Sales Lessons from the Road – Pt. 4

Our Director of Sales, Ryland Ferguson, will be on the road working remotely for the next couple months. While on the road, he has shared some of his sales lessons along the way.

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Quick update on my travels and such. Since the last update we’ve spent quite a bit of time in northern New Mexico in the high desert – which I highly recommend. Jemez National Forest was our home base for a week or so, a little north of Albuquerque (winner of most awkward spelling of a city name in the U.S.) which is an interesting area because you go from the driest of desert to pine forest in just a short drive up the mountain. From there we visited Bandolier National Monument, where the Anasazi cliff dwellers once called home and much of the original dwellings still remain in some level of preservation. I also survived driving past Los Alamos, which I’m no longer allowed to talk about (Hi there, NSA!) and saw all manner of wildlife from deer, to giant toads, to armadillos and beyond. We also stopped in Santa Fe (important to my childhood due to its prominent featuring in a song from Newsies. What? Oh like you like Newsies, too) and moved along to Northern Arizona, where we saw one of the best preserved meteor craters (over a mile wide) in the world and visited the Petrified Forest National Park and the Painted Desert area.

This is where our sales lesson from the road comes in for today. Petrified wood is pretty astonishing when you see it in person. The area in Arizona where the park is located would have been much different back then, falling in a similar latitude to present day Costa Rica and having a similar ecosystem vs the arid desert of today. Tectonic shifts over time drove the area up both in latitude and elevation, and as the area dried out, much of what was left behind was perfectly preserved. To the unfamiliar, these petrified wood pieces are basically fallen trees that are millions upon millions of years old. When they fell in their previously marshy environment, they were buried in silt and covered from the elements. Over time the porous wood was slowly but surely replaced by the quartz, iron, and other minerals in the soil, changing their very makeup from wood to crystal and stone. As the winds and rain eroded the desert, these newly formed “rocks” emerged as they fell millions of years ago. Some pre-date the dinosaurs and yet remain visible today.

So why are we talking about old trees? I think there’s an apt analogy here about sales that you may already have a sense of in your career. In order to become something other than your average everyday self who is preoccupied with the mundanities of life and become a Super B2B Salesperson, you have to undergo a process of transformation. You have to change yourself at the molecular level (metaphorically) from the average everyday you to a business executive who has absorbed the very DNA of your company. You must believe fundamentally in your ability to help change the way your customers do business and aide them in their journey. Much the way the minerals replaced the wood, your belief in yourself and your product must go down to your very core. It is easy to forget this in the everyday of appointments and CRM systems and even in worrying about bonuses and commissions. Your customers and prospects need you to deliver a great product, but before they’ll even consider it, they need to know you believe in your product. Ask yourself today, are you the usual you on the phone? Or are you the Super B2B Salesperson you? Can the prospect on the other end sense your belief? Can they feel in your DNA how much you believe you can help them? Is the passion evident in your tone, confidence, and conviction?  Today, set aside the family stuff, the errands, the social media and all of the elements of you that can be picked up after close of business. If a prospect or client thinks you’d rather being watching Netflix, it’s because they can hear it in your voice. If you’d rather be watching Netflix, I’m sure you can find a job that lets you do that. This isn’t one of them. If the customer thinks you can help them grow their business and shorten their path to revenue, they can hear that too.

The only hitch? Like everything in B2B Sales you’ve got it harder than the trees did. You don’t have millions of years, you’ve got today. And tomorrow. Let the business sink into your very DNA and go out there and show the B2B world the new you.

Bye, ya’ll!

Ryland