Almost everything worth doing right has to be set on a solid foundation. Sales is no exception, and for me, the foundation of my sales efforts was locked in many years ago by a simple three step sequence. I was taught that every proper sales practice and execution plugs into for me. Foundations are by definition simple. Powerful, but simple.
The sequence is ADI, or rather, A.D.I. You’ve likely heard me talk about these elements if you have attended any of my training sessions.
A = AbundanceD = DetachmentI = Intent
The sequence feeds the foundation of each element.
Abundance is the attitude of embracing that the world is ripe with opportunity. There’s always another prospect if the one in front of you isn’t a fit. You’re not fishing from a single small pond. You’re fishing from an endless string of connected ponds, lakes, rivers and oceans. There are plenty of fish out there. If they are not biting right now, then change up your approach. As the old joke goes, while the pessimist and the optimist are debating if the glass is half full or half empty, the opportunist drinks the water.
Detachment is the discipline of not being emotionally tied to a positive outcome of any one sale or presentation. Abundance feeds this discipline, because if you believe that there is an abundance of opportunity, you are not desperate to close any one prospect. It doesn’t mean you don’t care about your customers. You still WANT to help everyone, but you don’t NEED to sell everyone. Sales is NOT a place to meet your emotional needs. Detachment is a professional trait. You expect it from doctors and lawyers and accountants. You should have it as well.
Intent is the energy you bring to every sales call, every demo, every presentation. It emanates from you in every way and clients can pick up that scent a mile away. You are on a journey of discovery, searching for people who you can help. If you find someone that isn’t a fit, you keep moving. Just like a visit to the hardware store looking for something specific like a 2″ screw. You don’t waste time trying to make a bolt become a screw or a hammer become a drill. You ask questions to find the right fit, not to force a fit in order to make a sale. Trust me when I tell you that most customers have become masters at spotting what my colleague and friend Erin referred to as “commission breath”. Abundance and Detachment directly contribute to your ability to manage your intent. Having the right intent will change your sales life. It’s incredibly freeing and empowering. Cold calls become nothing more than an exploration.
Every tactic, every approach I use and teach is wrapped around the ADI trifecta. It powers my work and frees me from all the “head trash” that gets in the way of sales success.