The Inner Wingman:
By Waldo Waldman
Before fighter pilots can fly in combat, they have to demonstrate
expertise in tactics, technology, and hands-on flying. Extensive
hours of study, simulation and practice missions must be
accomplished before they are designated “M/R” – Mission Ready.
Simply put, they’re not trusted to fly with other wingmen until they
can fully trust themselves! In business and life, before you
can be trusted to execute a mission with others, you too have to
become Mission Ready. You have to trust yourself to win!
have to Prepare!
have to Train!
have to Sacrifice!
This process isn't easy nor is it fun. But in life, the fun starts
after you've paid the price to turn into a winner. Arnold
Schwarzenegger once said:
"Nobody ever got big
me lift the weights!" Have you lifted your weights
In sales, you have to practice your cold calls, study the
competition, plan your schedule, and discipline yourself to follow
the right processes that will lead to a sale. You, and no one else,
have to lift the weights and develop sales muscles! This is how you
develop your Inner Wingman.
When you trust your inner wingman, you become confident, and
confidence motivates you to take action. Success is all about taking
action! People who lack confidence are often afraid to take action.
They fear change, failure, and rejection.
Fearful people have a survival
mentality, but confident people have a winning mentality.
Confident people are enthusiastic and passionate about winning.
They have positive attitudes and when it comes to business,
customers love to buy from salespeople that are positive and
don’t trust yourself, neither will your customers!
So, before you start complaining about
how difficult your job is or how teamwork is lacking in your
organization, ask yourself if you’ve done the heavy lifting
necessary to build trust in yourself. Here are 10 steps that will
help you be successful in sales:
Sales Mission Preparation
1. Attitude (Plus
Action) Determines Altitude
– Get your mind right! Know your objective for the call and get
focused on the task. Enthusiasm breeds confidence and confidence
absorbs fear. Fear is the greatest deterrent to sales success.
It prevents you from taking risks; prospects never buy from a
fearful salesperson. Focus on the mission, which
is always about the customer.
2. Gather Intelligence
– Study their website, press releases, current vendors, and your
competition. What clients do you currently have that are in
their industry? What questions do you need to ask that will help
qualify or disqualify this lead? How can you
differentiate yourself from the competition?
3. Contingency Plan
yourself the ‘what-if’ questions. What if they challenge me
with price? What if they are currently engaged with another
vendor? What if they ask for a referral? Have answers to
objections before picking up the phone or walking in to see the
4. “Chair Fly”
rehearse the call. The mind doesn’t know the difference between
a real event and an imagined event. Envision the call in your
mind – delivering your value proposal, asking the right
questions, and rebutting her concerns. Don’t just envision the
call going perfectly. Envision the mistakes and objections and
mentally rehearse them in your mind until they are perfect.
5. Brief the Mission
and confirm your objectives, point of contact, questions,
rebuttals, clients, intelligence, and contingencies. See step 1
again, strap in and take-off!
– Listening allows you to learn about the prospect and
facilitates trust. Ask questions, but remember it’s always
better to base questions on research you did prior to the
meeting. Remind yourself to relax. Don’t forget to smile…and let
calm and confidence direct your flight path.
– Have a pen handy
(or a quiet keyboard if on the phone) and record every detail.
You can’t expect to remember everything. You’ll need this
intelligence to refer to next time you make your call to
follow-up. Make sure you come up with a follow-on objective/plan
for what to do after the call.
8. Go/No-Go Decision
– You need
to know when to press on with a call, and when to abort it.
Don’t get shot down! When your objective is met or when you
feel the prospect is no longer willing to listen, end the call.
You may need to for the ‘environment’ to change before calling
the call – Review the positives & negatives. What went right or
wrong? What were the lessons learned? Why did they happen? How
can you/your training be improve or revised?
– What’s the next step? Don’t just follow-up…be a trusted
resource! Exceed expectations – send
information/articles/referrals to your prospect than can help
them. Be on time and on target for the next step in the sales
process. Finally, stay in touch with your clients.
A friendly 30-second call to ask about their family and just say
hello is a great way to maintain your professional and
business & life, nobody is flying your jet but you. You're
ultimately in control. The best wingmen are those who can execute
their own missions with skill & confidence, while
maintaining trusting relationships with the wingmen in their lives
who they can turn to for help.
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