The greatest pressure in sales is to close business as quickly as possible, to make this period’s numbers. That’s why we’re always being told to spend as much time on prospecting as closing to make sure we have deals to close next month, too. In this article, you will learn 10 techniques for making your numbers today while still paving the way for tomorrow.
Think of qualified prospects as a sales professional’s golden eggs. Every one can become quite valuable, so long as you don’t squander the opportunities they represent by rushing the deal.
Aesop possessed the ability to communicate powerful messages through simple stories. Perhaps the most popular is about the goose that laid the golden egg. This fable is about the poor farmer who one day visits the nest of the goose and finds that she has laid a glittering golden egg. The farmer had his doubts and almost discarded the egg, but on second thought, took it home and discovered that the egg was pure gold.
The farmer became fabulously rich by gathering a golden egg each day from the nest of his special goose. Unfortunately, the farmer becomes greedy. Hoping to secure all of the gold at one time, he killed the goose, opened her up only to find no gold inside. And with a dead goose, there was no future source of gold.
Your Source Of Future Gold
Nice story you say, but what does it have to do with me? Growth and success in sales are generally long-term propositions, composed of successes and failures, serendipity and stress, lost opportunities and progress and, above all, constant change.
Getting impatient with success or thinking that it can be attained quickly is foolish and can result in losing a fortune of daily activities that add up to accumulated success.
10 Ideas For Building A ‘Golden’ Future
1. Take One day at a time
Look for new eggs every day. No matter how hard you work to protect your existing accounts, some are going to be lost each year. You need to be in a position to replace them immediately with new business.
2. Build coaches in every account
Someone once said, “Today’s busboy is tomorrow’s manager.” I’ve found that he was not too far off. I can tell you there is a law of selling that says: “The cook you ignore today will show up running the kitchen for one of your best customers tomorrow, and the receptionist you are abrupt with will be the daughter of the owner.” Build coaches and develop relationships with everyone you can — first because everyone deserves respect and empathy and second because someday they will return your kindness. That’s also a law of sales.
3. Don’t worry; it is a misuse of the imagination
For every minute you waste worrying, you loose selling time — the opportunity to find great reasons not to worry. Face problems immediately, and do the best you can to overcome them. Most of the time, your quick attention to the problem will decrease its impact. If the outcome is bad news, then at least you will have it behind you more quickly.
4. Never knock the competition
The customer is likely to defend your competition if you disparage them; besides, your candle won’t burn any brighter just because you blow the other guy’s out.
5. Listen more than you talk
It’s true, you can’t learn anything new while you are talking. The biggest part of your job is learning about your customer and his or her needs.
6. Look for new ways to help your customer make money
Your customer is not in business to buy your product. Your customer is in business to sell or use that product and make a profit. Your job is to help the customer realize increased sales and or reduced losses. Your sales will follow in direct proportion to the value you bring the customer.
7. Be different
If you are not different (and better) than the competition, you will always be a “me too” sales person, selling on the difference in price.
8. Develop a sense of urgency
If it is worth doing, it is worth doing now! If there is profit involved for the customer, it needs to be done with urgency.
9. Never talk about another customer by name
The customer knows that if you will talk about someone else, you will talk about his business, too.
10. Understand value before presenting a solution
If you don’t understand the tangible value of your offering to the customer, it might as well have no value. Talk to your customer about what the problem you are about to solve is costing. Only then can you know if the cost of changing makes sense for the customer.
I’ll bet you can think of 10 more ideas. The key is to get them working for you every day. Unlike Aesop’s farmer, you and I must keep doing the right things each day in order to cash in on our golden eggs.