960 Moments of PRIDE that can result in Successful Sales
Five essential steps that will make you famous in your industry and translate into successful sales.
Hey Salesperson! Do you want to have a successful day today? Well, you have about 960 opportunities (16 waking hours x 60 minutes) to make it happen. The trick is to make sure the percentage of successful moments far outweighs the percentage of stale or unproductive moments.
So, what defines a successful moment at work? It’s one that makes you more valuable to your customers, work associates, company or industry. The following moments in your day, while necessary, are not necessarily increasing your value, yet many average reps burn up countless minutes in these areas:
- Drive time
- Doing quotes
- Putting in orders
- Tracking down product information
- Checking email and voicemail
On the other hand, the following activities contain what I call “960 Moments of PRIDE.” And this PRIDE can raise your value … and your commission check.
- Prospecting for New Customers
- Relationship Making
- Influence Activity
- Educating Yourself
Prospecting for New Customers
If you want to add more 960 Moments to your day, get out of the office and into the offense. Let me explain. Just last week, a tenured salesperson told me that business wasn’t great. I asked him if he was out looking for new accounts, and he told me he was not. When I asked him why, he said that he was afraid that if he went calling on other rep’s accounts, they would come after his accounts.
In business, the best way to defend your own accounts is to make people defend theirs. This doesn’t mean by low-balling on price. It’s that whole “best defense is a good offense” thing. If you are somebody who is spending more time in the office and not enough time on offense, your value is decreasing while your 960 competitor is increasing. There is no plateauing in this business. Your value is either going up or down.
Are you looking to trade in some of those stale, low-value moments for more 960 Moments? Make a list of the top 10 people both inside and outside of your business that can make you smarter. Then, give them a call to set up a breakfast, lunch or other meeting (happy hour or golf is often a nice way to spend a 960 Moment).
Each moment you spend with a networking partner increases your value. The relationships that are made, along with the information you will receive – will make you more valuable to your company and your customers. Reach out to at least one person in your network each week, and be prepared with one or two specific questions. Don’t reach out just for the sake of reaching out. Set a clear objective. An example might be, “My objective in a meeting with Joe is to get him to tell me at least three things that he does to separate him from the competition.”
By setting a specific objective for your networking meeting, you will get more out of it. And in that meeting, find a way to help Joe in three ways as well. That will keep him an active member of your 960-relationship file.
Influence Your Activity
If you’re interested in saying goodbye to the Poconos and saying hello to the Bahamas, you need to be very specific about what you want to sell and how much of it you want to sell each day. Pick one or two products that you think you could sell a ton of, and plan to prospect on EVERY call you make for 20 days. But before you do, think about how many of those products you would like to sell. For instance, if you want to sell seven widgets by the end of the month, first think about how many prospecting calls you need to make and how many formal presentations you need to deliver to get to those seven sales.
- To get 7 sales, I believe I will need to set up 10 live presentations (70% close ratio … not bad!). But to get to 10 presentations, I believe I need to prospect with 50 customers.
Now that you know how many prospects you need to talk to about the widgets (That’s 50, by the way), it’s time to get to work. Take comfort in knowing that your competition, because they didn’t go through the above exercise, will stop prospecting at about 12, long before you have arrived at your number of 50.
960 Reps don’t look, act, think or smell like the average salesperson. And they aren’t afraid to take valuable minutes each day to do something a little off course. One simple way to deviate from your competition is to take 15 minutes each day to write handwritten Thank You notes to customers and prospects that you met. Keep the notes, some envelopes and a book of stamps in your briefcase, car, or by your phone. Then after every high-value call, take one minute to write it, seal it and stamp it. Then find the first blue mailbox.
When will that prospect or customer get your note? Tomorrow or the next day? What will that note say about your ability to serve them? It says you care, you pay attention to detail, you have five-star follow up skills and you have time to do the little things for that customer. That note can say those things even better than your lips can; because it is done in the spirit of service.
If you prefer to write the notes in your office at night, no problem, just get it done. Also, for those who do everything online, check out this online card creation service at sendoutcards.com/precise. It allows you to pick a card, personalize it and mail it with your handwriting all from one site.
The most successful people in any business are the ones who schedule time each week to learn something new. Check your calendar right now and set a recurring appointment with yourself. Make that appointment between 30-60 minutes for the same time each week. During that time, you can read a trade journal, visit a competitive website, call a current customer to ask for feedback, read a sales book … or whatever! But if the ultimate goal is to be able to provide more value to your customers than the competition, you need to be smarter than them. The 960 rep doesn’t get smarter by accident.
Lastly, remember the only difference between top performers and the average is how they look at each moment, each hour and each day. There is a sense of urgency in high achievers that has them keeping score between productivity and wasted time. Top performers simply come closer to 960 Moments of PRIDE than others. When they roll over to set the alarm clock before bed, it’s at that moment they can tell themselves, “I made my objectives, I served others, I made a difference, and I did my best. Today was a great day!”
Go make it a 960 day!
About the author
Sales Coach and Business Consultant Brian Sullivan, CSP is the author of the book, “20 Days to the TOP – How the PRECISE Selling Formula Will Make You Your Company’s Top Sales Performer in 20 Days or Less.” President of Kansas City-based PRECISE Selling, he delivers seminars and internet training programs on sales, customer service, leadership and presentation skills to companies of all sizes. He also hosts the radio talk show Entrepreneurial Moments, a show dedicated to personal and business development. To find out more, visit him at www.preciseselling.com or email Brian at [email protected]