We make hundreds of decisions every day, some large and some small. Each represents a certain cost in terms of mental energy, which is why our brain is constantly looking for ways to conserve. That’s why we develop habits and routines. They help automate certain repetitive tasks and save valuable resources. That’s why driving a car for the first time requires your full attention, but as you gain experience, you start to do many things automatically, allowing you to do other things, like listening to the radio.
A career in sales is similar. When you’re learning how to be a salesperson, you pay a lot of attention to each element of your conversation with the client. You ask a lot of questions because you want to know the potential buyer’s needs, and you’re very enthusiastic about your sales arguments because you’re still impressed by your company's competitive advantages.
Once you have a few dozen sales visits behind you, you start to fall into a routine. Your first contact with a client always looks the same - you think that arranging a face-to-face meeting is a matter of luck, and that it really doesn’t matter what you say. You ask fewer questions, because you know better what they might need - clients are all similar. Presenting the offer also becomes a routine in which you present your specialist knowledge and your company’s competitive advantages. Suddenly it turns out that all your sales calls look the same. You fall into the trap of routine. You don't wonder why you’re doing something, you just focus on how you do it. Your actions become pointless.
What are the risks of this situation? If you contact a client with the same offer, regardless of who you’re talking to, it will be difficult to get their attention. When you only ask few questions at the needs diagnosis stage, your client may feel that you aren’t interested in their needs and you only care about sales. In turn, you may misinterpret their expectations and motivations. If, regardless of who you’re communicating with, you still use the same sales arguments, your presentation may not be very effective.
It’s time to break the routine! See what you can do differently to breathe some fresh air into your sales activities. This will make the client stop seeing you as another salesperson and start treating you as an equal partner in the conversation.