Today’s guest post is by Chris Champagne, president and CEO of Champagne Consulting Group Inc, a specialized consulting practice focused on helping salespeople maximize their potential – enabling outstanding results in their sales performance.
To truly excel as sales professionals – and separate themselves from their competition – every person in the sales profession needs an equal measure of inspiration, selling skills, and coaching.
I’ve been working in the sales profession for more than 25 years. Over the past three years I’ve coached and delivered sales training to hundreds of salespeople and sales leaders across the world. Along the way, I’ve also observed a wide variety of sales approaches that use various degrees of art and science.
The Source of Sales Inspiration
Recently I had a conversation with my dad, Horace, who happens to be Canada’s first “Master Pastellist,” a designation awarded yearly by the Pastel Society of Canada. Although he’s been a professional artist for more than 40 years, he also spent 20 years in sales.
People often assume that painters are inspired from some divine source to accomplish their great works. That’s why the most revelatory paintings often evoke strong impressions or emotional connections. But my dad and I acknowledged that works of art are also the product of lots of diligent work, honed skills and coaching/mentoring. The years of practice behind the scenes include research, skill development, experimentation, collaboration, failure, and revelation that contribute to the finished piece.
In the early years of my dad’s art career, he spent countless hours in museums studying the masters, specifically Tom Thompson and the “Group of Seven.” He also invests time reading about Picasso, Van Gogh, and Matisse. He shared with me how hard these artists worked when they were not in front of the canvas and how important collaborating to learn from each other was also critical to their success.
What Experienced Salespeople Understand about Buyers
Of course, he stressed talent and an underlying passion are other essential elements in both his success as an artist and as a salesperson. Where there is passion, there’s also inspiration.
Many of the more experienced sellers have clearly figured out the “art” of building relationships as the foundation of their success. However, relationships alone won’t be enough to sustain a successful sales career. Buyers won’t make purchases just because they like you personally. They need you to bring many other skills to the table, including demonstrating a tangible return on investment. In today’s selling environment, you can’t just be inspired – you also need proper coaching and an investment of time to hone selling skills.
The Ultimate Source of Your Sales Success
Are you getting the guidance/coaching you need to succeed? Are you taking the time on a weekly basis to improve your selling skills?
Who are the sales professionals in your “Group of Seven?” As it turns out, this group knew the value of meeting regularly to share their opinions, successes, failures, support, and encouragement – with the ultimate outcome of improving their craft.
If you are looking for ways to be both inspired and instructed, let’s talk. I invite you to reach out to me on LinkedIn to start our initial conversation.