At the end of every year you get to look back at your year and how well you did. Here are the rules that I practice to have a successful sales year. Why don’t you try them so you can have your best sales year yet?
Rule #1. I will set valid sales call objectives for each sales call.
You will certainly not have your best year yet if you make a sales call and tell your customer that you’ve stopped by to touch base. Touching base could be better accomplished with a phone call. What would you say to a customer on the telephone? You would say, ‘I thought I would call so you could hear my voice and ask you if there’s anything you want from me.” Sounds pretty lame, right? So does touching base.
This year do not make a face-to-face sales call unless you have a strategic business reason to be at that customer’s business. What could be a strategic reason? It’s anything to move the sales process forward. Remember, you have an objective to achieve for each sales call so the call can be a considered a success. You leave with something you did not have before you got there.
You might ask for a referral, get specific information from that customer, discuss a product trial, present a new product or other strategic reason. Notice that touching base is not a strategic reason.
Rule #2. I will be certain that the metrics I use for measurement do measure key indicators for performance improvement.
What do you measure to determine sales success? It’s probably sales data. But if you’re not making your sales numbers, how do you know what you’re doing wrong? You don’t unless you have determined what actions you need to take to get sales.
Here’s an example. One sales professional is in the education business. His objective is to change attitudes and educate people. He reports the numbers of participants that attend the programs he delivers. His report also includes the geographical locations and numbers of programs.
These metrics are not going to tell anyone about the results he achieves. His objective is to educate and change attitudes. How does showing that people sat through a program do that? It doesn’t. What if the wrong people were attending his programs? He would be wasting his time if the attendees already had the attitudes he wanted to produce and support.
What if he delivered 50 programs to 2000 people and instead could have delivered 10 programs and reached the same number of people? He just wasted his time delivering 40 more programs that were not needed. He was less productive.
His job this year is to change his measurement to one that is more congruent with his goals and will better gauge his success. Look at what you’re measuring. Are you measuring the actions that lead to achieving your goals or are you simply measuring the wrong things?
Rule #3. I will distinguish between busy work and productive work.
Hey golfers, how’s your golf game? What’s it doing for your business?
I know a lot of golf gets played under the guise of business development. Yet a lot of golf simply gets played and nothing is really contributed to business development. Sure you get to know someone better when you play a round of golf. But, what could you learn about your partner’s business that you could discuss after you play the round?
Rule #1 applies to your golf game. You are just playing for fun unless you leave with something more than you had before the game. What you get must contribute to your better understanding of your customer or prospect’s business. I have no problem with golf. I just want it to be used strategically to enhance your business.
I believe you should focus every year on improvement to get better sales results. These rules will help you get better results when you practice them.