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  • Brett Zalaski

Hope and Sales

One of my favorite sales trainers I ever saw was current AXS CRO Rob Sine who said, 'Hope is not a strategy.'

There's also an expression running around sales & sports that I hear that says, 'Don't be a prisoner of hope.'

Both of these are 100% true. They focus on ensuring that your process never relies on 'hoping' sales get made. The problem with both of those phrases is that it taints the word 'hope' in sales.

During this time I've been taking inspiration from anyone who's not looking negatively at this time...rather looking proactively and positively. Someone passed along a series of sermons Steven Furtick has been speaking to his church, Elevation. One of the lines that just jarred me was, 'Hope is a focus, not a feeling.'

And by 'jarred' I mean 'jolted me like I'd been tased.' By 'jarred' I mean 'sent my mind spinning like a washing machine on full blast.' You get it.

So what does that mean for sales?

When hope is a feeling, we wait on it. We're reactive to it. Hope as a feeling is the thing we're relying on to come through...but we can't control it. When I 'hope' a sale is going to get made, I wait for that person to get back to me. I'm no longer in control of the process. Right now, many sales reps are 'hoping to get back to normal'...which is code for 'they ain't doing s**t.'

Hope as a focus is 100% action oriented. We aim to drive hope in the minds of our clients. Hope that we'll play games again soon. Hope that the team will be better next year. Hope that their sales reps will benefit from the face-to-face interaction using our corporate hospitality. Hope that that non-profit organization will raise money through using our tickets. Hope that the connection with our fan base will help propel an organization forward.

Hope as a focus for a rep includes driving hope into our own pipelines through proactive self-prospecting. It's driving hope into a dead pipeline by picking up the phone and getting people into the top of the funnel. It's taking all our 'maybe's' clogging up our pipeline and utilizing the resources we have (stadium tour, swag, coach call, President call, etc.) to gain traction and move the unmovable conversation.

Right now you better not be 'hoping' you'll make some sales when you get back. Your focus needs to be driving hope into our fans and into our pipeline by the actions you take right now. Again, this is an opportunity or an excuse...which one you choosing?

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