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Ditch Hustle-and-Grind Sales Tactics and Get Real

By: SmallBizClub


a well earned business handshake

Just because something worked in the past doesn’t mean we’re tied to using it forever. It’s time for those of us in business to leave hustle-and-grind sales tactics in the dust where they belong.

So many professionals today rely on this approach, including referring to human beings as “prospects.” This term is a product of gold-mining in the Wild West, and this thinking implies that some of our prospects are gold while others are lumps of coal, a transactional view at best.

The fact is: All people are gold when we realize that business is fueled by real relationships.

Prosperity Starts with Getting Real

As I learned years ago at the beginning of my addiction recovery journey, the path to prosperity starts with getting real. Having gone from being a millionaire at age 28 to homeless and hitting rock bottom on the streets shortly thereafter, I had to learn to get real for the first time in my life in order to save my life.

There was a time when I wasn’t fully showing up in my addiction recovery relationships. Sure, I dutifully attended 12-step meetings. But when I shared my story at these meetings, I held back. I presented myself as the tough guy, the hard case, the sicker soul. My sponsor called me out for this “junky pride” and lack of humility and truth, warning me that I wouldn’t stay clean if I didn’t get real. When I finally learned to show up authentically, I started to get better.

To a less dramatic degree, many people in business rely on a similar “salesperson posturing.” They put on a show and treat sales like a numbers game to be won rather than an opportunity to connect and create meaningful relationships.

Salespeople are not, by nature, uncaring or callous people. The urge to compete for bragging rights is likely a result of how we’re trained—and how our trainer was trained, and so on—and what we believe (or hope) will work. It’s a survival mechanism born out of habit. The good news is, habits can be changed.

3 Reasons to Ditch the Hustle and Grind

Staying stuck in these outdated sales habits, ones that prioritize numbers over human connections, isn’t only a problem for today but a five-alarm fire for tomorrow. Here’s why:

Reason #1: Getting Mistaken for a Bot

Have you ever studied how high-profile brands deliver customer service on social media? Their responses either originate from AI-powered bots or are so canned and impersonal that customers accuse human representatives of being bots!

This is the risk you run when relying on old-school scripts, slick pitches, and other hustle-and-grind sales tactics. Don’t be mistaken for a bot by acting like one. Be a person.

Reason #2: The Pandemic Changed Our Priorities

The pandemic hit us with many lessons, and for those of us in business, the most important one is that people are “over” slick moves; they’re done with hustling, grinding, winning at all costs, and clawing your way to the top. In a way, we collectively experienced a pandemic of getting real because there’s nothing more real than our own mortality.

To continue engaging in outdated, slick sales tactics after such an awakening means we missed a valuable lesson: everything good comes from first getting real.

Reason #3: A Better First Impression

Speaking of slick, is that really the first impression you want to convey at the beginning of a new client relationship? Your first interaction with a client is the first note of the music the two of you will create together. The first note sets the tone. Think carefully about the music you want to make.

A ‘Top of Heart’ Worldview Keeps You In Check

So, how do we avoid the pitfalls of these outdated, but still widely used, sales tactics? How can we get (and stay) real?

The answer is to shift from focusing on being “top of mind” to being “top of heart.” Top of Heart® is about relearning what our hearts already know: relationships, including business ones, come from the heart, not the head.

This solution goes beyond the quick tips, hacks, and other superficial strategies that those of us in business have been inundated with for most of our careers. Making the shift to Top of Heart means getting real with others as you build genuine and meaningful human connections to drive your business forward into the future.

When you have a Top of Heart worldview, you’ll be present in every moment you spend with others. You’ll veer away from what you want and focus first on what will best serve the person in front of you. You’ll get curious, replacing “closing strategies” with empathy and compassion. You’ll get aligned, taking note of what the other person needs and creating ways to help them get it.

And throughout it all, you’ll get real, ditching fake tactics that go against your human instincts and, instead, trusting your heart to lead the way.

I eventually learned how to do this in my recovery and in business. I ultimately listened to my heart and figured out that I had to get real to survive.

This is the time to act on what your heart is already telling you. If what you’re doing feels “wrong,” stop doing it. This is your permission to ditch the hustle and grind and get real. Others will follow your lead. I can’t make this business-wide shift alone, but together we can. And when we do, we’ll all find more joy, less burnout, and higher profit!

Author: Grant Muller is a speaker, author, Certified High-Performance Coach™, and a seven-figure real estate agent. His new book, Top of Heart: How a New Approach to Business Saved My Life, and Could Save Yours Too, chronicles his 15-year journey from homelessness to a thriving real estate career, all from prioritizing real, human relationships. Learn more at grantmuller.com.

Published: September 13, 2023

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