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The Zen of Sales and Marketing
December 06, 2010

The Zen of Sales and Marketing


All success in life – including success in sales and marketing – is predicated around achieving Zen.

What is Zen and how does it apply to sales and marketing? If you are reading this you are probably wondering that so let me enlighten you (pun intended!).

Zen is the same as Tao in the way I am using the word, which is that state of knowing and doing that makes success inevitable and an unfolding process. What do I mean by this? Well, think about what you are trying to accomplish through your sales and marketing: you are trying to create customers. Not just that, you are trying to created good customers, the ones that will love what you do, understand your vision, rave about you to their friends and be loyal to you for life (and by the way, nowadays the average lifespan of a “lifelong” customer is about 5 years they say).

Zen is what children have before they lose their youthful spontaneity and innocence. It is a state of adventure, exploration and venturing fearlessly into the unknown. If all of this sounds a bit scary, that is because we are not used to this kind of language generally and while we want to succeed, we seldom want to make the changes in our thinking and habits that lead to success. Saying that Zen is an adventure in sales and marketing simply means, “take risks” and “try new things”. See, that was not so scary, was it? Spontaneity means creativity and being innocent means to always seek to serve your customers sincerely and have their best interest in mind.

Now that we are talking the same language I hope you are eager to learn what it takes to master the Zen of Sales and Marketing. The big answer, unfortunately, is that you cannot master it without being devoted to learning over the course of many years. That being said, you are already aware of most of the concepts of success as there is nothing new in most of them and so all you need is to keep applying and trying and adjusting and you will then no doubt succeed. In the meantime, I hope that this article strengthens your resolve to become a better sales and marketing professional and to that end here are a few nuggets on achieving Zen in your work.

(1) Don't try too hard: If you are obstinately pushing something that does not want to give something then chances are that you are going against the Zen of sales and marketing. What I mean to say is that your success does not lie in trying to squeeze every last dime out of a specific customer or redoing a failing campaign again and again with the same bad results. Rather, your goal should be to create an abundance mentality where business just happens as a result of you doing all the right things consistently. It takes time but it will happen

(2) Don't lose heart: Life is hard and business is harder! It is easy to lose heart in the world of sales and marketing because the results of your hard work and efforts may take a little while to materialize. That being said, there is nothing as rewarding as the success of sales and marketing and it is the engine that turns the whole economy. What you have, really, is a double-edged sword where the rewards are counterbalanced by the downside of waiting for that customer to get back to you or for business to pick up in response to your ads. Stay focused on what you should be doing

(3) Always do good: Unless you make it a habit to always do what feels right, you will not be able to sustain your Zen. The fact of the matter is that most people are good at heart and most of us make choices based on what we think is the best thing to do at a given point of time. For achieving Zen, however, you must always put principle before convenience. In the case of sales and marketing, if this means staying late and taking a loss for a customer on account of a prior agreement with them then this is what you must do

(4) Think then act: There is a saying that “clear thinking provides a solution to the most pressing of problems” and this is true in the world of business as well. If something is not right and you are not seeing the fruits of your sales and marketing efforts then stop and assess and reassess what you are doing. All too often we confuse action with efficiency but the truth is that doing the wrong things only creates more work. Make it a habit to sit down with you team and go over everything you are doing and brainstorm for ideas

(5) Speak positive: Thinking positively is reflected by speaking positively and forcing yourself to speak positively will radically alter how you think. Think of your brain as a supercomputer, in fact the most powerful computer ever created. Now imagine that what you say is how you program your computer; you will quickly realize that if you spend your time lamenting over “what ifs” instead of your goals and objectives and what to do next, you will be generating the same kinds of thoughts that are going to perpetuate your current situation

Zen means turning reactive sales and marketing into a passionate, active outpouring!

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