The sales profession is nonstop. We never know when or where we'll find ourselves faced with an opportunity to win business. From phone calls with prospects to post-sale follow-up visits with customers, or tradeshows and staying ahead of industry trends, it can feel like we're always "on." The immediacy and 24/7 nature that define our sales careers make it easy for us to get caught up in the "here and now." We focus only on what we have going on at the time, and we find ourselves doing the same things day after day in search of sales opportunities. But being focused solely on "here and now" is not where we want to find ourselves as sales professionals.

The "Transactional" Sales Trap

When we get too caught up in the immediacy of our sales careers and only think of what's happening here and now, we begin to lose our value as sales professionals. Sales professionals who live in the here and now become so entangled in the minutiae of their jobs that they become purely transactional sales reps. These sales reps struggle to think long-term because they're only focused on what's currently going on with customers. However, there is much more to sales than the present!

Stay Steps Ahead of Your Customer

It's extremely important to our success as sales professionals that we always think one step ahead for our customers, for ourselves and for our business. By ensuring we don't let ourselves get trapped in the "here and now" of our jobs, we will be able to provide our customers with the insights they need to succeed. In turn, our customers will start to see us as value-added, trusted advisors who they can continually turn to, rather than purely transactional sales reps they can "ditch" when and if they need to.

Relationships Over Transactions

The best way to guarantee you maintain a long-term‚ rather than a "here and now"‚ focus is to think of your sales career in terms of relationship building. When it comes to customer relationships, there is always room for growth. It's impossible to grow a relationship with a customer if you're only focused on your day-to-day sales tasks. If you keep customer relationship building at the forefront, you'll maintain a long-term focus that will serve as your antidote to getting trapped in the here and now.

Carew's Dimensions of Professional Selling (DPS) course teaches you the customer relationship skills you need to maintain a long-term focus.

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