Category Archives: Sales Results
Simple but very powerful!
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When I was selling in a retail market many years ago, it became common knowledge that one of the chain stores had a simple selling strategy:
- “Make sure that you sell to the first person that walks through the door every morning. It will set you up for the rest of the day.”
Really think about that for a minute. How different would their mindset and attitude be if they had a great start to the day? Don’t get my wrong, I am not asking you to beg for the sale, or hang on to their leg as they try to leave the store. But you get the idea!
For sales reps, business people and anyone trying to sell “Widget XYZ”, listen up….
You should have laser focus from the moment the calendar changes to a new month, and start that selling period with a “Bang”! A strong first day or two (or even a week) sets you up for the rest of the month. You will feel more confident, have a bounce in your step and presentations will flow more naturally. Heck the challenges won’t even feel as painful! You won’t feel as much pressure to sell, because you are already well on your way to reaching the monthly goal.
Think back to those months that you had a fantastic start vs. a poor one. One felt great while the other one felt like the weight of the world was on your shoulders. I can vividly recall having both types of feelings, and one is obviously better than the other!
Sales is a lot like sports, and when you are “feeling it”, good things happen.
Try “feeling it” when you have only achieved 25% your monthly goal with three days left in a month. OUCH!
Get in the mindset that NOTHING will get in your way to starting a month with a “Bang”!
Don’t get distracted in the office doing busy work and returning email. Focus on a detailed sales plan for that first week and don’t deviate from being in front of customers unless absolutely necessary.
I would love to hear if a very focused sales strategy for the first week of every month helps your results. Keep me posted – I would love to hear from you!
– Wondering why a presentation went so poorly?
– Bewildered by the lack of success of phone cold calls?
– Amazed that a sales call was less than well received?
– Frustrated by the difficulty catching up on paperwork at the end the week?
– Have you thought about what time of day you are typically at your best?
– Do you know when you should not be attempting high level activities?
Take some time to think about this as you plan your next week. This is often overlooked as schedules are planned.
– If you are not a morning person, is it reasonable to expect to hit a presentation out of the park at 8 am?
– If your body and mind is starting to wind down after 3 pm, is that a good time to be starting to phone cold call and expect to be energetic and engaging?
– If you tend to feel sluggish right after lunch, should you be scheduling a sales call shortly after you eat?
– If your organization skills need work, should you be putting off cleaning up all of your To Do’s until late Friday?
I can do a presentation at 8 am because I am a morning person, but I try to avoid them later in the day. Certain people are much more effective well in to the afternoon. Cold call when you are at your best for maximum results.
Lunch affects people differently, so plan your afternoon calls accordingly. I am guessing few people look forward to cleaning up their To Do’s late in the day Friday. Put systems in place to keep up during the week, so you don’t end your week on a bad note!
– When are you at your best?
– Are you working to your body and mind’s strengths?
– Is it time to make adjustments to your schedule?
This video discusses some similarities that I see between playing golf, and the sales profession. A golf hole is not complete until the ball goes in to the hole, and a sale is not complete until the customer commits!
Take some time to think about this as you play your next round of golf, or attempt to close your next sale! Have a great day…
As we start a new year, people in the sales profession get to “wipe the slate clean” and start all over again.
Last year’s results are in the rear-view mirror, and it is game on once again!
- Here are five phrases that I focus on each year after “the ball drops” in Times Square
- “What Have You Done For Me Lately? – If you had a great year last year, more will be expected this year! If last year was a struggle, you will need to rebound and get back on track as soon as possible
- Optimism/Positive Outlook – This is the only way to go!
- The first quarter is the key – If you get out of the gate fast, it will set the table for the rest of the year. Don’t you dare drag your feet with the “January blues”; then you will be playing catch up
- Goal Setting – Forget about new year’s resolutions for your territory! Resolutions are made to be broken (just ask the fitness industry!) Right down measurable, achievable goals and track progress throughout the year
- Have fun, keep smiling, and just relax – If you are prepared, eager to learn and stay patient it will all work out!
Have a great day!
It was near month end, and I had just returned from dinner during a product training trip. I opened my email to a note from my boss titled “DO NOT Be Just A Professional Visitor!”
I had never heard this phrase before in the context of a sales role, but I knew exactly what he meant. I forget the exact content of the note, but I am sure it was very colorful based on how he typically corresponded with us.
What he was basically saying was it was close to month end, and we needed to secure orders. A sale rep’s job description did not include going to just visit accounts. Clear goals needed to be made and achieved on each call. I heard him loud and clear.
Going to see accounts just for the sake of seeing them and not moving closer to securing business was rarely, if ever a good idea. Certainly build rapport with customers, and get to know personal details about them, but always have a “moving business forward” component of the call.
You don’t have to complete 10 objectives or something drastic like that on every call, but aspire for at least 2-3. When I had limited time with an account, I may have only had one goal, but I made sure it was a worthwhile one.
The sales profession can seem complex on the surface, but at the end of the day systems can be simplified to insure success long-term. Make achievable goals for each call, and do whatever you can to not stray from the plan. Anyone can go in and just visit people, but the real success stories come from those who plan and organize ahead of time, and are always thinking about closing business!
Robert Terson is one of the first people who reached out to me when I started on Twitter last year, and I am very glad that he did. We had a great chat about my favourite sport (hockey), and over time we connected again, and he suggested that I do a guest post on his site!
That day has come, and you can view my post on doing what it takes to stay a success on his website today.
You can also follow on Twitter http://bit.ly/P5AEy6
I suggest that you take some time to check out his other content and connect with him. He is a great resource for those in the sales profession.
Michael Boyette from the Rapid Learning Institute and The Top Sales Dog blog reached out to me last week, and I am so glad that he did! He is giving me the incredible opportunity to post content on his website, and wanted to contribute to Sell Lead Succeed! as well. I love his take on the “Discomfort Zone”. Initially it looks like a place we would not want to be, but upon further evaluation, it is very clear that we all need to take a leap of faith and “get uncomfortable”. Enjoy!
Your sales career is “doing okay.” You’re in the groove and your boss isn’t tormenting you. But something is missing. You know you can do better. Fact is, it may take a lot more than you think to get to that next level. Top sales achievers understand this, and recognize that growth comes only by setting stretch goals. And that the rewards come after the risk, not before. In order to sell, lead, and succeed, you must first escape your personal comfort zone.
Strategies for Escaping Your Comfort Zone
1. Commit to your vision of where you want to be
People change only when the pain of staying the same exceeds the pain of changing. So the only way to escape a comfort zone is to feel discontent with it. The first step: daydream. All meaningful, lasting change begins by fantasizing about where you really want to be (i.e., not in this comfort zone). If you vividly imagine yourself busting through sales barriers, being excellent rather that just average, eventually that picture makes its way into reality. When it does, the old comfort zone is unacceptable and we feel the need to change it. That compelling urge to change is what drives us to do things that make us uncomfortable, but lead to the rewards we want.
2. Write down what you need to do
When it’s on paper, with quantifiable tasks and deadlines, you make it urgent. Writing things down is the best antidote for procrastination, which is a defense mechanism that keeps us in our comfort zones.
Example: By the end of next week, I will make 50 cold calls in the new market, and set up five sales calls that will lead to one sale.
3. Recognize – and resist – the urge to crawl back to the comfort zone
Entering a discomfort zone is stressful. At the first sign of failure our impulse is to return to where we never fail. You’re going to feel that way. Expect it and resist it.
4. Just do it
Fear dissolves through participation. Think of bungee jumping. Most people are terrified of it, can’t sleep the night before, break out into a cold sweat when the ropes are tied to their feet. For many, it’s utter agony. They then jump and the fear is over. All they feel is the intoxicating high of having broken through a personal barrier.
The same is true of public speaking. How many times have you seen speakers who seemed nervous at first – which means that deep inside they were terrified – but became increasingly confident? We all overcome fear by doing.
5. Don’t fall into a new comfort zone
So you’ve broken through that first barrier; now you can relax, right? No. High achievers use their comfort zone to rest in, not to live in.
In the early 1990s Bill Gates was the richest man in America and Microsoft Windows had established itself as the dominant operating system. Gates could have become complacent. But he didn’t. He lived in utter paranoia that networking would put Windows out of business. By 1995 he was convinced that the Internet could destroy everything he’d built. Gates’ refusal to retreat into a comfort zone explains why Microsoft still dominates the software market, and the Internet, today.
A Final Thought
Successful sales leaders and entrepreneurs are not necessarily more competent, but they do look for ways to grow and stretch. They willingly expose themselves to new things by venturing into their own personal discomfort zone.
Michael Boyette is the executive editor of http://rapidlearninginstitute.com Rapid Learning Institute’s Selling Essentials elearning site and editor of the http://rapidlearninginstitute.com/top-sales-dog Top Sales Dog Blog. He’s also managed marketing and PR programs for DuPont, Tyco Electronics, and US Healthcare. Connect with Michael via email at email@example.com or Twitter @TopSalesDog