The equation for sales success is not rocket science and will certainly not receive the same acclaim as Einstein’s equation E=MC2 (energy equals mass times the velocity of light squared).  However, the equation for sales success can deliver some pretty amazing results.  

Here is the equation, the formula every salesperson has been waiting for since the beginning of time:  S=(EQ+PS)x(P+CE).  So what does it mean and how can you use it to increase your sales?  Let me first explain the equation and then describe the significance of each element.

Success equals effective questioning plus problem solving, multiplied by planning plus consistent effort.  There you have it!  Understanding it and applying the equation will change your sales career and increase your income forever.  The equation must be applied exactly as it is written.  It is precise, that’s what makes it so powerful.  Let me discuss each element.

EFFECTIVE QUESTIONING (EQ):  Plain and simple, salespeople talk too much.  They believe that telling is selling; nothing could be further from the truth.  One of the keys to selling is discovering the needs, wants and the desires of the prospect.  This can only happen through effective questioning.  There is no opportunity for a sale unless you discover a need.  Needs are uncovered through questioning.  Relationships are built through questioning.  Find the need, and you are in a position to make a sale.  Build rapport with the prospect through questioning and you are in a better position for making the sale.  Reveal and resolve their concerns about your solution and you should make the sale.  Nothing else you can do will replace effective questioning at the beginning of a sales opportunity.

PROBLEM SOLVING (PS):  As I mentioned, if there is no need or problem, there is no sales opportunity.  Likewise, if you don’t solve the problem, or meet the need, there is no sale.  Your ability to solve the prospect’s problem, or meet their need, is the pure essence of selling.  Too many salespeople find themselves presenting their products and services to a perceived or assumed need, never knowing for sure, because they never asked.  Remember, the order of the elements of the equation are critical; find the problem through effective questioning first and then solve the problem.  Sometimes the solution will not involve your product, so give the prospect an honest recommendation and move on.  You will gain credibility for your honesty and will be respected when future opportunities come along.  

PLANNING (P):  Very few things of any significance have ever occurred without first planning.  Sure, there have been some great discoveries or successes that happened by accident or some other event.  However, those successes were the result of planning even though the subsequent result was not anticipated.  Games are won in sports and armies are victorious in war, as the result of planning.  Planning suggests preparation and without preparation you can only dream of success.  Planning every minute of the day in addition to every sales encounter will ensure your success.  Failure to plan will guarantee your failure.  Don’t wing it; plan it.  Planning takes just a small amount of time but ultimately, will save you time and effort ten fold.

CONSISTENT EFFORT (CE):  Be committed, selling is a full time occupation requiring five days a week and a minimum of eight hours a day.  Selling isn’t for the weak or timid, or those not willing to give a hundred and ten percent.  Salespeople need to be engaged constantly to find success.  True salesmanship is not just a job, but also a lifestyle.  The ultimate rewards of satisfaction and wealth come to those who consistently apply their skills and knowledge in solving the needs of others.  The greatest sales practitioners realize the next new sale comes on the heals of the last one.  Take a vacation, rejuvenate the soul and rest your weary bones, but not during the sales day.  Likewise, when you schedule your vacation, rest from your sales labors.  Clear your head and prepare yourself for the next round of consistent daily sales effort.