Hold up! No, this isn’t about singing your sales pitch. I promise. Especially since my singing would scare away even the bravest of customers!

I recently binge-watched Ed Sheeran’s three-part documentary, “The Sum of It All.” As well as feeling completely inspired (I mean, 150 million records, really, Ed?), it gave me some golden nuggets for the sales world. Who would’ve thought right?

1. Born with It? Think Again!

Asked if he was a “born singer,” Ed hit play on a cringe-worthy childhood singing clip. Spoiler: Young Ed wasn’t winning any Grammys.

One of the biggest myths in sales is that you’re either a natural-born salesperson or you’re not. Sure, some people gravitate to sales easier than others, but sales is a skill and a skill we can all learn and develop.  True sales professionals invest in their development and fine-tune their skills, just like Ed Sheeran!

2. The Triple Threat

Trying to break into the big leagues, Ed saw most newbies doing a gig or two a week. So, Ed, being Ed, sometimes did three gigs a night to increase his awareness and chances of being spotted by a record label. Talk about hustle!

It’s like settling for just a couple of sales meetings a week. With statistically only 3% of your target market ready to buy at any one point in time, it’s time to pump up the volume. But before you race off, the highest performers are personalising their outreach, and 71% of top-performing sellers are more likely to do research “all the time” before reaching out to prospects (LinkedIn, 2022). So don’t let quality slip and hit a bum note.

3. Be the Creator

While some singers belt out others’ tunes, Ed not only sings but also writes his chart-toppers. More songwriting, more royalties. Smart, right? He also knows the value of his own unique voice he’s mastered.

In today’s sales world, we’ve got to wear multiple hats (and not just to cover bad hair days). Great salespeople have learned that content is not just for marketing; in the age of digital sales, we also have to create, have a voice and, as influence expert Julie Masters says, be the translator.

4. Resilience Mode

Ed faced more rejections from potential record labels than I’ve had bad coffee. But he never gave up and took a leaf out of Dory’s book to just keep swimming.

In his documentary, he also shared personal struggles that would make anyone’s heart sink, yet he powered through.

As we all know all too well, sales, unfortunately, isn’t all rainbows and unicorns. We face rejection more than most; after all, 80% of sales takes 5 follow ups or more and 60% of customers say no 4 times before they say yes.

If Ed can keep strumming, we can keep selling.

5. It’s time to collaborate

From duets with Taylor Swift to rock bands, Ed’s all about collaboration. He’s known as a pop singer, yet he’s teaming up with rock bands to reach new audiences!

In sales, find your “rock band” to collaborate with who share the same target market. Building relationships with complimentary but non-competitive strategic partners is hands down one of my all-time favourite sales strategies.

Why? Warmer referrals, shorter sales cycles, higher conversion, and, best of all, it can be FREE! Need I say more?

So, even if you aren’t humming “Shape of You” in the shower, Ed’s documentary packs a punch. Highly recommend!

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