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WINNING, Incorporated | Boston, Massachusetts

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Bill Murray

Have you ever been in the middle of delivering a presentation to a prospect … when you noticed that he or she seemed to have completely tuned out of whatever it was you were saying? If you were delivering the proposal in person, maybe you noticed that the prospect’s gaze was elsewhere, or that his or her body language was closed-off.

Have you ever tried to motivate yourself to start a task? Did you conjure up all sorts of means, but after all the conjuring, nothing changed? You were still stuck. Except, you were also feeling guilty about having wasted more time without getting any closer to the accomplishment you were after.

Have you ever tried one of those tricky “closing techniques” that are supposed to transform hesitant prospects into instant customers? 

While there are several factors that contribute to success in the sales arena, there are five things you must have in order to maximize your potential and the results you achieve.

Have you ever seen a prospect’s eyes glaze over? Most professional salespeople have had this experience. Maybe you have, too.

When was the last time you failed? When was the last time you didn’t complete an important project on schedule, fell short of achieving a meaningful goal, or simply didn’t accomplish that which you set out to do? If you haven’t failed lately, that’s unfortunate. Because accompanying every failing experience is an opportunity to learn…and to grow.

It evaporated, that’s what happened. Why? Because you invested your own time and energy before you confirmed the prospect’s ability to make the investment. 

Strategic planning is something many companies undertake, but not as many are successful in implementing them. Goals are divvied up to the appropriate team members with the expectation to fulfill them, sometimes without an action plan to do so.

Salespeople sometimes dig themselves into a hole by leaping into action at the very first sign of interest from a prospect. Maybe something like that has happened to you. Perhaps you had a “good initial discussion” with a prospect, and, based on that conversation, you agreed to invest time and energy gathering information, working up prices, and putting together your presentation.

TA theory defines three ego states that influence our behavior—the Parent, the Adult, and the Child. Think of these ego states as internal tape recorders where childhood impressions—teachings and associated feelings—are stored.