Seek Out the Wacky and Controversial
I rarely read my horoscope. I do find that there is a lot of truth in the zodiac, but for whatever reason I just really don’t find the time or think to check it regularly.
But, today, I was adding a blog to my feed burner (or whatever it’s called)...This is a really cool one called Gutenblog that Bill Farquharson recommended in his weekly sales tip, which I am sure you all already get. If not, DO!...Anyway, I scrolled down to the bottom of my customized Yahoo page, and there was my horoscope, just waiting for me. And here is what it said:
If you've been looking for inspiration lately, get with your wackiest friends or family. Surround yourself with the people who look at the world from an odd angle, and you’ll be able to see things in a whole new way, too. Seek controversy today—play devil’s advocate as often as you can. You’ll encourage people to be passionate about what they believe—and passion can be contagious. Before you know it, you’ll be struck by it.
Now, advocating surrounding yourself with people who look at the world in a different way is no revelation. In fact, I encourage that all the time and have probably written a blog or two about it in my day. What I really find compelling is the idea of playing devil’s advocate in order to inspire passion in others. I never really looked at the concept from that perspective, and it really got me thinking about controversy, healthy debate and stimulating conversation.
I know; you’re saying, “Girl, WHAT does this have to do with selling more printing?”
Here’s what. What if you decided to challenge a prospect or customer? What if you asked them some provocative questions about the way they are doing things now in order to get them to think a little differently and look at things another way? And what if the questions that you asked them actually sparked a really interesting conversation and got you into a meaningful discussion or evolved into a brainstorming session in which you and the other party are now working on solving problems TOGETHER?
I’ll tell you what, you would certainly be differentiating yourself, which is something that we are all desperately trying to do to show that we bring more value, more creativity and more insight to this party. You would be proving yourself to be not like every other print rep out there. Not someone who just wants to get them the best price on their brochures, but who helps them come up with other ways to reach their goals and get them where they need to be.
Everyone wants growth today. And let’s face it—if you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. This goes for you, it goes for your customers and it goes for your prospects. If things aren’t going smashingly for your business, or for the business of someone that you want to work with, it’s time to change it up.
Get wacky. Get controversial. Because—and I LOVE to ask this question—what have you got to lose? More importantly, what have you got to GAIN?
Now working as a consultant, Kelly sold digital printing for 15 years so she understands the challenges, frustrations and pitfalls of building a successful sales practice. Her mission is to help printers of all sizes sell more stuff. Kelly's areas of focus include client recovery, retention and acquisition, and marketing communications projects.
Kelly graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science and, among other notable accomplishments, co-founded the Windy City Rollers, a professional women's roller derby league.