Sales isn't about chance encounters

Sales isn't about chance encounters

As you know, sales isn't an opt-in or opt-out activity.

What sales also isn't is a hunt for chance encounters.

You don't just 'start doing sales' and expect to find opportunities ripe for the picking like Homer Simpson skipping through the 'land of chocolate'.

Homer Simpson chasing chocolate bunnies in the land of chocolate.


So here's the facts.

Sales is about the hard yards. The consistency, continuity and resilience to stick with something. It's about putting a lot of effort into a relationship and being the one doing the pushing. It's about finding ways to add value and moments to knit together the threads that will form the foundation of trust.

It. Takes. Time.

The illusion of perfect timing

The notion that sales success hinges on that serendipitous moment when you cross paths with a prospective client at precisely the right time and place is ludicrous.

Luck plays its part in sales, but sales isn't luck alone.

Yes, it can happen - and you know what - that's the sweetest moment in sales.

That right time, right place win is excellent stuff. When you meet them for the first time, land your pitch perfectly, they get it, and it's a quick sale. Oooosh. Hold me back because nothing tops that.

But the belief that your pipeline will be filled with great opportunities and fleeting encounters just because you're 'doing sales' is too common.

It's a romantic idea, don't get me wrong, but it's as likely as winning the lottery. The chances of such an alignment are astronomically slim, which makes this approach to sales not only unrealistic but fundamentally flawed.

Imagine relying on a brief to come back from that first cold email, LinkedIn message, or other cold outreach and expecting the opportunities to just roll in.

Sorry to say this, but you're just not that important. You're not the centre of their universe.

You're very forgettable.

So here's your wake-up call. It isn't going to happen. Stop planning (and hoping) for your pipeline to be filled with amazing opportunities just because you 'started 'doing' sales.

It's not scalable, predictable or sustainable.

But sales done right can be.

Redefining sales meaning

Sales is about more than stumbling upon the right opportunity at the right time. Hopefully, we've established that now.

Sales, simply put, is about building relationships and trust over time.

Especially in consultative selling, the process involves consistently demonstrating authority, capability, and reliability. The more complex the product, the longer the time or higher the effort is. So keep that in mind when forecasting. But also now consider how gateway products can positively impact your sales cycle.

Because building these relationships requires a strategic and sustained effort, it involves regular engagement, providing value through insights, and maintaining a presence in the prospect's mind without being intrusive.

Over time, this consistent effort pays off, as the trust you build becomes the foundation for future business opportunities.

There you go. Sales 101. That's how it works and anyone who tells you otherwise doesn't understand consultative selling.

Consistency at scale

So, now that we understand sales and hopefully have removed any reliance on luck, we now have the fun part to consider.

Because as sales is based on effort and consistency, you'll be pleased to know we can scale those things.

The scale comes from a multifaceted approach that's personalised, leverages content, brings in value add moments, andused social media engagement to consistently nudge them along the trust curve.

By consistently being present and adding value, you establish a reputation as a trusted advisor rather than just another vendor.

To achieve this consistency, we must marry a sales brain with a determined attitude and give that person some decent technology to x10 their output.

It sounds simple because it is. But most fail because it's a lot of effort, and it feels easy to forget when the wrong expectations are set.

Building a better approach to sales

So we know all of the problems now, but what are the solutions?

The first place to start is with your culture. And this starts to top down.

Leadership needs to define the right approach and expectations for each stage of the sales funnel.

This immediately resets the energy in any sales team and will have a huge impact on your results in the medium term.

If you're only just starting sales, that's fine, but along with setting the above expectations, you need to set the right targets.If you're desperate for revenue and have a hole in your numbers, don't think starting sales now will plug it. You need to be looking at existing clients and your referral network for those quick wins.

But for sales, set clear targets at each stage of your funnel. Make them quarterly with a monthly view, too.

Push your team for scale as quickly as you can. Ramp up your top-of-funnel demand gen as quickly as possible without compromising quality.

Get your content game on and get into a strong cadence of getting your content out on a weekly basis that will support your sales team.

Lastly, celebrate the resilience and persistence in your team.

Let's wrap this up

By now, I'm hoping your expectations of sales are clear.

They probably were already. But the challenges of misaligned expectations, as I've described here, are scarily common. Unfortunately, it's a bit of a myth—or, at best, very very rare. I think I've had two of these in 24 years.

True sales success is rooted in the organised and consistent building of relationships and trust. It's about being present, adding value, and proving your worth over time. When prospects eventually recognise a need for your expertise, they will turn to you, not because of a random encounter but because of the trust and rapport you have diligently built.

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