The worst part of starting anything, is to figure out where to begin. I literally began this blog about 80 different ways, the first way was writing down famous speeches, but that sounded horrible. Then I tried to embed famous quotes within my blog, that seemed to irritate me even more.
There is literally no right way of starting something about trying to find your voice. It’s that internal editor in your head that constantly telling you that everything you write is garbage and you need to tweak it up, I know that “we have nothing to fear, but fear itself” but there is more to fear in life why didn’t anyone tell FDR what about public opinion. That’s really scary sometimes, half my life revolves around me trying to avoid public humiliation, also what about rabid animals they are terrifying.
But the point I’m trying to make here it takes years to find who you are, and the one thing I think we don’t get told enough as sales reps is to find our voice. I think of anything you learn in life is that your voice is one of the most important tools you have in your arsenal and not many of us know how to properly use it. How would we? They don’t teach you that in training when that should be a focus for a day.
Don’t just emulate:
Finding your voice is crazy important for sales reps, in this day and age when all you have is a phone and a computer that’s all you can do. I know a lot of reps emulate the top reps in the company, but that sets you up for failure. You can’t take someone's style and become successful. They are completely different then you are, “Always remember you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else” this is completely true.
Stop reading the scripts for one second, think to yourself about who you are. If you are struggling as a sales rep, it may not be anything you are doing just that you aren’t being yourself. Being yourself is the one most important trait you have in life and you should not hide that for anyone. People will reject who you are, but that’s on them not you. So when you hop on a call try to sound like yourself not like Bobby the top sales rep.
Try not to sound like everyone else in your company sound unique, it’ll allow you to have more fun with it and also you won’t sound robotic. Finding your voice is not an easy task, it can take up to months or years to find it. It all depends on how well you know yourself. If you understand who you are the easier it becomes. But a great way to find out who you are is but taking notes on how you interact with others on a day to day basis, things you like, things you hate, just take constant notice of yourself. We constantly take notice of others why not ourselves. Be fearless on that phone take risks you know others won’t, but you want to see what would happen. Just break free of the public opinion shackles that are binding you to be just like everyone else.
I know this advice right now sounds very generic, something you hear all the time. “Just be yourself” it’s basically in every pop song Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber have done. So let's break this down even more here are my 5 tips to figuring out your voice.
- Pay Attention and Be Present
What this means is start taking notice of everything that deals with your life, look at how you speak to your family and how they reciprocate, how you deal with your friends, the friends circle you attract. Basically, take notice of everyone you interact with and look at how you relate to everyone differently.
For example, when I deal with my family it’s completely different than my friends.
“MOM! MOM! I got the Subway gig.”
“Yooo what’s going on? I just got a subway gig. Yeah not a big deal, but they said I was the best they’ve ever seen. Better then Jared”
So knowing that I can see when I speak with people who are interested in the same interests as me I speak to them more animated and I make myself larger than life (insecure much), where as when I am speaking with parents I am more straight forward, more relaxed.
2) The anecdote king
I personally believe storytelling is the best way to speak with people. I truly believe out of the 7.53 billion people on this planet 7.08 billion love to share stories. The other .45 billion people are coders. I’m joking, but everyone loves stories more often than not when you speak to anyone either they are telling you an “incredible” story or you are sharing one. It’s how we relate, the one thing with finding your voice is try to share different stories with your customers and see which one relates to you the most.
I think the best way to discover your voice is by learning how to tell and share a great story. The way you deliver and the content of the story as true as they are to you will showcase to you what you are all about and what your voice truly sounds like.
3) Take Risks
Never be afraid of taking risks, I think the one aspect of our society is we think of failure as a negative. Why?
Just because you fail doesn’t mean it’s a negative aspect. I look at failure as learning opportunities. I just wish this was preached more in society, I think we preach to avoid failures too much.
My parents weren’t any better, when I was a kid I brought home a B on a test and my dad got mad I said “I passed what’s wrong” to which he replied “I rather you got an F” I got confused asked “why?” his response was “if you’re going to suck, be the best at sucking”
The fear of failure is soo deep within us, but I think Dave Chappelle puts it best, “If you're not bombing (meaning failing) you’re not taking risks”.
I think this applies to sales, when you are pitching try different tactics not all of it will work, but try to see what works and what doesn’t. What feels right to you and what doesn’t, the idea is to keep working and working until you find out a good rhythm that works for you and then you take years perfecting that rhythm.
Don’t be afraid to fail.
4) Patience is key
This is something I think everyone in life needs, more patience. I think we’re too caught up thinking we need to be great at everything now.
One of the key tricks to finding your voice is patients with yourself. It’s a process of constant failure, to finally discover your voice. In the process you will see that because you like the way another sales rep sells doesn’t mean that will work for you at all, because you are two different people.
I appreciate Anthony Jeselnik in the way he performs and writes his jokes, but I can never tell jokes like that because over the course of time I learned I am not a dark comic. Same goes for selling if you see a salesman just plow through and make sales by just taking over conversations that is great, but it may not be for you.
Also, not every idea that jumps in your head will be award winning like you think. It a process of constantly testing everything out till you put together the secret formula. So you need to have patience with yourself and make sure you know this is going to be a journey and if you keep learning from your mistakes and take risks at the end it will work out.
5) Review the game tapes
Just always at the end of every day listen back to your calls, this is a great way for you to hear how you sound and what you need to work on.
A lot of times I see sales reps trying to listen to others, and disregard their own tapes. When the answers never lie with anyone else, but yourself. Just because someone is making sales one way does not mean that way is right for you.
Listen back to your own recordings and take notes, put yourself in the shoes of a buyer and ask yourself did the way you pitch inspire yourself to buy from that. If the answer is no, then you have work to do note down everything you need to work on for example did you talk too fast? Did you sound under confident? Did you use too many “umms”? Did you just pitch the product and not relate? Are you spending too much time with a prospect you know is not going to buy?
Anything you believe you did wrong write it down and slowly work on fixing all of those aspects.