Sales Success Through Creativity
By Robin Sharma
"Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought."
- Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
In these information-crazed times we live in, ideas are the true commodity of success. Liberating your natural state of creativity and bringing constant innovation to the work that you do as a sales professional will pay huge dividends over the course of your career. Continually stretching yourself by trying new selling strategies or presentation techniques will set you apart from the crowd and create the positive results that ensure leadership. Maintaining that sense of childlike curiosity and enthusiasm will keep you energized and allow you to consistently offer your customers innovative products and services that build loyalty and generate a never-ending stream of referrals that ensures your success. Here are seven of the most effective ways to unlock your creative potential for sales excellence:
Shedding the shackles of complacency and routine is a powerful way to stimulate creativity. Try new ways of doing old things, think new thoughts, read new books, and talk to new people. Start taking wise risks to improve the work you do. My father used to say "it's risky being out on the branch but that's where all the fruit is." Innovation is a habit that takes nothing more than practice and a little courage to integrate into your professional and personal life. As Seneca noted: "it is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that things are difficult."
Set an Idea Quota.
Every week, plan to come up with a specific number of new ideas to enhance the quality of your work. Constantly ask yourself: "Is there a better way of doing this?" or "is this activity truly the best use of my time, energy and talents?" Importantly, capture your answers and ideas in a journal or on tape so you have a record of them. Then implement the best ones. Never ending improvement is the master trait of all peak performing salespeople.
There is a profound link between stress and creativity. How creative are you when you are burdened by a mind full of tension? How effective is your sales presentation when pressure is bearing down on you? Learn to manage stress and watch your thinking levels soar. Go for a brisk 20 minute walk before the big meeting or discover the power of creative visualization as a tool to maintain a highly-focused yet relaxed mindset. By making the time to manage the stresses and strains of these topsy-turvy times, you will be rewarded with an abundance of great ideas and liberate the full extent of your natural talents.
Develop a "MindLink."
One of the best ways to unleash your creativity and boost your sales effectiveness is to form a brainstorming group of achievement-oriented salespeople who share your values and are dedicated to improving the way they work. Meet regularly and share your success strategies and "war stories." Discuss the challenges you face and ask for ideas on overcoming them. Use the power of other peoples' creativity and experience to help you realize your goals while you help them reach theirs.
Enjoy a Daily Retreat.
Carving out some quiet reflection time for yourself will do wonders for your capacity to generate new ideas and for your overall productivity. Connecting with nature, for example, is a time-tested strategy to stimulate your creativity and renew your thinking processes. Even taking ten minutes in the middle of a busy day to blow off steam and share a laugh with a colleague will make a big difference in the quality of your thoughts.
Go First Class in Your Environment.
Your work environment is a profound influence of your creativity. For example, a bright, comfortable, personalized workspace will promote the flow of rich and effective ideas. A simple motivational quote next to your computer or strategically placed on your dashboard will stimulate your imagination. Take the time to create a peak performance work environment that will keep you energized and at your best. Remember, success is not about chance - it's about choice and enhancing your creativity is one of the smartest choices you can make.
Connect to Purpose.
Perhaps the greatest need we have is the need to contribute and make a difference through the work we do and the lives we live. Spend some time on a weekly basis reminding yourself of the importance of your efforts and the people whose conditions your improve through the products and services you deliver. Reflect on the people who count on you. Then dedicate yourself to liberating the fullness of your creative power and being known as an innovator who is always finding new solutions to tough problems. Your sales success will be assured.