Have you ever wondered where your next sale was going to come from? Have you ever questioned the never-ending pressure to reach your monthly quota, month after month after month?
Have you ever doubted your ability to consistently perform with greater expectations? Tenure in a sales career is not determined by what you have done in the past, but rather, by what you have done recently. You never “arrive” as a salesperson, you must always be “arriving”. Last month’s sales don’t count for this month, and last year’s sales performance doesn’t pay a commission this year. Salespeople must deliver their best performance every day, every week and every year to stay at the top. Success is short-lived in the world of selling. It boils down to the value of your most recent sale and then you start all over again. The best salespeople in the world demonstrate a consistent pattern of performance over a successful career.
Let me share a few principles and skills that will allow you to more easily find your next sale, to feel less pressure in achieving your monthly goals and to allow you to be consistent in your performance while attaining increased results over time. Applying these principles and skills will not make selling easy, but they will take the pain out of selling and allow you to achieve greater levels of success from your hard work and focused effort.
- Keep a detailed written record of all of your prospects. Don’t just keep them in your head. Make a record of each one, including the name of the company, contact person, initial contact date, description of the opportunity, dollar value and any brief notes. This record is a simple way to keep track, at a glance, of all your prospects so no one gets forgotten. This list must be written and must be reviewed daily without exception.
- Maintain a one-page record of each prospect. Everything pertaining to that prospect is recorded in this one-page report. Record every meeting, email, text message, phone call and letter. This prospect report will include the names of all key personnel with their contact information. You will identify the four qualifiers of the sale, which are; decision maker, budget and ability to pay, time frames, and needs. You must also identify how the prospect is currently dealing with the need you are attempting to satisfy. Identify your competition and list their strengths and weaknesses along with your advantages. Make a written “game plan” detailing what you are going to do to win the business and then follow your plan.
- Create a monthly goal sheet. From your list of prospects, identify those prospects you feel have a fifty percent chance or better of closing in the month. The goal sheet will also list the estimated value of each opportunity. Every day you will review your goal sheet and then, referring to your one-page record for each prospect, determine what you need to do to move the opportunity closer to a sale. Every day you will review your list of prospects and evaluate your next action. As the situation warrants, you can add more prospects to your monthly goal sheet where they will then receive greater focus.
- You must prospect every day. Prospecting is defined as finding new opportunity either from discovering someone who has need of your products or services, or from following up on leads, referrals or introductions. If you are not consistently adding new prospects to your list, your pool of potential sales opportunities will not be able to support your level of anticipated sales. In its most basic model, selling is a function of prospects. More prospects will naturally lead to more sales.
- Develop a goal-focused life. Goal setting is the vehicle for achievement. Establish daily, weekly, monthly and annual activity and sales goals. Know what you want to achieve and then plan the steps necessary to accomplish it. Knowing what you want to achieve is the foundation of success. Planning how to achieve it is the roadmap to success. Implementing the plan is the realization of success.