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Sales Discipline –Art or Science?






The term discipline is often applied to the way we raise our kids, and as it applies to our daily struggles with ‘self-control’. But what if we applied it to our business – and more specifically, to sales?

Some experts argue whether selling is an art or science. I claim that it’s neither. It is, and forever shall be, a discipline that is executed using art (selling skills) and science (sales process). The equation of discipline looks like this: dedicated application day after day, week after week, equals results.

Sound monotonous? It should sound like success. Single-minded focus (not monotony) is an important attribute of a proven system that works and is successfully applied time & again. To avoid becoming perfunctory, your system requires the “art” of providing exceptional quality service with a smile, your unique personality, and a custom-tailored approach (the ‘science’) for each client.

In studying the most successful salespeople, one trait among them has become more and more clear: the best sales people are also the most disciplined. Books and tapes and seminars all hint at this characteristic, but don’t come right out and call it ‘discipline’; they use words like ‘dedication’, ‘drive’, and ‘type-A personality’. What it really comes to is a focused determination, a DISCIPLINE, to achieve – indeed, to exceed – goals.

Dedicated application – which comes only through discipline – is the key to success. We can say we understand sales process, but do we actually carry out our process with the daily discipline it requires? We can be the most skilled presenter and closer, but without the discipline to deliver the message consistently and accurately, success could be thwarted.

Here’s how to more completely apply yourself to the discipline of sales:

· Learn and apply a specific sales process. The same sales process will not work for everyone. Industries, personalities, preferences for technology vs. hand-written are different. Each requires a variation on the sales discipline theme. What works best for you?

· Build selling skills. This can be done in many ways, but the most beneficial methods I’ve found are:

o Find a mentor or coach – someone who has ‘been there & done that’ and can act as a confidante, encourager, and accountability partner

o Do a personal SWOT Analysis – Find out your personal & company’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats. ”Where does it hurt and how do we fix it?”

o Peak Performance Time – Understand when you’re at your best. For example, if you’re a morning person, should you attend the early-morning networking breakfast (e.g. Good Morning Corona) or go to evening events; realize that it’s up to you to determine what activities done at which times will yield the highest payoffs.

o Read books – Visit the library, borrow one from a friend, or visit www.SalesBooks.com for some great books from top-selling authors and industry-leading experts. Challenge yourself. Read different kinds of books, and grow.

o Attend seminars – online, tele-seminars, live events, etc. are available almost every day. Find topics that help you strengthen areas where you feel you could/should be stronger.

As you search for a sales process that works, understand that you will discover for yourself, perhaps through trial and error, a process that works. The elements of the process may be similar to those of others, but the dedicated application is the key to success.

Stuck? Look for new ideas. Chamber Events, SCORE Counseling Sessions, public forum seminars from folks like Zig Ziglar, are all wonderful for motivation, direction, and information. Take that information, spice it up with your personality & preferences, and you’ll discover how the key required ingredients of Science, Art, and Discipline of Sales will help you improve your performance, confidence, and earnings.

3:17 Consulting Services provides valuable sales training and proven sales resources to help sales teams and companies increase sales and improve profitability.



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About the Author

Kerry Martin-Moore, 3:17 Consulting Services
Cedar Park, TX 78613
512-222-7317

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