It happens all the time. You’re watching a program on TV or attending a live event and it happens so quickly, we can’t believe our ears! The dreaded inappropriate F-word just slipped out of the speaker’s mouth and caught everyone off guard. At that moment, the only thought going through your head is, “I’m glad it wasn’t me!”
The funny thing is, when I try to teach my three boys how to use the appropriate F-word I get a perplexed stare from them too. I don’t know what you’re thinking, but there are many words that begin with the letter F that we need to use more often.
So, what does the F-word have to do with selling or sales professionals?
There are six F-words that I believe sales professionals (and my kids) need to use more frequently (bonus #1).
- Foresight – The ability to think ahead and envision possible future problems or obstacles.
I can’t think of a better word to begin the list off with. Starting your day off with a plan of attack is the best way to reach your monthly or yearly goals. Take a few minutes each morning to fine-tune your regular activities. Remember to plan your work, and work your plan!
- Focus – The main emphasis and concentrated effort or attention on a particular thing.
The next best thing to having a plan, is sticking to it. There are many things throughout the day that compete for our time and attention. Some of them are job related; some are just everyday life events. Creating a priority list and reviewing it on regular basis helps.
- Facts – The truth or reality of something, as opposed to the supposition of something or a belief.
Ok, I’m guilty of this. I wake up in the morning thinking I know something, only to be corrected later in the day. I have to believe that I’m not the only person that makes decisions on what I think I know. Take the time to confirm and reconfirm your information before acting. It may save you some time, money and grief. I know it has for me.
- Friendship – a relationship between people or organizations that is characterized by mutual assistance, approval, and support.
I remember reading a very profound book, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” that stressed a commonsense approach to friendship. Simply put, to make a friend, be a friend. I have learned that the more I help others, the more others will help me. This is true in life and business. Don’t be afraid to be someone’s friend.
- Fortitude – determination of strength and endurance in a difficult or painful situation.
Intestinal fortitude or guts. How many times have you heard that old cliché? Probably too many times, but more importantly, have you ever wished you had taken that chance to make a cold call or ask for the big order? Doing the difficult thing to grow your business can be challenging, but like another old cliché, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.”
- Follow-up – The continuation of further action or investigation or a subsequent event that results from and is intended to supplement something done beforehand.
This may be the toughest part of the job for many sales professionals. There are many studies and reports that show follow-up with prospects and customers may be the weakest link in the sales process for most salespeople. Good sales opportunities are often lost because of the inability, for whatever reason, to fulfill follow-up commitments. Another cliché comes to mind here, “under promise and over deliver.” Look for better ways to run your territory or it will end up running you.
These are just an example of some of my favorite (bonus #2) f-words. When used appropriately the right F-words will significantly increase your chances of selling success.
Be fearless (bonus #3) while selling today!