Have More Fun, Save More Time, Make More Money
You finally set the appointment with the prospect you would love to have as a client. You spend hours preparing your message because you don’t want to blow this opportunity. On the day of the call, you put on your business formal attire, check the A/V equipment, run through the PowerPoint presentation one more time, and show up to the prospect’s office 20 minutes early. After waiting until 10 minutes past the scheduled start, you are called into the conference room, plug in your technology and after a brief introduction, begin to sell. You nailed it! The customer loved the message and the proposal and expressed sincere interest in making you a business partner. The call ends with smiles, a handshake, and a commitment to connect again next week. You head back to your office beaming with energy and positive feelings. You tell your boss how well it went. On Monday of the next week, you call to follow up and you get your prospect’s voicemail. No problem. You leave a message expressing gratitude for the opportunity and the need to review a few things in the proposal. Now it’s Wednesday and you still have not heard back from the prospect. You call again, and again you get voicemail. You leave a message expressing how busy you have been, apologizing for not connecting as per the plan and requesting a call back. Now it’s Friday and as you sit at your desk sliding the prospect’s card from one side of the desk to the other you wonder if you should call again at risk of being a pest…
All of that time and effort just to be comparable to an insect at the end of the process. For years I thought that this was sales and this is how it works. I did not realize that sales could be a lot more fun and a lot less time consuming. If only I had looked at sales differently. That is why I write this article: So you can look at sales differently and thus have more fun, have more time, and make more money.
The first thing we can do to look at sales differently is change our sales call attitude. Many of you might recall the diner scene in the movie Tommy Boy. You can look it up on YouTube. Tommy Boy closes the sale on the waitress for some chicken wings and his partner, who is thoroughly impressed, asks Tommy why he can’t sell like that. Tommy’s response is “so what if I didn’t get the chicken wings. I had a meat-lover’s pizza in the trunk!” See, Tommy didn’t care if he got the order and therefore was okay taking a risk. That is the attitude the professional salesperson needs when in the sales call. With that attitude, we can take risks, ask tough questions, and push for decisions without fear of losing the order because we don’t care! Even if you do care, have the attitude that you don’t.
The second thing we can do is write a behavioral recipe that will put us in front of enough prospects throughout the year so we can hit our goals. To borrow a phrase from Nike, “Just Do It” really has meaning to the sales professional. You don’t have to like it; you just have to do it.
The third thing we can do to look at sales differently is develop a plan and a system for sales. Believe it or not, most salespeople do not prepare prior to going into a sales call. They show up and throw up and the result is a scene similar to my opening paragraph. It doesn’t have to be that way. Have a selling system that you can script and follow when in front of a prospect. Prepare your questions, know what you want before you show up, practice a few times so you get good at the system, and don’t take a maybe for an answer.
Three simple, but important elements to a refreshing look at sales: The right attitude, the right behavior plan, and the right technique when the sales dance begins. Are you ready to have more fun, have more time, and make more money?
Sandler Sales Training is a global training organization with over three decades of experience and proven results. Sandler provides sales and management training and consulting services for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) as well as corporate training for Fortune 1000 companies. For more information, please contact Karl Schaphorst at (402) 403-4334 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow his blog at karlschaphorst.sandler.com