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Have you ever started something and not completed it? Or maybe there's something that you know that you should do but you just don't seem to get around to it? Or perhaps there's something that you know would benefit from more attention / more focus but you just don't give it the attention that it deserves?

For a lot of business people this sums up the selling experience!

Most people that I speak to who are involved in sales freely admit that they don't focus on new business enough or that they frequently put off new business generation to do something else instead. This seems surprising when every business person knows that new business generation is essential to helping them to hit target, push them over target or build the business that they desire.

Given this ? why is it that we so often don't take action?

A large percentage of people that I speak to complain that sales isn't seen as professional and that they don't consider themselves as doing a professional job. When I ask them when they last read a book or attended a seminar on selling, communications or motivation they look at me like I'm stupid.

90% plus haven't read a book in the last year and ?well over 80% have never read a book on selling!

Is it any surprise then that they feel unprofessional?

Question.

Would you consider a brain surgeon with no training and who had never read a book or attended a seminar? I don't think so!

So why is this the case?

I believe that it simply comes down to leverage. We often know what we need to do but it's just easier not to do it. Think about it for a second. Have you ever thought that you really needed to so some cold calling? You maybe got the client list together, got yourself a coffee and sat down to do it. All ready to go but then you ended up going through your email inbox! I think every business person has done that because sometimes it's easier just not to do it!

As we're still at the start of 2005 I decided today that we should focus on what you want and on how to get leverage so that you feel compelled to take action right now. Record the results of your findings in your sales success log and remember ? the more detail you go into, the greater the leverage ? the greater the leverage, the more the call to action.

But before we do this? consider the fact that according to all of the statistics - you are about to catapult yourself into the elite group of sales winners!

Why?

* 90% of sales people don't buy books or listen to audios

* 90% of books / audios won't be read / heard past the first chapter

* 80% of readers / listeners won't take any action

That means that if you read AND take action you will be part of an incredibly elite group! Interested?

Where are you now?

No seriously! Where are you now? When I work with individuals and teams I have discovered that it takes an incredible amount of courage and honesty to really investigate where we are currently. In life we all live in our own perceptions of the world ? prejudiced by the spectacles that we habitually wear. If you are going to make a radical difference to any area of your life it is essential that you break through this barrier and be honest with yourself. Only by taking this crucial step will you get what you want.

Over the course of the next few minutes I am going to ask you some questions. The more time you take to really consider these and think through the answers, the more they will help you to get leverage. I strongly recommend that you record the questions and the answers into your Sales Success Log (SSL).

Questions to Ask Yourself

What is the most pressing issue or challenge that you face with new business generation at the moment?

If you were to know, what is the biggest issue that you need to resolve at the moment such that if you solved it you would make a major breakthrough?

Sometimes this question isn't so easy to answer. Keep asking it of yourself over and over. Let's face it, if this was dead easy, everyone would do it and then you'd only be keeping up not getting ahead!

Typical answers include:

* I don't have enough time to generate new business
* Making excuses
* Fear of rejection
* Not confident enough
* Not enough training, knowledge, support, back-up etc.
* Market depressed
* Client rejections
* Price
* Existing supplier relationships
* No database
* Unqualified leads
* And many, many more?

Am I sure that I understand this issue fully?

Sometimes the presenting issue is not the real issue at all.

Before we carry on you need to ensure that you have a full understanding of the issue at hand.

* What is really going on here?
* How long has this issue been going on?
* Have I always considered it a challenge?
* How bad are things really?
* Is this worth working on?

For the rest of this exercise I am going to use fear of rejection and not having enough time as my examples. I will be basing my answers on typical answers given by coachees in sessions that I run.

Fear of rejection. "Before I even make the call I am worried that the client will reject me. I wasn't always worried about this. When I first started selling I didn't care at all. I guess that I started to feel this way about 3 months after I started. I seem to get rejected much more often now and, if I'm honest I do very little new business generation. This is definitely worth working on as my lack of proactivity is effecting my business."

I don't have enough time. "I think that this is more wrapped up with the fear of rejection. I am very busy but generally I do make excuses when it comes to cold-calling. If I didn't have the fear of rejection I am sure that I could find the time. I started finding things to do as soon as I started to win my first clients and things have really got pretty bad now. If I were to lose a client I really have no back-up as I haven't been focusing on new business generation at all recently."

What is the Impact of This Problem on Me?

Now? I said that you had to be honest! Ask yourself?

* How is this problem currently impacting on me?
* What results am I getting due to this problem?
* How are these results impacting me; my team; my business?
* When I consider this impact how do I feel about it?

Remember to consider each incidence separately.

Fear of rejection. "I'm not doing hardly any new business generation. I know that this is impacting my potential client base. I used to bring on new clients quite regularly but I can't remember the last time that I brought on a really new client. My team don't really see me as a new business winner and I know that the boss thinks that I only "cherry-pick" easy business. his makes me feel annoyed as I know that I can be better than this. What's more I think that I am less confident in my dealings with existing clients and this is impacting my potential revenues."

I don't have enough time. "Because I don't make the time to generate new business I am sabotaging my own chances of success. When the others are doing business generation I am usually doing administration. I'm not really part of the team because of this and it upsets me."

What Future Consequences Will Your Problem Bring?

Quite often when we don't do something right now it doesn't really matter. Doing exercise today or not doing exercise today will do little (or nothing) for your fitness levels, your physique or your health. When considered over a larger period of time however daily actions such as exercise will determine massive differences in the results that you get.

When considering your actions and their consequences you need to look at the long-term. It's important that you take time to really think through and picture these consequences. The more real they are for you, the more leverage for change will be created.

Questions to ask yourself?

* If nothing changes in your current situation what will the consequences be?

* What's the likely outcome of your continued action (or inaction)?

* What consequences will this have on your sales career, finances, business, promotional prospects and self-esteem?

* What's at stake for you?

* How will others such as your family, friends and acquaintances be affected?

* How do you feel about this course of events?

Fear of rejection. "Ultimately, I will not have enough business coming in and I will probably be sacked or go bust. No business can survive without new sales. I have been quite ambitious in the past and have taken on loans for cars and a new house. If I don't make the sales then I could easily lose these. My industry is quite small and it would not be good for my reputation or future employability if I were sacked or made redundant. I would hate the thought that I had failed to do my job. If I lost my house it would put an incredible amount of pressure on my family life too as we are hoping to have a baby next year."

I don't have enough time. "If I don't create the time to generate new business I won't make any sales and I will lose my job. This will make me unemployable as my reference would be poor. I wouldn't be able to keep up the car payments or my mortgage. This would create massive family tensions and personal stress."

Take Personal Responsibility

People often ask me what the differences are between great salespeople and sales superstars. This is a truly great question which, I believe, has several answers. High up on my list would be that sales superstars' take personal responsibility for their success no matter how hard things around them may get. Only by taking total personal responsibility can you become totally accountable for the results that you get.

Keeping this foremost in your mind consider how you contributed to the current situation or problem?

I totally accept that your initial answer may well be that you didn't contribute. For many people this way of thinking represents a quantum leap in their habitual behaviour so it may not come easily.

Keep asking yourself?

If I knew, how have I contributed to this current situation or problem?

Fear of rejection. "I have allowed myself to fall prey to my own imagination and become fearful of generating new business. I have focused on the times that I have not succeeded rather than the times that I have. I have listened to people around me who are not getting results rather than focusing only on those who are peak performers."

I don't have enough time. "I have allowed myself to make excuses and rationalise my own behaviour because of my fear of rejection. I have listened to and adopted the mindsets of other salespeople who are making excuses rather than taking action."

Do You Want to Change Now?

Before we start talking about what you want instead I think that it's important to know that you do want to change now don't you. So take a moment and consider?

* What you will gain when you resolve this situation?

* What results will you begin to get and why will you enjoy them?

*How do you feel about your decision to move towards a satisfactory solution?

Fear of rejection. "When I let go of the fear I will be able to generate new business confidently and professionally. This will allow me to take control of my own destiny whatever sales challenges are thrown into my path. I will begin to create new client relationships, new sales and new opportunities. Knowing this makes me feel alive and ready to get going."

I don't have enough time. "I will gain the ability to choose how I spend my time rather than being dictated to by my irrational fear. I can concentrate on planning my sales campaign so that I gain maximum benefits from my efforts. I feel excited at the possibilities ahead."

You + 100% Commitment

Many times in my programmes I ask you to commit yourself to action. In the minds of sales superstars there is no greater commitment than to yourself. Grab your Sales Success Log and answer the following questions?

1. What is the most powerful and congruent step that you can take right now?

2. What's going to get in the way of you taking it?

3. How are you going to deal with this challenge?

4. When will you start and complete this step (put a date on it)?

My suggestion is that you sign and date your commitment to this step.

Welcome to the new you ? let's get going!

For the last 10 years, Gavin Ingham has been helping sales people to explode their sales performance by turning self-doubt, fear and lack of motivation into self-belief, confidence and action. With his inspirational approach to sales performance and motivation Gavin combines commercial experience, personal excellence and communications technologies in delivering personal and business sales success.

Visit http://www.gaviningham.net now to join Gavin's free monthly newsletter packed full of sales secrets, strategies and tactics. Join now and get Gavin's ground-breaking 9-part objection handling course absolutely free.

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