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How do you imagine the unimaginable?

One of my prospective coaching clients asked a very interesting career question – the conversation was that she didn’t find her current job, they found her.

It is a job she didn’t know existed, which is where the question “How do you imagine the unimaginable?” came from.

In your sales career

I don’t know about you, but if you’d asked me 10-years ago what my career would look like in ten years – my answer wouldn’t have painted a picture of what it actually is like today.

Along the way there have been missteps, changes in direction, a few spins (maybe the inside sales career tango is a good description – one step forward, two steps backward).

Instead of figuring out where you want to be in ten years, try to envision how you want to feel at the end of each workday PLUS what you’d like your life outside work to be like?

Here are two career questions I’d like you to ask yourself:

  1. What makes YOU unique, different than everyone else?
  2. What do you want out of your career anyway?

Relating to your current position/job

Regardless if you’ve chosen your current job or you fell into it, I’m sure there are pieces and parts you love and others you’re not so fond of.

Taking a strength-based view; I believe we can use the time we’re given each day and fill it with an activity that makes us energized and feel empowered.

Of course, first, we need to figure out exactly what those things are! Not in a generic way but specifically.

Here is an example from my own experience:

Generic: I love to learn. The process more than the content is especially exciting for me. I am energized by the steady and deliberate journey from ignorance to competence.

Specific: When the opportunity to figure out something new comes up, I love to create a way to get from what I know to what I need to understand to succeed.

Here are two position/job questions I’d like you to ask yourself:

  1. What about your current role do you look forward to doing?
  2. What task or activity would you prefer to NEVER have to do again?

Within your territory

Now look at the territory you are selling into; is it a specific geography, vertical market segment, product set, or something else completely?

Remember that as salespeople we are looking for people who buy what we sell, need what we do, and have money to spend.

There are probably a variety of prospects in your territory from which to choose.

Yes, I said choose! Imagine creating an account base full of people you WANT to do business with.

Here are two territory questions I’d like you to ask yourself:

  1. Have you defined what your ideal customer looks like?
  2. How can you find prospects that look like your ideal customers?

Inside of an account

Here are a couple of things I know to be true…

First – most business decisions are made by more than a single person (no one wants to go out on a career limb – making a change without input, risking being wrong).

Second – it is easier to expand the business you do with an existing customer than earn trust and business from a new prospect.

Along the same lines, many salespeople have more than a single product or service to sell.

As we are working on imagining the unimaginable on a 10,000-foot level – let’s take it down to ground level. Are we missing opportunities to expand the business we do inside an individual account?

Here are two account questions I’d like you to ask yourself:

  1. Who can you not imagine speaking with?
  2. What have you not been selling the account?

Maybe it is the Wrong Question

Back to the unimaginable; my gut reaction still is – how could I possibly imagine something if it is unimaginable.

I guess that is why I couldn’t stop thinking about the question, “How do you imagine the unimaginable?

Maybe that isn’t the right question. Perhaps the question is actually “How do you imagine something that you don’t know exists?

That question has a much simpler answer, but not an easy application:

  • Artists and writers everywhere take ideas from the world around them and repurpose/remix them into something new that we have never seen before.

    Take what you know or see and mix it up to create something new.
  • Understanding the little pieces of what we love to do helps us create a vision of our next career.

    Make sure you evaluate each new business opportunity to determine if it allows you to do more of what you love?
  • Questioning what is stopping us allows us to create a path – over, around, or through the obstacle we have created for ourselves.

    Don’t allow not knowing to hold you back.

I’ll leave you with two Albert Einstein quotes about imagination:

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”
“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”

Imaginatively yours,

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