Weekly Sales Tips
“You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge one for yourself.”
~ James Froude
Have you ever experienced a sales slump? Or just not achieved the results that you believed you should have? If you have been selling for at least 2 – 3 years, I guarantee you have had some really tough months or even a difficult and challenging couple of years.
Success in selling requires many skills, attitudes, abilities and personal values. When a salesperson experiences a down cycle in his/her success, it is impossible to look at just one single area of their approach to the sales process or their attitudes at any given time in order to determine where the cause of the problem is.
For example, if you are having trouble closing sales, is it because you are poor at closing skills or could it be that you are trying to close poor prospects? If you are having trouble getting through to the key economic buyer or decision maker is it because you don’t know who they are or could it be that your have low self-esteem that prevents you from feeling confident or comfortable even calling on prospects at this level?
Determining where the problem is – requires information, lots of accurate information about sales ratios, actual numbers, trends, and comparisons. It is difficult to take corrective action if you are not aware of what the cause of your problem is or what actions to take. Just working harder, longer hours or continuing to repeat the same behaviors over and over again is not the answer. This approach will not solve your problem but it will keep you busy.
One of the common denominators (there are many) among successful salespeople is their ruthless evaluation of: activities, behaviors, results and progress or lack of progress toward their goals. Most poor salespeople will tell you they don’t have the time to keep complete and accurate sales activity and results records and I’m not talking here about company sales reports.
Many sales organizations and managers require regular call reports from their salespeople, but those reports are – in most cases – just sales busywork. They provide little, if any, value for the salesperson or the sales manager on where current or potential sales problems are or may be in the future or their causes. They just tend to require who did you see or call and what did you sell or not sell and possibly why or why not. This is not enough information for accurate self-evaluation – if you are going to excel as a salesperson.
In my best selling book, Soft Sell, the last chapter is devoted to – what records to keep, how to evaluate them, and how to forecast the future based on previous and current activity types and amounts and then what behaviors may need to be changed to change your outcomes. Soft Sell is the only sales book on the market that goes into any depth in this critical subject. (If you still don’t have your personal copy of this all time best seller what are you waiting for (over 1,000,000 copies have been sold in 23 languages worldwide since 1981 and it is still out-selling every other sales book on the market today) I can’t summarize the chapter in this week’s tip. All I can hope to do is convince you – if you are failing, not reaching your potential or just dissatisfied with your sales results – that implementing a routine system of keeping and evaluating accurate sales records will have a dramatic impact on your immediate and long term sales success.
The thing to remember is that intent drives attitudes, attitudes contribute to activity and activities – the right ones – equal consistent positive results. Records can tell you where in the above four areas you need to modify either an attitude or activity to achieve enduring successful results. (Tell you what – buy a copy of Soft Sell on my website in the next 5 days) and I’ll throw in a FREE copy of one of my other best selling books (it will be a surprise!)