The Alphabet Article Series – The ABCs of Solving Sales Problems – The 3 “X’s”

When I set out to start this series, I know I didn’t think through covering the “X” very well. My team has been teasing me for weeks – “the “X” is coming, the “X” is coming, where are you going to get 3 of them and relate them to sales and marketing growth?” I knew they were right, but if you remember back to “querer es poder” in the “B” blog, I am a firm believer in “where there’s a will, there’s a way”. And I’ll admit, that I had to really think though these and stretch a bit to find appropriate words that would be helpful and meaningful to your sales. So, here we go… 

Enter: Xenial, Xesturgy, X-Factor

Xenial. According to Mr. Webster (yes, the dictionary guy) Xenial refers to the relationship between a host and a guest. Now, it was a term used in ancient Greece, but I am resurrecting it here and focusing on two host-guest relationships, one with your team, the other with your clients.

Let’s start in-house. If you think about your role as leader, you are inviting team members into your office, into your life, and into your cause. And since you’ve been a guest somewhere at least once in your life, you know that it can be a very pleasant or unpleasant experience based solely upon your host and the environment they’ve created. What I am suggesting here is that you take a good, hard look at the current work environment your team works in each and every day. I know this is going to sound elementary, but is it truly an environment that they WANT to work in? Things as simple as cleanliness, creativity, acoustics, temperature, updated tools, etc. can all make a real difference. What’s more, the feeling of the environment also matters. The culture you create has a profound impact on your team and it is inherently tied to their daily experience.

Now your prospects and clients. In most cases, prospects and new clients will come in with a certain amount of expectations into the environment you create when onboarding them. And we’ve all been through the “dog and pony” shows of site visits, but what really matters is how they feel once they’ve inked the deal. If there is a consistency between what you showed them and the ongoing feelings they have about working with you and your team, chances are good they will be longer-tenured clients. However, if they feel any inconsistencies, or worse yet, you’ve “sold” them one thing and are delivering another, you can count on them leaving you at the first sign of trouble in the relationship. Bottom line –  be consistent and be mindful of the host-guest environment you are creating.

Xesturgy. Another definition – this means to polish, like you would do with a rare stone. So, let’s get to the application for your sales team and sales efforts. I’d like to relate polishing and the art of it as it relates to attention to detail. And that’s the component of polishing I want to focus on for our purposes here. So often, and in more industries than I would care to admit, attention to detail is not just lacking, it’s nonexistent. Since the point here is getting better as a team and organization, I will skip any horror stories I have about particular industries, since I am sure you’ve encountered more than one salesperson saying one thing and doing another (any used car salesman come to mind?). Anyway, the point here is that it is vital to have your proverbial “I’s” dotted and “T’s” crossed in every aspect of your team and their approach.

What’s more, you need to be sure to take time and verify on a regular basis that the details in your approach are, in fact, being done consistently and by every member of your team. This is especially true if you update collateral, refresh your brand, roll out a new product or service offering, or do something as simple as update a SOP. Not doing so may cost you a client or an opportunity that could really shape your year, because if they’re investing, they are paying attention.

X-Factor. So, we’ve all encountered this term. It’s the “IT” factor or the “WOW” factor or the “silver bullet” – you can choose the term here. I’d like to spin this in a different light, though. What if your X-Factor wasn’t so much about bells and whistles, glitz and glamour, or some chest-thumping reason to scream it from every social media platform? What if, instead, yours was all about how you work with purpose, pay it forward, place people first in every interaction, whether it be with your team internally or with your clients during negotiation? What if there was some kindness and humility wrapped into it, along with sincerity and honesty?

I know this all sounds very “renaissance-man”, very lofty, intangible, and feel-goody. But here’s what I believe. I believe that IF the components I list above were focal points for your organization and for you as a leader, you would create a loyal base of employees and clients like the world has never seen. I’ve said frequently that I am a relationship person, and I firmly believe the age of relationship sales is coming back. Moreover, I feel like the human spirit, in this world of distraction, chaos and busyness, quietly longs for the simplicity of what I am suggesting. You may not be in a position to make grandiose changes, and I’m not encouraging you to try. But, depending on how you’ve built your culture to date, you may be able to go in and look at just one thing, one component, and make it more focused on the human beings you call colleagues and clients.

Put people first, use the 3 “X’s” as they can benefit you best, and know that I am here to help or just chat, should you ever want to discuss what’s best for your team.

To raising all ships!

P.S. Be sure to join us next week when we talk about the 3 Y’s – Youth, Yeoman, Yield