YOUR "BACK PAGES"…in 1967 the LA based rock group The Byrds recorded a huge hit entitled… "My Back Pages". Within the lyrics was a curious statement that when seen on paper, really makes you think:
"I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now"
What does that mean? What was Roger McGuinn with his jangly 12 string Rickenbacker guitar really saying? Who knows?… Considering they came from the psychedelic era it could mean anything. It does mean something tho' when you think about how that statement relates to the Business of Sales. When someone starts out as a Salesperson, they definitely have preconceived ideas about how the business operates. They definitely have ideas about how they are going to fit in and "how things should be done". that's the "I was so much older then" part. That's the… "I already know everything" part. We have all been through it…in some cases, no one can tell you anything. You already have all the answers. Then reality sets in… then you come to the realization that "I'm younger than that now". Eventually you realize that you have a lot to learn.
Here is your ACTION STEP… when you become the Salesperson that is "younger", you then become aware that you don't know everything. You then succumb to the painful truth… it's time to start growing. Once you start growing, then you are in a position to become a great Salesperson. What is it that the great Salespeople have learned? After 40+ continuous years in the Sales Business, here is some of the items on my list…
BK'S "YOUNGER THAN THAT NOW" LIST
1. I must remember that "I'm not done yet", that I must always be growing.
2. I'm probably not as open to new knowledge and Coaching as I think I am.
3. My Sales Presentation can always be better and I should stop thinking "it's okay the way it is".
4. Sometimes my Prospects will reject me for no logical reason and I need to let go and say NEXT!
5. The Business of Sales is a "numbers game". If I'm not talking to lots of people, I won't do lots of business.
6. My largest asset is people who already know me… past clients and centers of influence. That I should follow-up with them personally 3 – 4 times per year. That I should get comfortable asking them for business and referrals.
7. Every other profession (sports, theater, medicine, etc.) has to practice and take training… Sales is no different.
One observation that emerges from all this is that everyone believes they "think young". The reality is that many people either…#1. Only open up for little while and then they start to "know it all" again or…#2. Their egos never allow them to "think young" and consequently they are forever stuck in exactly the same position where they started out. Their sales never really took off and they eventually concluded that… "the Sales Business wasn't right for me". The truth is the reverse of that faulty conclusion. They were never right for the business because they always "thought older". The irony is that because they "knew everything", they didn't allow themselves to learn anything! Make sure you follow the Byrds advice… make sure you always think young: be open to suggestion, new ideas, and good Coaching. Look at it this way, the best Salespeople "think younger… the older they get"! Make sure that your "Back Pages" don't end up telling a story of stagnancy and lack of growth. NO Excuses.