Five MORE Ideas for a GREAT Year.
I am focusing AWAY from “having your best year ever” and zeroing in on “having a GREAT year." For the past few weeks I have given you the list of 21.5 ideas that will drive the years results, and elaborated in detail on several of the elements. See the full list here.
Here are five more sales concepts from my original list to put more sales on your CRM and more money in your ATM.
8. Get your pipeline full. Most salespeople wait until the end of the month, in panic mode, to try to close THE ONE DEAL that they absolutely need in order to make their goal or quota. My question to you is: why are you only focusing on one deal -- why don’t you have 20 deals you’re working so that three or four of them pop-in? I’ll give you two guarantees:
1. The one deal you’re praying for will never come about.
2. If you have 20 deals you’re working, three or four will always come about.
Why would you put yourself in a losing position? When, with just a little bit more hard work -- you can have a great year. The secret lies in the word pipeline. Your sale has a cycle to it, and a timeline. If it takes 90 days for you to complete a sale, you need 10 sales a month, and it takes you four appointments to make one sale, then 40 appointments a month is the minimum. 60 appointments a month will guarantee your numbers. 80 appointments a month will blow your numbers away. And by the way, to define pipeline a little further, if it takes you four calls to make one appointment, you need to make 320 calls to make 80 appointments. Some of you reading this are thinking the numbers I have given you are unrealistic. There’s a reason for that -- you’re a small thinker. Smart salespeople figure out a way to get their company to hire sales support people. Or in many cases -- hire them themselves. If you’re going to make a lot of money, the first rule is: you can’t keep all of it. The government teaches you that. There are college fraternities who specialize in future salespeople, interns who would be willing to work like dogs -- eager hungry dogs -- to help you set appointments. But let me get back to your pipeline: it is the single indicator of what kind of month, and what kind of success you are going to enjoy, or lament. The simple truth is, if you’re not closing enough deals, it’s because you don’t have enough deals pending. Fill your pipeline, and you’ll fill your wallet.
15. Make sales at breakfast. Instead of trying to get to work “on time,” make a five-dollar appointment, and buy a customer or prospective customer breakfast. 7AM, 7:30AM, 8AM -- early baby. Make money while other people are driving in the traffic. I start my day so early that my mantra for the last 15 years has been “I make money while other people are sleeping.” And, if you wanna have a great year, you better decide that your work day starts earlier than it currently does. I don’t mean what time you get up in the morning, I mean what time you get into productivity mode. Breakfast is the easiest and most productive time to make a sales call, and build a relationship. I try to have at least 100 breakfast appointments a year -- at a total cost of under $500 dollars - and a total ROI of - well, let’s just say, priceless.
18. Double your referrals. Most people ask for referrals. Big mistake. The better way to get a referral is to earn a referral. The best way to get a referral is to give a referral. If you wanna have a great year, try to give every major customer one referral a month. When you ask for a referral and don’t get one, that’s a report card. Your best source for referrals are those people who were willing to give you a testimonial. Referrals are the easiest sale to make. One quick rule: NEVER call a referral on your own. Always ask the person who gave you the referral to call the referral. Have them call in advance so that your call won’t be a surprise.
19. Record your sales presentation. If you want to hear the funniest thing you’ve ever heard in your life, record yourself making a sales presentation. This will give you a combination of hindsight and insight. The hindsight will tell you how you just screwed up the last sale. The insight will tell you what skills you need to improve in order to make the next sale. If you wanna have a great year, you must record your sales presentation once a week -- and listen to it the minute you get back in the car or hang up the phone. Not only will it be revealing, it will be painful. Once you get into the habit of doing it, you will also be in the habit of improving. This improvement will guarantee you to have a great year. Think of it this way: every recorded talk will put you on the path to a higher percentage of completed sales. At first it’s painful, but in the end it’s profitable. No pain -- no gain.
21.5 You’re not alone. Create a mastermind. All salespeople are in the same boat. The Good Ship Lollypop. Unlimited income, rough (often uncharted) waters. The good news is: You’re not alone. Create a mastermind of non-competing salespeople and leaders to talk about problems-in-common. If you live or die by the numbers, why not have a support team to give you a transfusion once in a while?