Sales, The Endless Frontier: Throw Up or Shut Up?
The goal is “95% and 5%.” Here’s why.
I once heard an advisors tell me that the job description for most sales people was to “Show Up and Throw Up” product information on their desk. Yikes, that’s a guaranteed bad sales call! A successful sales person knows that his first job is to “Show Up, Shut Up and Listen”. Great sales people know that they need to listen to learn to be successful. The best memory jogger is to plan on listening 95% of the time and talking no more then 5% of the time. Try it! Here are some other helpful tips:
- Have a plan. Set a goal for each meeting.
- Have well planned out questions that stimulate conversation and that get you the critical answers you seek
- Remember the 10 minute gag rule (no product discussion unless the advisor initiates it).
- The meeting is all about the advisor, not you.
- You need the advisor to talk. If he doesn’t talk, you don’t learn.
- You need the advisor to talk. If he talks, he will like you better.
- You need the advisor to talk. If he doesn’t, you just had a bad meeting.
- Focus what you say to be what you most want them to remember.
- Practice well thought out lines of conversation
- Take Notes. What the advisor says is important!
A successful sales person is great at having his clients tell him how to close them. Question, listen and take notes.
Sales Series: Performance Through Consistency
High performing sales professional that continually generate a steady stream of sales over a long period of time have perfected the art of consistency. These sales professionals have figured out what generates sales and have developed a habit around those tasks, consistently performing them day in and day out. You must be careful though because the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. The bottom line is that you have to understand what it is that is going to generate those sales and create a consistent system and process around that.
I have a colleague that is always one of the top salesman in his company regardless of what is happening in the economy or around him. He has a very simple formula that he follows every single day without fail. He calls it the 5/5/5 formula; he writes 5 note cards, makes 5 calls to current/past clients, and makes 5 calls to prospective clients. This simple tasks only takes him one hour each day and he attributes over 80% of his business from it.
In short, high performing sales professionals find the tasks that consistently bring in the sale and then perform those tasks on a daily basis. They are focused on building and developing a consistent stream of new and returning clients. We’d love to hear about your approach to consistent sales results. Tell us what you do!
New Series: Sales, The Endless Frontier
The endless frontier? I have to admit this seems weird even to me. I’ve spent 25 years in sales successfully selling products, services, companies and assets. For me, sales is the endless frontier because of its complexity and because it is the ultimate test of a company’s viability. It’s also an endless test of the viability of the sales person, team and sales management.
However, many of my friends and colleagues constantly ask me, “How does selling really work? How do you excel at it?” I’ve tried referring them to various books, courses and pundits. That wasn’t very effective and, in fact, it was mostly dribble. The truth is there is very little out there worth reading, let alone worth applying in the real world. Nothing compares to hard-earned experience, thoughtfulness and results.
Draw within the lines? .. Not in my Job Description!!
When you are the one responsible for bringing in the revenue for your company you’re always thinking outside of the box and trying to find new and efficient ways to exceed your goals! Always thinking, Always exploring. We do this in order to get the job done & Win!
Aaron Howard’s recent posting “DRAW WITHIN THE LINES OR ELSE” got me thinking. Why in the world would an organization stifle the very creativity that might just be the key to growing revenue or saving costs? The answer may very well be that the CEO and or the management team have lost touch with the troupes on the line. Or it might be that the employee is not creative enough. (more…)
Social Media, Sales and a Contact Sport
A good friend of mine, Aaron Howard, asked me to write some thoughts down on Sales and Sale Management. I have known Aaron for some 20 years and have to say it’s never boring around him. I owe him a lot.
For the past 25 years I have been in sales. Mostly helping small businesses (companies with annual revenue under $25 million) with financing their operations. As a sales person, on the line, and later as a sale manager, the goal has always been to contact more prospects and close more deals! As some like to say, “Sales is a contact sport!” and they would be correct. (more…)