The Selling Newsletter for Sales Professionals
“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.”
– -Carl Sandburg, poet
Carl certainly knew a thing or two about sales. Especially now that the year is new, you do have some decisions to make about the time you spend. Look back at last year. Did you waste a lot of time on prospects who were never going to buy? Did you kid yourself that they would? How about this year making sure that the time you spend is on accounts who merit your time? Examine your accounts now to be sure that you do. Organize accounts into A, B and C accounts. Your A accounts are your most strategic accounts. Define the criteria for your A accounts. Now define the criteria for your B accounts. Finally, do your C accounts. This year spend more time with A and B accounts and less time with C accounts. Now you know which ones they are.
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Start Selling All Over Again
Your party hat is nowhere to be found and your noisemaker is silent. Your New Year’s eve memories are just that. Now it’s time to focus on the year ahead and your role as a successful sales professional.
Stop it. I always think of Albert Einstein at the beginning of the new year. He said, “Doing the same things over again and expecting different results is insanity.” I agree. This year, what are you going to stop doing? In order to stop something you have to realize what is not working. If you haven’t thoughtfully reviewed your sales activities, it’s not too late to do the work now. I find that too many salespeople kid themselves. They think the prospect they’re talking with is actually going to buy. You are also kidding yourself if you haven’t specifically defined your ideal prospect and compared those specs to every prospect in this year’s objectives.
Get lazy. This is the year that I’m focusing on becoming lazy. No, I’m not sleeping in until noon. I am thinking of all the ways I can do the least to get the most from my selling. The next time you set a sales objective, instead of saying, “How can I accomplish this?” ask yourself, “What’s the least I can do to accomplish that?” You can start by thinking of who you know to help you achieve what you want. Instead of making a cold call, think of the people you know who could introduce you to the prospect. If you often have no one to ask, you have work to do on your network of contacts. You can start by asking all your satisfied customers and those business professionals you know for referrals. You only get when you ask.
Go big. I worked with a salesman who was only comfortable calling on small accounts. He was never going to make his goals that way. In fact, his company was going to have to let him go. Are you afraid of making sales calls on a specific type of customer? What’s holding you back? Get some strategy advice from another successful salesperson if you can’t move forward. You’re going to work just as hard to get a small piece of business as you are with a large piece of business. Develop your skills so you’re comfortable going after larger pieces of business. Calling on larger pieces of business is another way to be successfully lazy.
Get rid of it. I once assumed a sales territory from a salesman who saved papers that were older than I was. I’ve become a minimalist. I don’t need a lot of stuff and I don’t want to accumulate stuff. That includes files. You have cleaned out your files from last year, right? If you haven’t, now is the time to schedule the time on your calendar to do the work. Look around your office. Is it a cluttered mess? Keeping an office organized requires upkeep. I’m an avid reader, but even the books that I no longer need are off my bookshelf. I’ve given them to other salespeople who can benefit from them. Instead of looking for more containers to store your stuff, ask yourself what you can get rid of. It’s liberating.
The new year has just begun. What you choose to do now can be the start of a year of your successful selling.
1. What part of your sales process is NOT working for you?
2. What new idea or skill will you try this year?
Did You Know?
Here’s a tip this week for your sales success.
Here are some selling tools to help you sell more now. Click to find out more!
Monday Morning Sales Tips : A book that has quick ideas for you to be more successful in sales.
Real-World Selling: A book with selling skills and strategies that work in the real world of sales.
Secrets of Persuasion: Audio CD for the clues to use to speed-read people and close more business.