Not to scare you, but change is ultimately inevitable.
If you are working for a company that has sold the exact same product for the past decade or so, they probably will not be around for much longer. Innovation is what keeps the free-market alive. If a company wants to survive and flourish in this environment, they have to learn how to innovate and change.
As a salesperson, this often means that you have to learn your new product, become extremely comfortable with it, readjust your entire pitch, and be able to effectively sell it.
Of course, once you learn and master your new product, it will surely change again and you will have to start the process over again.
Change ultimately scares people. Humans naturally don’t like change. As a top performing salesperson though, you have to embrace it and become extremely comfortable with it. If you are looking for ways to become more comfortable with change, we have put together a list of the top 4 scientifically proven ways that salespeople adapt to change.
These lessons come from the Forbes magazine article 4 Ways To Embrace Adaptability, by Jeff Boss, who is a retired Navy SEAL. We will take his methods and use them for the world of sales and free-market change.
Instinctively, change is thought of as a bad thing because it conflicts with what we are comfortable with. For a lot of people, change is only good when the system is broken. However, for salespeople, they are usually having success with their product, so why change it? Why break what isn’t broken?
The first step in being able to adapt to change is to redefine “change” in your own mind. Rather than thinking of change as a bad thing to ruin a good product or system, think of change as an opportunity to present a new solution. Think of it an an opportunity to get above the competition. Simply be redefining “change” in your own mind to “opportunity”, you will see that changing will become less frightening and more exciting.
Observe your Landscape
A lot of employees get tunnel vision within their own company. They refuse to see outside their own walls and only like to observe what’s happening within their own organization. If the organization is successful, why change it?
However, by taking a huge step back and examining the industry as a whole, you will begin to see that change is absolutely necessary because the competition is rapidly evolving and innovating too. You don’t have to be a PhD industry expert either. A simple Google search of your industry will present a large amount of useful information, including trends and innovations. It will make change seem almost exciting and absolutely necessary to survive.
Develop Courses of Action
In the Forbes article, he states that as a Navy SEAL, they would develop two to three responses that the enemy would have once they (the SEALs) became engaged. From these, they would develop courses of action in response to the enemy. That way, they would always be prepared ahead of time for any situation that the enemy put them in.
For sales, change can produce a few different reactions from your customers, especially the loyal ones. It makes it much easier when you can visualize what the reactions of the customers will be, then practice on addressing that reaction. If the customer has a bad reaction, you have a course of action ready. If they love it, you will have a course of action ready. That way, change becomes less of a “no man’s land” and more of a calculated and predictable situation which you can take advantage of.
Setting Small Goals
Big goals are great because they allow you to look at the big picture and focus on your ultimate career aspirations. However, if you only have big goals, change will be seen as an interruption to that goal. For example, if a computer salesman sets the goal to sell $1,000,000 worth of computers by the end of his career, but suddenly the company introduces smartphones, the salesman will resent this change and not perform well.
Setting small goals makes change seem much easier because it breaks one big picture down in to small and attainable goals. Attaining your goals will allow you to modify them as change happens. If you have done the above steps too, being able to modify your goals will be easy and fun too.
I don’t really care what industry you work in – one day, you will experience a large product or service change. Only the top performers who have had long careers in the industry recognize change as an opportunity and embrace it. If you want to have a long and prosperous career in sales, learn how to embrace change, or risk being phased out of the industry by those who do embrace it.
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Author: Jason Karaman
Hello! I’m a marketing, sales, and customer service author, blogger and doer. I live in the South Carolina Lowcountry with my wife. I enjoy reading, writing, hiking, kayaking, and all things beach. For media inquiries, send an email to JasonKaraman@ExpertCaller.com