This is the second post on Curiosity, what I consider to be the most important part of the Kick Ass Sales philosophy.
It might be interesting for me to explain why I think curiosity is so important. There are 3 ways to improve your sales performance if you believe in the Kick Ass Sales Philosophy: Effort + Curiosity + Ability to Make Connections = Kick Ass Sales.
- Give more/better effort.
- Be more curious.
- Make more/better connections.
Of those 3, being more curious improves performance the most quickly. Why? First let's see why the other 2 aren't as impactful.
Effort Can Cost You Sales
If you aren't uncovering the right information, more sales calls at the same 10% close rate (which is where your close rate will remain if you don't get more curious and make more/better connections) means you will need to see 10 more people in a day/week/month in order to get better results. Unless you are really dogging it, that will be difficult to do, at the least. At best to get a sale, it means you have to go through a ton more leads that could have said yes if you had done a better job with being curious and/or making connections. Effort is the tricky part of the Philosophy. Without the other 2 components, effort can cost you sales because as you burn through leads to get deals done, you leave behind a wake of people that might have gone with you but, now, think of you and your product as something that have already said no to. That is a hard bias to overcome in the future -- and there is always an "in the future."
Connections Are Limited
As for making connections, you can only make as many connections as you have loose ends. In other words, if you don't get your prospect to tell you their problems, you can't solve them. Connections rely on curiosity. You can say that you need to make more connections, and that could be true as long as you have been curious enough. While I have found that making connections for prospects is one of the things salespeople have the hardest time doing on the spot, that difficulty is usually caused by the lack of information to make connections with, rather than someone's ability to think under pressure. You may the best shooter on your basketball team, but if you don't have the ball in your hands for the final shot, you aren't going to make the winning basket. You are limited by the ball not being in your hands, just like making connections is limited by the information your curiosity doesn't uncover.
Curiosity Is Easy
Effort can be tricky. Connections are limited. Curiosity is easy. Ask more questions. Care a little more. Wonder about the how, the why, the when, the where, and the who. Answer a question with a question. Don't take answers as final answers. Don't go in waist deep when you can go in all the way. Here's why.
Information costs nothing. Information has no risk. Information is the most powerful thing in sales. Getting more information will help you Kick Ass. If you hold your effort at its current level and increase curiosity, you get more information out of the sales calls you are in. If you hold your ability to make connections at its current level and increase curiosity, you have more loose ends to tie up and more problems to solve. Effort and making connections are limited in how far they can take you. The possibility of increased curiosity is limitless. Knowledge is power.
Curiosity directly affects the other 2 components. It will drive you to more sales calls, because you need to find out more and understand what is going on with people in your territory. It will drive you to make more connections, because you will have more information to plug into.
Go forth. Be curious.