Sales is one of the toughest professions in the world. When there’s a dip in a market, sales is the first reflection of consumer confidence, which make sales professionals the front-line troops to absorb the blows from market changes. If sales professionals are not influenced by a greater purpose, they will have a difficult time navigating the turbulent waters of a sales career. As a result, their income will experience lean times because their heart is lean on purpose. Unfortunately, when the heart of a sale’s professional is lean on purpose, it will undermine their ability to hustle.
No room for error
Selling is one of the only professions where the margin of error regarding purpose is close to zero. In other words, some people can get away with performing a job they feel less passionate about. In fact millions of people do it every day of the week. They go to work and perform at seventy-five percent and still get paid one-hundred percent of their pay at the end of the week.
A good friend of mine Rabbi Daniel Lapin stated, “Money is a certificate of performance”, and selling is a direct reflection of his statement. If sales professionals perform at seventy-five percent, their pay will be a direct reflection of their performance. In some cases, individuals can perform at high levels and still receive nothing when it’s time to get paid. So the challenge for sales professionals in the twenty first century is how to sustain peak performance over a long period of time in order to move the needle for breakthrough sales?
From the beginning of time, people have been selling animals, land, crops, people, services, and yes attitudes! The only thing that has changed in the twenty-first century is the way we engage with our customers, but the art of selling remains the same.
One of the most prolific examples of a sales superstar was my father. My mother divorced him before I started elementary school so he wasn’t around much, but his sales prowess showed up in places I went.
After the divorce, my family ended up in Cooper Homes Projects in Anniston, Alabama. It was tough growing up in the projects without a father, but remnants of my father made its way to the hood. He was such a gifted salesman that he would make tables covered in shag carpet and sell them to people in the neighborhood. One of my most memorable childhood moments was walking into someone’s house and seeing his creation. I must add, his tables weren’t the most fashionable pieces of furniture, but people bought them. My mom even purchased a set for our home!
Looking back made me ask, how can you sell a carpet covered table to people who didn’t have carpet on their floors? Somehow, Donald Edward Jenkins Sr. managed to convince his customer that they needed these tables. If you thought that was bizarre, he also managed to sell these strange looking sticks. They were ordinary sticks with a glazed finish and a little color. Again, the handiwork of my father made its way to the heart of his customer.
We came from a family that owned a successful construction business, but after the business folded when my grandmother passed, my father would hustle to make money. During my teenage years, I worked with my dad cutting grass and selling items at a local flea market. One of our product offerings included long sleeve ruffle tuxedo shirts, which we sold with patent leather shoes in the middle of the summer. Needless to say, I was able to see the master at work and it taught me a powerful lesson.
My dad was a master at selling products out of season. I learned that it wasn’t about the product or the season that made his effort so special, it was the purpose behind the sale that fueled his hustle in order to earn a livelihood.
Finding your sales purpose
You can be the most gifted sales talent in the world with the latest tools and technology to engage your target audience, but if your hustle is not fueled with purpose, you will have lean economic times.
Unfortunately, many sales professionals attend sales meetings to hear managers and directors explain the numbers. Although they walk away feeling the demand to ramp up their hustle, they remain clueless on how to capture the purpose behind their sales. As a result, they find themselves working for an applause instead of working for a cause, and remain stuck in patterns that lead to the same results.
The latest and greatest sells techniques and tools are needed, but nothing substitutes old fashion hustle, which is a product of directing purpose toward income producing activity.
Fred Lawrence, President of Brandeis University stated, “…the fundamental force in our lives, the drive to find a purpose, is also the fundamental force in successful marketing and ultimately successful business – but only if we can find a way to harness that force and direct it.”
Mr. Lawrence statement poses a serious challenge for sales professionals around the world. Purpose is the primary source for achievement and if you are going to achieve anything significant as a sales professional, you must master skills on how to transform your purpose to sell into the art of hustle.
By doing so, you will create new patterns of purpose for breakthrough sales. It will allow you to avoid slumps that undermine your potential and find the purpose behind the sale. It doesn’t matter whether you are a sales superstar or just beginning your sales career, you can master the art of hustle for breakthrough sales?
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