Becoming a monk takes years of disciplined work. Mastering sales isn’t much different, except you train at an office instead of a monastery. Clear guidelines allow monks to reach ultimate performance – you can approach improving your hustle in the same way by following these proven strategies.
I’ve been selling since I was a kid. And now that I’m working with hundreds of clients around the world at RightHello, I can say with confidence that the things that accelerated my career the most – were the ones I was consistently working on, any moment possible, over many years.
I call them my strategies, things I did systematically that helped me stay on top of my game – and consistently take it to the next level. Read them and apply them – I’m sure you’ll start noticing benefits soon.
These strategies don’t provide quick ROI – it’s more about adjusting your mindset and creating healthy habits until you stop sabotaging your own professional growth.
Becoming a sales monk:
1. Don’t chase money
If you choose money over improving your learning curve – you will ultimately loose. Making money is the result of dedication and being able to see and grab opportunities. Don’t sacrifice personal growth for a quick buck. The best way to accelerate your personal growth is to join a well-run team of people you can openly talk with, preferably in an awesome company. Look for that next time you change jobs.
2. Always look for ways to rig the game
Look for cards that no-one is playing. You don’t want to be the 60th salesperson selling CRM in London, so look for niches you can fill instead of competing with people that might’ve been on a market much longer than you. You can start today by segmenting your clients and leads. Divide them into groups (based on market, location, industry etc) and see which one provides the best results. Focus on those people, and stop approaching the group with the least opportunity.
3. Learn to consult and speak in public
Those skills combined with being great at your job allow you to generate additional income from time to time (depending on how much time you’re ready to consulting and speaking). This can become your gateway to clients, because people appreciate help and trust good advisors. Start today by offering your clients 15 minutes of free consultations, or sign-up for an on-line public speaking course.
4. Learn to write
Along with public speaking or consulting, writing can be a great way to differentiate yourself from others in sales. Plus good content gets attention, which is another way to generate more leads. You can start today – write a short story about the best deal you closed last month, and why you think it worked out.
5. Save money
Save up at least enough to cover 3 months of expenses to take risks at your current job. Save up to cover 6 – you can be assertive with your boss and ask for raises with confidence. Save up to cover 12 and you can join a start-up without worrying about rent. The gateway to accelerating your career and wealth accumulation is calculated risk, and it’s not possible without saving money. Start by saving up 10% of your cash the next time you get paid and keep doing it every month.
6. Grow your network
Go back to connecting with people without any agenda. Write random emails and call a few good people (your close network, clients that you like) to ask what they’re up to (maybe you can help?). Give positive energy to people, and they’ll give it back. Find 30 minutes today to write an email and call someone up, when you see how good it makes you feel you’ll definitely start doing it every day.
7. Add value
Whenever you can, anyway you can. Give so much value that people feel awkward not to respond. Helpful articles, tips, free ebooks, consultations, etc. If your clients tell you about any problems today, find the best articles to fix those problems on-line and forward it to clients.
8. Don’t waste time on bullshit
Driving to work yourself? Listen to an audio book. Cleaning up? Listen to podcasts. Shopping for groceries? Save time through e-commerce and have them delivered, going to shops everyday is a pain. You need to create time for improvement. Find one thing that took you too much time to do today, and think about how you could save this time
9. Read every day
20 pages daily * 365 days * 10 years = 73.000 read pages. That’s over 200 books. This habit is easy to start – pick a book that you’ve been too busy to get to lately. Spend half an hour today reading it, another half an hour tommorow – continue until it’s an inmovable part of your daily routine.
10. Be honest
Without being too kumbaya about this: remember lying to a close person? Even if they didn’t find out, worrying about it must’ve cost you a lot of stress. Lying to your clients is an awesome prescription for heart attacks, baldness and alcoholism – and all that before you have 10 years of experience in sales. If not for your company’s reputation, do it for your own good. Openly answer a client’s question about flaws today, without sugarcoating. This won’t only make you more trustworthy, but actually saying it like it is helps you come up with better arguments.
11. Bet on your strengths
There’s no point in feeling uncomfortable with what you’re doing. Maybe you are a hunter, or maybe a farmer. Maybe a bit of both – work on your self-awareness and stop doing things that are against your nature. Figure out who you are and amplify your best qualities by reading appropriate books and getting the right training. Start watching yourself today – notice what comes easy to you, and what tasks you’re struggling with.
Improving at sales is similar to doing fitness – consistency is what gets you results. It’s discouraging to do something that isn’t instantly gratifying, but there’s an easy way to find motivation.
Set milestones for yourself along the way – “finish first 10 articles within a month”, “speak at 10 events”. Defining small goals along the way will give you the sense of success you need to keep going.
To start seeing results, you need to take action at least 3 times a week. To see awesome results – “work out” everyday.
Do not get fired
Seems obvious – but let me clarify what I mean. I see many salespeople find a new job, prepare a great strategy to ramp up sales and get fired before their strategies start working.
Don’t let personal feelings get in the way of professional growth. It takes time to reach a comfortable point in a new sales job, so until you’re fully effective and have proven your worth – just don’t get cocky. The three things salespeople usually get fired for are a lack of integrity, organisational skills or clients.
Use these strategies wisely
The way I would use this article, is pick one strategy to remember from now on. Remind yourself of it and form better habits, everyday. Lock time for them in your calendar. You’ll see how they sink into your hustling muscle memory over time, making you a peaceful and productive expert.
The key takeaway I want you to remember is (paraphrasing Aristotle) – excellence in sales is not an act, but a habit. Once you’ve got one strategy down, pick another one to work on. These are just mine, I bet you have more ideas so feel free to share those in the comments!
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