Can you believe the year is almost half over? Now is the time to look at your business and be sure you’re on track to meet your year-end sales goals. It’s time for a mid-year course correction if you’re off track.
Identify what’s not working in your mid-year course correction.
This may be hard if you’re too close to the problem. You might not see what’s not working. That’s why it’s best to have data to use. What data do you need? Measure how many sales calls you are making, how many sales calls result in proposals, and how many proposals win you business.
Not getting enough sales calls means you need a more compelling message. What are you saying you do for customers when you ask to meet? “I sell petroleum products” is a very different message from “I reduce maintenance costs for my customers.” Your questioning strategy needs improvement if you’re making many sales calls, but they don’t lead to a prospect wanting a bid or proposal. You probably aren’t uncovering a customer’s compelling need to address by buying your products if your proposals aren’t resulting in getting business.
Get help if it’s hard to identify what’s not working.
What can you do if you find it too difficult to identify what’s not working? Perhaps your manager or another peer can sit down with you and help you. Work on changing your telephone script to a more compelling message with better questions if your telephone calls aren’t getting you meetings.
Work on uncovering needs, quantify the cost of doing nothing (not buying), or identify key decision makers if your presentations aren’t resulting in closes. All too often presentations that don’t get sales missed uncovering a customer’s compelling need. A generic presentation that doesn’t highlight specific customer needs often gets an, “I’ll think about it.” You do know that thinking about it really means no, right?
Present all the information you have and ask your manager what he sees as the issues with your business. What does he think you can do differently? How can you craft a different introduction or questioning strategy?
Do something different.
Now that you have clarified what you are already doing, it’s time to do something else. Remember, if you’re in the situation of not meeting your sales goals now, it means that what you are doing isn’t working. Doing the same thing again and again will probably get the same poor results. Do something different. Of course the decision of what to do may be the challenge. That’s why having someone else help you identify possible options is the way to go if you’re too close to the problem.
It may be summer now, but fall and year end are certain to follow. Working on your sales goals now means you are more likely to make your sales goals later. You will have something to celebrate at year’s end.