​Are you a sales visionary?

By mschreier


Start looking at your prospects and customers if you want to be a sales visionary. Are they growing? If not, you may need to take another look at what you’re doing.

​Do you know any successful entrepreneurs? Ask them what they think made them successful. You’ll likely hear lots of reasons. All of the answers are right — after all, these people are all successful. So, what’s the common denominator for success? They are all visionaries — they saw what other people didn’t.

Do you see potential?

Managing a sales business is like tending a garden. Gardeners plant seeds and help them grow. Savvy gardeners start with good quality seeds. Salespeople find prospects and help them grow. Sales visionaries start with the right prospects who have the potential to grow. How do you know you’ve got them?

These prospects are able to make decisions quickly. Customers who take too long to make decisions miss business opportunities.

The right prospects have plans, too. When you ask them how they’re going to grow, they are thoughtful. It may be a simple plan, and that’s fine. People who have no plan make me nervous. Winging it has never worked for any successful business I’ve seen.

Can you remove obstacles?

I’ve found that business visionaries need one thing to be successful: They thrive on possibilities and languish when needless obstacles are in their way. If you want to slow them down, create unnecessary work for them. Sure, they’ll get rid of the obstacles, but that will frustrate them.

Sales visionaries are the same. They remove obstacles for their customers. These sales visionaries make it easy for customers to work with them. How do they do it? They ask their customers about what gets in their way. They know their customers’ businesses. Then they look for ways to make it easier for their customers to work with them.

One sales visionary created an easy-to-use order form that saved his customer time when ordering. Another sales visionary made sure deliveries were stocked on the customer’s shelf. Both did work that the customer would have had to do.

These visionaries sell more because they make it easy for their customers to buy. They’re creative listeners. Visionary salespeople solve customer problems, not just by using logic, but through creative thinking. They are able to connect the dots of information in ways that will help their customers.

Here’s an example. One visionary realizes that if he could reduce risk for his customers, they would make more money. So he created a grid where he rated the risks they face. He evaluated risks based on the financial impact on their business and the importance to the company. He identified the important risks for his customers which had a big financial impact on their business.

How did he do it? He reads many different journals and read about a financial tool that he decided to apply to his customers’ business. That’s creative thinking.

Being a visionary is key to business success. Start looking at your prospects and customers if you want to be a sales visionary. Are they growing? If not, you may need to take another look at what you’re doing.

Action items

1. How many of your prospects have growth plans that you are aware of? Do you know how your products and services help them implement their plan?

2. How do your products and services help your customers make more money?