Sales doesn’t come naturally: it requires continuous work

Sales training workshop daniel priestley

Sales. Love it or hate it?

I was on a half day sales training workshop run by Daniel Priestley this week, and that was one of the first questions he asked us. He said if you HAVE to choose, would you say love it or hate it?

I said if I really, really had to choose I’d say love over hate, but a lot of the comments from others on the training reflected more how I really felt:

“love it sometimes”

“i have a love-hate relationship with sales”

“i love parts of it”

The point with sales, he said, is that it doesn’t come naturally. It’s a profession. It’s practice. It takes work.

And the greatest companies in the world all have world class sales training and put an enormous amount of energy and effort into improving their sales process.

Apple requires 40 minutes of sales training every day for their retail team.

Rolex has a 3 day sales bootcamp every team member must go through before they can sell a watch.

Google has literal armies of sales people…and if anyone could automate it or get rid of the sales function, they could.

Sales. Takes. Work.

I admit I went into this sales training session feeling a bit ehhh….like, would it be worth the money I’d spent on it? Was I going to be given prescriptive questions which sounded unnatural and awkward?

But within those first few minutes, I was refreshed to discover hey, sales is supposed to be hard. It’s not easy for anyone. If it was, Google would automate that shit and then sell us all the blueprint and none of us would have to work at it.

It’s still a scripted process, rather than a friendly chat. But that process has flexibility, and warmth, and rapport, and connection. Three kinds of connection, actually:

  • Logically connect
  • Emotionally connect
  • Urgency to buy

These 3 have to come together.

I took lots of notes. I’ve shared them with our team. We used some time in our PF Board meeting yesterday to dig into how we can be doing sales better at PF, and what kind of training we can provide the team who are doing sales.

I’ve been thinking lately about the “what got you here, might not get you there” concept – especially as PF has passed the 10-year mark, and we’ve worked with thousands of accountants, and it could seem from the outside that we’ve got our shit together and it flows easily and we don’t even have to try.

But the truth is, we’re always trying. Changing. Considering what works and what doesn’t. Reviewing the numbers. Revisiting. Reconsidering.

And sales is an area I’m going to give more attention this year.

I booked that sales training fairly last minute. I hadn’t planned on it, but the email came in and the workshop was on a day I’d blocked out to work on strategy, and I want to learn from the experts.

Plus, it gave me the chance to practice more sketchnoting, which I haven’t done for a while. #creatvitypillar

And most of all, it showed me that my brain energy is finally being restored to pre-broken-ankle stage, which is a big relief!

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I’m not actually bummed about the grey weather we’re having. Here’s why.

I went for a walk in the MORNING today, which felt like i’m winning at life. 🏆 

Lately I’ve been fitting in my daily walk at 9 or 10pm after a long day of meetings. I’m super grateful for the way it’s still light so late at night, but a walk-at-end-of-day doesn’t have the same motivational kick as the walk-at-the-start. 🌑 

So that one little thing I did puts me at champion status, and affects my entire mindset for the day. 💪 

There are a lot of contributing factors to this morning’s walk, but the top one was that it was grey, cool, and windy...which is far more motivational to me than bright sunshine. 🌬 

I know, it’s weird.

The rest of britain is like UGH WHAT A SHIT SUMMER and i’m here going um...i really, really love the rain. And clouds. And cool breezes. And grey skies. ☔ 

I’ll join in the conversation and be like yea, yea, it really does suck...but that’s just to start conversation and show British solidarity. Deep down I don’t think it does suck. 👀 

I do like sunshine, but after spending 25 years of my life in Arizona, I don’t love or crave the heat. ☀ 

Anything over about 20 degrees and i start getting a bit antsy...and my limit is “23 with a breeze”. 😎 

If it’s higher than that I’ll literally hide inside, not rush out to sit in a beer garden or at the beach. I really don’t enjoy heat at all. 

So thanks grey skies and wind, you helped a lot today. 💪 

Just me? Everyone else dreaming of 30+ degrees and sunshine?? It’s okay if you are...i just...don’t get it. 🤣 

#justkeepgoing #walkoftheday #goodmorning #wegotthis #onestepatatime #motivation
Cancelling things is a superhero skill.

Not all the time, of course: we want to be trustworthy.

And the sheer stubbornness of being a business owner is good.

I can do it. I will do it. No matter what! I can make. this. work.

A product, an event, a new hire, a business.

So we keep pushing. Show up, send the emails, make the phone call, record the videos. More training for the new hire, more new hires. Make sure we never let anyone down.

Of course, things happen. We get sick, something happens to a family member, or there’s an emergency and we need to shift things around.

But cancelling things can be a superhero skill: when you do it well, knowing why it’s time to cut the cord and communicating it well.

Here’s some of what I consider when I’m trying to decide if it’s time to dig in, or stop & go another direction:

1. Does anyone even know about it?
Sometimes it’s been a big part of your business life and used a lot of brainpower, but no one outwith you and your team know it was meant to happen.

2. What’s the cost of not doing this now?
The full cost, more than financial, including:
- Motivational cost for you, team, clients
- Decreased trust for clients
- Loss of strategic partnership connection

3. Could you replace it with something else?
Another day, an online option, a template instead of custom build? Sometimes a replacement isn’t a cancellation at all. You’re doing it, but in a less costly way.

4. Do I have the energy and appetite to keep going?
I can do it with an automaton approach…but given the other things on my plate, where do I want my energy to go? How much do I have to give? Will it renew energy, or drain it?

I ended up cancelling a small event recently, & whilst I was disappointed, it was the right decision for these reasons.

It can feel embarrassing...but cancelling something can be a superpower, if it’s done well & communicated clearly and honestly. And when it’s more the exception than the rule.

Anything you are considering stopping? What impact might that have?

✨This is from this week’s Creative Headspace note. They go out every Friday - except for the rare occasions I skip a week for my own sanity. 😄 Sign up in bio!💌