Modern Selling: Be Proactive in 2020 – SecurityInfoWatch

Posted: January 16, 2020 at 6:41 am

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Chris Peterson is the founder and president of Vector Firm (, a sales consulting and training company built specifically for the security industry. To request more info about the company, visit

Years ago, salespeople would show up to the office and would have to find ways to keep busy. If a salesperson didnt make things happen, then nothing happened. We ate what we killed.

During the last 15 years, that dynamic has changed significantly. The Internet has provided a channel for our customers to gather information that used to be delivered only by salespeople, which has helped prime the pump of the selling cycle. Today, it is possible and common for a salesperson to work 60 hours per week without any prospecting or business development activity. We are no longer forced to make things happenthey just happen.

Sounds great, doesnt it? Well, maybe it does if one wants a career taking orders or winning the battle to the bottom of the price race. When we rely solely on other sources to educate our markets, then we get backed into a corner of reaction. We cannot control or provide guidance all we can do is react to our customers and prospects whims.

Our only value is in delivering proposals, and practically anyone can do that. Sowhat benefit are we providing? Why do our customers need us? What differentiates us from our competition?

If I was limited to giving one piece of advice to salespeople leading into the 2020, it would be to reverse this trend of reactivity; therefore, the number one thing salespeople should do in 2020 is become proactive. That sounds much easier to do than it really is, so here are four secrets to shifting from reactivity to proactivity.

1. Define what you will proactively do. What will you do with your proactive time? Off the top of my head, I recommend prospecting for new accounts, sales training, finding problems at your current accounts before they happen, and networking. There are dozens of other things you can do as long as you spend time on the important tasks that are not urgent. This is where greatness lives.

2. Dont try to be perfect. A typical impulse is to make a resolution to be proactive all the time; instead take baby steps in the first year. If you currently spend 98% of your work hours in reactionary time, then set a goal to be at 95% by April, and 90% by the end of the year. You will be blown away by the massive change in your results if you spend only four to five hours per week in proactive mode. Make the move to 70% next year just take baby steps this year.

3. Dont wait to find the time just do it. Every time I begin this journey with a client, they share the same exact comment with me: Im already working 12-hour dayswhere am I going to find the time? Dont find the time. Determine the minimum amount of proactive work that you will do each week and do it. If it takes four hours, then do it dont try to find the four hours. The tasks that fall off your plate probably arent worth your time anyway. Trust me on this one just do it.

4. Create a process and block off time on your calendar. I recently convinced the owner of one of my clients to invest Friday mornings on proactive and strategic work. We were both excited about his first morning away from the office out of crisis mode. Sometime before 9 a.m. that morning, he texted me: Ok, so where do I start?

Proactive mode is all about making things happen, so you have to create that process. No one will do it for you. Define your prospecting routine, create an agenda for your brainstorming sessions, and above all else block off the time on your calendar. Proactive time doesnt happen on its own. You must generate it and schedule it in your calendar.

Chris Peterson is the founder and president of Vector Firm (, a sales consulting and training company built specifically for the security industry. To request more info about the company, visit

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Modern Selling: Be Proactive in 2020 - SecurityInfoWatch

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January 16th, 2020 at 6:41 am

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