This is Day 5 of a 7-day article series that was kicked-off by “4 Ways You’re Looking at Your LinkedIn Profile Wrong and Seven Days To Fix It” and is designed for any sales person, whether happy or looking. It offers profile ‘must-haves’ and attempts to address anticipated objections.
Today, I’m asking you to think about demonstrating your performance without turning off your prospects and customers.
Start by opening a new tab and performing a Google images search on “company you keep quotes.” These quotes should not only be enough to convince you to take a new perspective on demonstrating your success, but also, I hope it encourages you to take inventory of who you represent—and what they represent.
Today is about demonstrating what you’ve done. Remember, customers want to work with people who are great at their jobs; these salespeople can help them sell internally. If you’ve done big deals or have been a top performer, yes, they want to work with a winner. If you haven’t yet hit it, keep at it. Customers also want to partner with honest people who work hard and want to earn the business.
Regarding performance metrics: Make them relative. I’m a huge fan of Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, by Dan Ariely. My abbreviated summary: people make decisions on everything in terms of how it relates to everything else, or put simply, they make decisions with a comparison/option set. Do you want the red one or the blue one? There wasn’t an option for not wanting anything. Think in terms of presenting your success with material numbers AND relativity. Here are some examples:
- #1 ranked rep in nation (22 total) – 2015
- 98% Quota attainment (team average was 62%)
- Closed largest deal in company history
- 240% YoY territory growth
- 4 month average sales cycle vs team average of 10 months
Also, it’s powerful to demonstrate trajectory. Think about this when building your narrative (see day 3). Titles are the easiest way to show trajectory through the various roles you’ve had, but there are so many ways to demonstrate you’re doing bigger/more sophisticated selling, in a way that’s not annoying. By mentioning who you sell to (ie: CFOs, CMOs ), decision cycle length (I specifically didn’t use the term “sales cycle”) and describing the product can all demonstrate you’re getting bigger and badder in that bad a*s kind of way. Be careful with trade secrets here, just use common sense.
If you haven’t hit (performed) it yet, stay where you are, study sales, find mentors, practice like crazy, work hard, put your customer objectives before your dollar-sign googley-eyes and it will happen. Do it. It will be so fun to showcase your results.
Stay tuned for the next few days of tips in this 7-day series:
- Day 1/7: Your Profile Picture
- Day 2/7: Get Your Dates Right
- Day 3/7: Your Narrative
- Day 4/7: Re-consider That Title You Love
- Day 5/7: Demonstrating Performance Without Turning Off Prospects
- Day 6/7: Validating Your Character: Endorsements and Special Facts
- Day 7/7: The Not-So-Pretty Stuff: Hard Times and How to Handle Them