It's the?start of another sales week. What was last week like for you? Did you make heaps of sales or did you fail dismally? Whatever the case, the slate is now clean and I'm?going to reveal five steps you can take to make this a?successful sales?weeks.
In my experience, there are two types of sales people.?The first group, the majority, find a lot in common with their cousins who are beginning a career?in the creative arts.
Speak to any writer, setting out to write?their first book, and they will tell you that they have to be in the mood to put pen to paper.?Whereas an author with a successful track record will tell you they have no time to wait for the right mood. Many years of experience have taught them that the mood comes once they have completed their first 1500 words. Whereas this group of sales people sit in coffee shops wondering why they are not more successful. Success only comes from picking up the phone and making a call
The second group of sales people have a lot in common with religious nuns, living in a convent. Nuns are known to?revel in the security of having a set routine - maybe that's where the term holy orders comes from.
Imagine life in a convent,?waking up at 4 AM, on a cold winter's morning, to head out for?morning of prayer in a cold, dimly lit, Church Abbey.?For most of us who?enjoy the modern day comforts of life, their lifestyle looks extremely uncomfortable.?Do you think those nuns have to be in the 'mood' to make morning prayer??Obviously not, it is there in a devotion to God and their order that enables them to wake up with a cheerful spirit and enter the sanctity of religious prayer. Their positive mood comes from taking action.
Well like the nuns, our second group of sales people have learnt that discipline and sticking to a set number of calls and appointments is the key to their long term success.
In this article, we are going to put?aside your emotional makeup and instead look at a series of five steps you can take to make the most of your sales week. All of these steps apply to both temperaments ...
Five Steps to a Successful Sales Week
1. You can't wait?until you are in the?right mood, before you pick up the phone.
It's the act of picking up the phone and making those first 20 or 30 sales calls that will put you in the right mood.
When I first started out in sales, I worked for an organisation that decided to employ a so-called 'hotshot' salesperson. My sales manager?took great pride in introducing this new member to the team ?by telling us at our weekly sales meeting that we should watch and learn from this fellow, as he clearly was an ace salesman and my boss was excited to have him on board.
At the same meeting, we were introduced to a another sales recruit who was starting his first job in sales. My boss barely mentioned his name, other than to tell him in front of everyone that he should work hard and all would be well.
Over the next months it was fascinating to watch these two people and how they went about their job.
The great sales ace, no sooner starting the job was given his own office. The rest of us had to make do with cubicles.
For the first week I did not see the sales ace make that many sales calls.?He seemed to spend the entire time rearranging his office so it was just right. At one point I glanced around from my cubicle to find him laying out a collection of family photos on his credenza.
On the other hand, the young sales rep with no experience, obviously realised that he had no time to waste. While most of us, including the sales ace, arrived into work at five minutes to nine, this young fellow had been in the office and on the phone since 7 AM making one sales call after another.
Every time you saw him he was holding a phone to his ear making another sales call. He never?left the office for lunch and by 5 PM as most of us were packing up to go home, he was going nowhere - more sales calls to make.
Two months later ...
How things had changed. Arriving at work on a cold winter's morning, I came across the sales ace packing up his office. It turns out that he spent more time, taking long lunches and coffee breaks. Time had caught up with him. In the two months he worked there, he had barely made budget. He had been given notice and was vacating his office.
Whereas, the young fellow starting his first sales job was offered the privilege of taking over the newly vacated office as he had outperformed every member of the team.?Interestingly enough, it took him another three months to move into that office as each day he was too busy making calls.
What do you plan to do today? Tidy your desk, get your systems in place, organising files or or make a call
2. Face reality, you are going to get more rejection than acceptance when you start making sales calls.
Every time I pick up the telephone to make a cold call, I say to myself, "It doesn't matter if they reject you. This is only the first of many sales calls and the next person will probably say yes."
Read any?sales book and the author will share with you that sales is a numbers game.
It doesn't matter how good your product or service is; no amount of advertising, marketing or sales calls will make somebody who has no need buy your product. The only reason the sales game can be so hard on an individual, is that human beings are not designed to take repeated bouts of rejection.
But the reality is that they are not actually rejecting you. They have?only spoken to you for a matter of 30 or more seconds. They are rejecting what you are offering, not you personally.
If you keep on taking sales call rejection personally, then stop for a moment and think of all the items you walk past in a supermarket aisle that you don't buy.
Are?those products you don't buy unworthy of your attention?
The marketing manager who spent thousands of dollars designing the label for a jar of pickles, should he resign because you don't buy his pickles? Should he go home in?despair, because you rejected his sales pitch to buy pickles?
Of course not, he doesn't even know that you exist, he designed a jar of pickles targeting a demographic.
For that matter, what if you don't like pickles, I would imagine that no sales pitches can convince you to change your mind.
The same applies, to cold calling. If you take nothing away from the this article others and?this point - "they are not rejecting you, they are rejecting your offer."
3. Do not listen to the radio news or watch the television news and current affairs programs.
Having worked in the media, first as a radio announcer, then having worked at both News Limited and Fairfax, I will let you in on a little secret, "bad news sells!"
Having heard several people tell you that your prices are too high, that?they don't have any budget, that?they spent their budget, you don't need to make things worse by consuming the mass media who pump out negativity when you get home from work.
Just because Joe hockey says the country is crippled by Labor's deficit?and we need to tighten our belts, doesn't mean that people are not buying. If people were really not buying, the country would come to a standstill and we would be facing a great depression like the 1920s. Where is today Sydneysiders are becoming instant millionaire by?selling property
Of course people are buying. Just because you have made 20 cold calls this morning and have been?rejected by everyone, doesn't mean that the 21st caller won't except you call and place an order. When I first started out in sales are many days, if not weeks when all I experienced was rejection. Thankfully, my bosses back then kept motivating me on and eventually I came across someone who placed an order.
4. Make sure you have enough prospects in your pipeline
Over the years, I have found that the weeks where I panic and worry about making budget, are the weeks where I do not have enough prospects in my pipeline.
Work long enough in sales and you'll soon realise that the people you think are?going to buy, rarely do, and often the people that you think aren't going to buy ? surprise you at the last moment by placing an order.
On this point, if you are?challenged by?any of these points, I suggest you read the fantastic sales book by Stephen Schiffman, titled "Make the Sale Happen before Lunch."
In this book he shares how many cold calls he has to make, to get X number of appointments, which leads to get one sale. On average to make one sale he has two have made contact with 15 decision-makers.
What I read this years ago it was liberating, here is one of the greatest sales trainers, sales professionals, a sales expert who has written over 50 books and taught hundreds of thousands of salespeople. And even with all of this success, for every 1 sale - 14 people say NO.
5. Keep a Book of Successes on your desk
As human beings, we often have short-term memories and when faced with the challenge of making a weekly sales target, we tend to forget the success we have had in life so far and are quick to declare ourselves a failure.
Every time I start to think myself, "Robinson you need to pick your act up." I stop myself from having a pity party by referring to the long list of sales I have made over my career."
Knowing, that?I am prone to pity parties when I am rejected in a sales pitch, I have placed on my coffee table in my office several copies of the first full-colour magazine I produced, when I was in partnership with the Fairfax group.?Producing those magazines, was my first entree into business.
At the time, I was 23 , I had only been in sales for to 3 years, I had?no family connections in the business world ? my dad was a boilermaker and my mum was a bank teller ? not normally the credentials that would land you a major business partnership.
But back then, motivated by?the boldness of youth, I?cold called and convinced The Fairfax Group (one of Australia's largest publishing houses) to 100% financially back me in my own magazine business, with print runs of 700,000 copies per issue.
And even now, some 20+ years later, I like you, still find rejection on a sales call just as difficult as the first day I entered the profession!
That is why I suggest you put together a record of your previous successes, and instead of having a pity party when someone says no on a sales call, take a moment to review what you have achieved and it will help you to make the next sales call.
Well there you have it, five simple but effective steps, that if applied will help you have the most successful sales week you can imagine.
If you found this information to be of use, I would like to ask you a favour. If you know of a friend in sales who may benefit from this article, please pass it on and if you are on Facebook or LinkedIn, please share it with?your connections.
There are so many salespeople out there struggling to make ends meet, and from my experience in the sales training I've run it usually has got nothing to do with their product or service or state of the market. Their lack of success usually comes down to their attitude. Hopefully these articles I am?writing will help them get out of the quagmire of negativity and place them in a position to enjoy the success that a sales career brings.