Okay, I will admit it. I’m a lifelong Seattle Seahawks fan. I grew up watching the team, an experience that included a lot of bad football. And only recently has the team even become relevant.
I was struck recently by the team’s motto for this season: “Leave No Doubt”. It was coined by the starting quarterback Russell Wilson and the offensive line coach and it speaks to their philosophy about preparing to win.
But you don’t have to be a Seahawk fan to see its applicability in the world of sales. How often have you had a customer meeting where you have left no doubt that you are the right provider for them? Have you put in the time to leave no doubt that you are going to hit your number this year? And have you left no doubt in the mind of your best customer that you value their business? As a sales leader, how would you answer these questions about your team?
It’s a simple phrase, but a powerful reminder that in sales and sales management, we must always cover our bases. You can’t assume that just because you took your prospect to a fancy dinner a few weeks back that the business is going to be yours. You can’t assume that your longest-standing customer will always stay with you. And sales executives can’t assume what selling skills that worked in the past will continue to work.
To be effective in sales today, we must show real value in every interaction we have with our customers and prospects. This requires more than “winging it” or doing the same thing that may have worked in the past. We all know the good-ole-days of sales are forever gone. Customers are demanding real insight from their current and prospective suppliers.
As salespeople, it’s easy for us to feel a false sense of confidence in each deal. Many of us thrive on the emotions of the pursuit and the personal relationships we build. But that’s when we need to reflect on the science of sales, using all the tools at your disposal to uncover often hidden needs and opportunities and bring insight. And most of all, we must focus on preparation, leaving no doubt we’re ready to deliver value in each customer interaction.