Pres-sure [press-er] verb def. - the exertion of force by object in contact with it.

OK Sales Reps, Sales Managers, Directors and Entrepreneurs...a show of hands - how many of us are feeling the pressure right now? Agreed!

As a Sales Management Consultant, I see the pressure in the eyes of Sales Reps everyday. Some of you may be questioning your skills. Others might wonder if you still got "it". A small portion of you may fear you've been SOL (Selling On Luck) the whole time. Fear is rampant; however the best cure for fear is Action. If you feel victimized by the current environment, take action and be encouraged! Here are 5 simple, yet powerful tips to help us sell our way out of this crisis...

1) Realize Sales is About Behavior NOT Personality
I know...all this time you've been led to believe that you have to be a certain type of personality to succeed in sales - not true. It's the BIGGEST myth in the sales profession today. I won't bore you with the significant amount of research that's been done on the subject. However, the bottom line is Sales is about behavior, which means anyone can become a High Performance sales professional.

2) Define Relevant Sales Activity
Is your sales activity relevant? Does your daily activity produce desired results? If not, determine which activities (i.e. dials, presentations, networking, etc.) produce results. Develop a sales process that strings together the relevant sales activity. For example if you are in a Direct Sales environment Attempts, Contacts and perhaps Appointments are all relevant sales activities that lead to Conversions. Start tracking them and determine accordingly how one influences the other.

3) Increase Your Contacts
In most cases a Contact is defined as a person. Not this one, we define and Contact as an opportunity to initiate the sales process. If you increase your contacts there is a high probability you will increase your results - it's that simple. People are still buying, the question is - are they buying from you?

4) Manage Activity - Not Results
I know it seems counter intuitive. All of your career, your success has been gauged on the amount of business brought in. Let me be clear...your success will continue be evaluated on the amount of business you bring in. However, without the underlying data on sales activity, results can be inconsistent. As we work with different sales organizations, we notice in every instance of inconsistent results there is also inconsistent sales activity. A direct correlation exists between activity and results.

Want the key to High Performance sustainable results?

Focus on what YOU can control - sales activity. Increase your activity i.e. increase your contacts (opportunities to initiate your sales process) and boost your number of appointments. Develop a science of selling that works for you. The book, Sales is Simple from Luck to Leverage (Available on Amazon) discusses how to build an effective sales process and create your own success formula. What is your current sequence of sales activity? What's the necessary level of activity to achieve the desired sales results?

5) Discover Your Sales Approach and Leverage It
There are 5 types of sales approaches - Telephone, Networking, Canvassing, Giving Presentations and Referrals. I often see companies placing square pegs into round holes i.e. hiring salespeople who prefer a referral based approach to pound the phones and vice verse. Then there are the entrepreneurs who prefer telephone sales, feeling pressured to attend networking events because a friend acquires business that way.

Many sales training systems focus on improving the "weaker" areas of sales development only to realize thousands of dollars later, the organization will experience a temporary lift and a subsequent return to the Status Quo. Why? Human behavior continues to teach us that people enjoy doing what comes natural to them. Use the sales approach that works for YOU.

Experts say it take 21 days for something become habit. For the next 21 days I encourage you to use the information in this blog to relieve the pressure the economic crisis has brought on and continue to achieve your desired results.

Always remember - Sales is Simple!

Author's Bio: 

Rod McKinnis is founder of The McKinnis Consulting Group and the author of the recently released book Sales Is Simple – From Luck to Leverage now available on Amazon.com: Sales is Simple. Email Rod at rodmckinnis@SalesisSimple.com or call 800.385.3173. You can now follow Rod on Twitter!