Streetfighter Selling

for Sales Professionals

  • Apr

    There’s a phenomenon sweeping our culture, forcing change at every level of business. Change Guru/Strategist Clay Christiansen gave it a name: Disruptive Innovation.

    By definition, Disruptive Innovation is a new, sometimes radically different way of doing something that ‘disrupts’ the old way, sometimes leaving those practicing those old way in the proverbial dust. While the innovation is usually a service or product, at its core is a change that’s radical enough to ‘disrupt’ the product or service process currently in use. Examples include the way cell phones totally changed the landline industry or the way the Internet changed newspapers.

    The solution to disruptive innovation is to innovate yourself. A few salespeople have already adapted with innovations of their own. A few others have already been defeated by it. Most salespeople are somewhere in between.

    Disruptive innovation has hit the profession of selling in two dramatic areas:
    #1: Connecting with customers, and
    #2: Maintaining relevancy

    The rapid rise in technology has altered the psychology and methods of customer contact. It’s popular to keep supplier contacts short, to the point and only when needed. Technology has rendered obsolete the old approaches to cold calling by phone or having voice mails returned. Connecting with customers today requires proactive innovation, including live and online networking, and high-purpose calls.

    Maintaining relevancy is even more reliant on proactive innovation. We’ve got to continually ask ourselves “am I bringing value here?” Or, better still, “do my customers need me?” Historically (meaning, of course, in the old days), the salesperson was the courier of information, of details, pricing and the like. We were the customer’s information and action connection. But, with information abundantly available online, how can you remain relevant? The solutions lie in what they need, not what we want to tell them. Ask more, deeper questions to uncover their hidden costs and concerns. Demonstrate your problem-solving expertise. Make sure they see you as a valued consultant and not just another vendor who wants to take up their time. The secret is…make them want to see you!

    Disruptive innovation is changing the world, and the way business is done. We can’t scoff at it or ignore it. To survive and thrive, we have to innovate, too.

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  • Apr


    I had a salesperson recently tell me “selling just isn’t fun anymore.” Hard to hear, but not an unusual feeling these days. Almost every job carries some additional performance stress these days so, if you’re in sales, you’ll have your fair share.
    Now I’m not a fire and brimstone motivator, but I can give you three reasons why selling can be as fun…or even more fun…than it’s been in the past.

    1) Business IS improving. Slower in some sectors, sure. But if you’ve made it this far, you’re a likely survivor. And customers are going to want to talk to you!

    2) Opportunities are opening up for displaced workers. As with every recession, some old jobs won’t be coming back. But, if you can sell, employers are going to want to talk to you.

    3) “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” That may sound good in the movies, but how does it help on the street? Staying mentally strong is crucial to staying positive and active. Think positive, always.

    4) (as a follow up #3) Streetfighters are already out-performing their sales counterparts. They deal with the same reluctance and price issues as everyone else, but are taking action…enthusiastic action…and getting better results!

    And here are some action ideas……..

    Break Negativity Cycles
    We’re like doctors, in that we continually see people who need help. In tight times, they’ll talk more about problems than solutions. Our job is to help them (and ourselves) to be more solution-focused.

    Break old, toxic habits
    Forcing yourself to learn new technologies or talking to customers about changes in their business can spark new thoughts and ideas on how to do things

    Get more creative
    One of my favorite sales calls was to a fast food franchisee dressed in that chain’s uniforms. The shock value was great, and we got the business.

    Focus on successes
    When times are tough, lost and postponed sales take the spotlight. Don’t start, or end your day without a mental review of personal successes, whether they’re actual sales, tough-to-get appointments or a great service call.

    Focus on new opportunities

    Now’s a great time to build your network, and that includes using online services like Linkedin to make new connections with people and special interest groups. Some of the ‘old’ approaches to selling will be less productive, and getting new approaches into your mix can help get you fired up.

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