04/03/2015 - 04:54

Broaden your sales focus

04/03/2015 - 04:54


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Getting a step ahead of your competitors means starting work earlier and working harder than they do.

Broaden your sales focus
PRESSURE: Most salespeople find themselves running out of time, and options, to meet their quota as the end of each month nears.

Getting a step ahead of your competitors means starting work earlier and working harder than they do.

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been encouraging readers to move away from ‘having the best year ever’ and zeroing in on ‘having a great year’.

The full list is in the February 23 edition of Business News, and here are some more items from it.

Get your pipeline full

Most salespeople wait until the end of the month, in panic mode, to try to close the one deal they absolutely need in order to make their goal or quota. My question to you is: why are you only focusing on one deal; why don’t you have 20 deals you’re working so that three or four of them pop in? I’ll give you two guarantees.

1. The one deal you’re praying for will never come about.

2. If you have 20 deals you’re working, three or four will always come about.

Why would you put yourself in a losing position when, with just a little bit more hard work, you can have a great year? The secret lies in the word pipeline. Each sale has a cycle to it, and a timeline. If it takes 90 days for you to complete a sale, you need 10 sales a month, and it takes you four appointments to make one sale, then 40 appointments a month is the minimum. Sixty appointments a month will guarantee your numbers, 80 appointments a month will blow your numbers away.

And by the way, to define pipeline a little further, if it takes you four calls to make one appointment, you need to make 320 calls to make 80 appointments.

The simple truth is, if you’re not closing enough deals, it’s because you don’t have enough deals pending. Fill your pipeline, and you’ll fill your wallet.

Make sales at breakfast

Instead of trying to get to work on time, take the initiative and buy a customer or prospective customer breakfast –7am, 7:30am, 8am. Make money while other people are driving in the traffic.

If you want to have a great year, you better decide that your work day starts earlier than it currently does. I don’t mean what time you get up in the morning; I mean what time you get into productivity mode. Breakfast is the easiest and most productive time to make a sales call, and build a relationship. I try to have at least 100 breakfast appointments a year; and whatever the outlay, the ROI is priceless.

Double your referrals

Most people ask for referrals. Big mistake. The better way to get a referral is to earn a referral. The best way to get a referral is to give a referral. If you want have a great year, try to give every major customer one referral a month.

When you ask for a referral and don’t get one, that’s a report card. Your best source for referrals is those people who were willing to give you a testimonial. Referrals are the easiest sale to make. One quick rule: Never call a referral on your own.

Always ask the person who gave you the referral to call the referral. Have them call in advance so that your call won’t be a surprise.

Record your sales presentation

If you want to hear the funniest thing you’ve ever heard in your life, record yourself making a sales presentation.

This will give you a combination of hindsight and insight. The hindsight will tell you how you just screwed up the last sale.

The insight will tell you what skills you need to improve in order to make the next sale. If you want have a great year, you must record your sales presentation once a week, and listen to it the minute you get back in the car or hang up the phone. Not only will it be revealing, it will be painful.

Once you get into the habit of doing it, you will also be in the habit of improving.

This improvement will guarantee you to have a great year. Think of it this way: every recorded talk will put you on the path to a higher percentage of completed sales. At first it’s painful, but in the end it’s profitable. No pain, no gain. 


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