“We could learn a lot from dogs.”
When someone says this, they usually follow with a litany of all the qualities we appreciate about dogs: enthusiasm, unconditional love, unbridled curiosity, and the like.
If you work in sales, some of these could be of benefit. Others, maybe less so.
Oh, but there is a bit of “dog history” that is absolutely invaluable to salespeople. Learn it … apply it … and you’ll have reason to bark about your success.
Yes, this is serious.
Ever heard of “Pavlov’s dogs?” The term references a famous psychological study that largely defined the concept of “conditioning.” And, it applies to sales. Stay with us here.
Ivan Pavlov was a noted Russian physiologist (not psychologist, mind you). He won a Nobel Prize in 1904 for his studies of dogs’ digestive processes.
Pavlov’s team measured how much their subject dogs would salivate when exposed to food and non-food items. Eventually, Pavlov noticed that the dogs would begin salivating at the sight of his assistants’ white lab coats, even when no food was present.
The dogs obviously associated the assistants with food – hence their reaction. Intrigued, Pavlov dove in further. He experimented with a ticking metronome, followed by offering food. In a short while, the metronome alone caused the dogs to react.
The dogs became conditioned that the metronome, or the lab coats, were connected with food. Their brains instructed their bodies to react the same to all.
What does this have to do with sales? Simple – you need to condition your prospects. Make them associate your outreach with something of value, or interest, or benefit.
Do so correctly, and they’ll take your calls. They’ll grant an appointment. They might even advocate for you with others.
This doesn’t happen on its own. You need a plan, and the diligence to follow through on it. A proactive strategy, with specific dates and action items. Follow it to a “T.” No interruptions allowed.
Think about shooting pool. A good player stays ahead of the competition. He (or she) doesn’t focus only on the immediate shot. They’re considering how to set up the following shot, and the one after.
Your sales strategy should use the same principle. Don’t be passive. Plan, escalate and execute.
What are the elements of this strategy, to begin conditioning prospects and opening doors? My next post will begin diving into specifics. Are you ready … and committed?
See, you can learn something from dogs. Maybe just not what you expected.