times and then abandoned it? WOW! What if you had taken the same approach as a toddler learning to walk. It takes a while to gain mastery of a new skill.
I've see it happen way too often. We run a sales development workshop or are conducting 1:1 coaching and a rep agrees that a new concept is a great idea and they are going to implement it immediately.
Then the headwinds of change resistance begin to blow. The rep feels a little awkward. They haven’t practiced it. Their confidence isn’t very high. The prospect senses it and backs away.
The results are to be expected: Poor
In their mind, it didn’t work so they revert back to their old and ineffective ways.
We love looking at big data and analytics to find the answers. But the key to lasting success is often in the "little" data. Avoid the setback by trying these 3 practical steps to give new ideas a real market test:
- Practice: When I'm preparing to deliver new content and rolling out new class questions, I practice by myself first. Yep, in the mirror. Record it in Evernote and play it back. Again and again. I hone it until I own it! This usually takes 10 – 20 iterations until I have high competency. THEN I can move to step 2.
- Practice more: I get together with a friend, peer or someone on the team, and work it out with them. Role play it. Ask them to play different personas. Ask them to hit me with questions and objections. In the words of Mr. Covey, I keep sharpening the saw. I record it and listen to it. I don’t stop until it sounds right. Confident. Competent. Ready to serve. Then on to step 3.
- A-B Testing: Usually, my new concept is replacing something old. To find out which really is better, I try at least 20 iterations with each. This is critical to your success. You have to try the new and the old many times, take notes and clinically measure which is more effective. The notes and comparison (little data) is critical for assessing what works better and helps me decide what's more effective, the old or the new. Taking notes on 40 events and working through it is not an easy task. However, it's the most effective way to get better and do it with confidence.
In my family we have a phrase: All ideas are good until they become bad.
The same principle holds true in trying new skills and actions in sales. If you believe its a good idea, then it is. A-B test it to verify.
One of my friends and favorite authors, Ruben Gonzalez, a 4 time Olympian in the Luge, wrote a book called the ‘Courage to Succeed’.
In it he talks about the importance of persevering. It's easy and buzzy to start something new. However, anyone who's has succeeded massively will tell you, the real gold comes by sticking to it through the hard times. You must have the courage to endure if you want new and better results. Don't give up before the miracle.
Remember, you didn’t come this far only to come this far. Don't stop before the miracle!
If change were easy, I wouldn’t be 12 pounds overweight right now. It takes rigor, discipline, accountability and perseverance.
Are you ready to try a new selling skill or concept? Use the 3 step process above. It's critical to run enough tests to determine it's real effectiveness. Give it a try and write me with the results.
Want a copy of my most popular tool? Click here for my worksheet for the "Most Important Formula in Sales" (MIFIS™). It will get you focused on the RIGHT deals, and grow your results!