As sales professionals, there are things we control and things we do not control within the sales process. Lack of power over a situation can be a source of frustration. It can sometimes be easy to lose sight of the things we do control because we let the things we can’t control consume us.
In Anthony Iannarino’s latest blog, What You Control, and What You Do Not, he talks about the time and energy we devote to things outside of our control rather than areas where we do. How much of your focus do you dedicate to things that are not in your control?
In sales, we want to influence each aspect of the sales cycle. In reality, there are pieces of the process that we have no say over. These pieces are where some of our frustrations take effect, and we dwell in those areas instead of where we can be productive. Losing site of where our focus should be has an adverse impact on overall sales growth.
What You DON’T Have Control Over
There are so many things we don’t have direct sway over in our lives and our jobs. The good news is that no one has control over everything. So, it’s a somewhat level playing field. Let’s talk through some of the areas where you don’t call the shots.
- Attitude – You have no control over someone else’s position and how they react to different situations. Your clients, prospects, leads, co-workers, friends, and anyone else you come in contact with is entirely up to them. They determine their attitude from day to day.
- Clients/Prospects/Leads – You have no control over your customers, prospects, and leads. They have a decision-making process that doesn’t include you. They may ask for your input on a topic or situation, but you have no control over their actual decision-making process.
- Emails – You have no control over someone opening your email, clicking on a link, or responding. The recipient is in control of what they do with your emails.
- Social Media – You have no control over your social connections. You cannot make them accept your requests, share your updates, comment on your updates, or like your updates. These actions are all under their control, and they make the decision on how to interact and engage with you online.
- Competitors – You have no control over what your competitors do. They may give extremely low pricing or provide offers that your company just can’t match. They may have a big budget to work with to promote their business that you just don’t have at this time.
There are numerous things that you encounter each day that you have absolutely no authority over. You have to be able to let these things go so that you can focus on being in your sales role. If you dwell on the things you cannot control, then you will lose focus and jeopardize your success. Don’t waste your time trying to control the uncontrollable.
What You DO Have Control Over
All hope is not lost…there are things you do call the shots over! We’ve talked about the fact that there are many things we don’t have control over, but there are also many things where we do have the final say. Let’s talk through some of the areas (these may look familiar) and how we can take charge in these areas to be successful.
- Attitude – You have control over your attitude. You determine how you will react to situations that arise with your clients and how to respond when you receive objections and aren’t able to close a deal. The way you interact and respond to your customers, prospects, leads, co-workers, friends, and everyone else you come in contact with on a day-to-day basis at work is solely in your hands. You control your attitude and whether or not you want to be someone who inspires others and helps them grow or whether you will be a “Negative Nelly” that pushes others away instead of drawing them closer.
- Clients/Prospects/Leads – You have control over how you influence others. If you do good work, build relationships, and provide value, then you have the ability to influence others in their decision-making process. You are in control over how you build and develop your relationships.
- Emails – You have control over your email messaging. Make sure your subject lines grab the attention of the reader. Make sure your message is something of value to the reader. You can’t control whether or not they open your email, but you can control the messaging.
- Social Media – You have control over what your online brand is saying. You optimize your social profile to speak to your target audience. You determine what content to share that you feel will be of value to your followers. You decide how to interact and engage with your online connections.
- Competitors – You have control over what you say about the competition. Your responses to questions about how your solutions compare should build up how you are better — not tear down their product.
If you focus on the things outside of your control, then you will not be as successful as you have the potential to be. It’s important to stay focused on the things you do have control over because those are the areas you can change and improve on.
If you’re in a sales role, maybe you’ve been caught up in trying to control the uncontrollable. This incorrect focus leads to frustrations and lost deals. It’s important to take a step back every once in a while and evaluate where you’re placing your focus. You may find you’re trying to drive without a steering wheel, and that’s what’s hindering your sales growth.