Do you remember going on holiday when you were a child? As a parent, your holiday often starts at your destination. This is where you can relax – road trips can be stressful and tiring.
It differs as a child – it begins the morning you wake up and get ready to jump in the car. The back seat is one of the most enoyable locations of the trip. Watching the scenery pass by the window. Stopping at weird and new places. The conversations and games in the car. The journey is a very important part of the trip.
The risk with sales is we focus intensely on the destination. On the close. On that deal being won. The client saying yes. That proposal getting signed off. Everything we do is about the destination.
We often do this with a series of steps – a process. A process is a series of actions/steps to achieve a particular end.
But, the sales process isn’t a series of arbitrary steps – it is a journey you take the client on, not a flow chart you manage them through. The issue with a process in a sales context is we can run the risk of focusing on the particular step we’re in – running that the context of the wider journey.
A journey is the very act of travelling from one place to another. It is about a continuous movement – rather than a series of steps. A video rather than a series of photos.
For your clients, the journey is incredibly important. Your and their relationship starts at the point the journey begins, not when you reach the destination. How you manage the journey determines whether you reach the destination.
Sales steps are waypoints and it is your job as a sales person to negotiate the roads to and from these waypoints to your next step and, ultimately, your destination. It is your role to shape the journey, not just reach the destination.
Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity, but doing it. – Greg Anderson
The other issue in sales is we are measured on successfully reaching the destination. So our satisfaction is often tied to the successful conclusion of the sales process. So our happiness can be tied to the right answer, rather than the process. Rather than the journey.
What if you have a great sales journey with your client, but don’t end up at the right destination for you. Is this a bad thing? We forget sometimes the path we lay today, we walk tomorrow. So make sure you always build a good path.
Once we find joy in the sales process, the journey – you’ll be surprised at the destinations you end up at.