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Where to Start? Posted 10:27 AM on 01/02/09 - 

I am in the Office Equipment Business and have always been on the Service Side. I am Self Employed and need to develop Good Sales Habits? Where do I begin to Get New Business? How Do I Start to Develop Prospects? Thank you!

Zac N

Office equipment business Posted 7:33 PM on 01/16/09 - Reply to this post

Mixers is a good start. Get a "book of lists" of the top companies in your location (i.e. A business journal, dunn & bradstreet, chamber of commerce online member directories.) I am also in the office equipment business, and Mixers have generated a few sales, but really connected me to more "c" level persons than just cold calling or telemarketing could offer. Build relationships by attending community events where "c" level personnel will attend. Schmooze! Get your face out there not just your business card, people buy from people they trust and if you are consistent they'll trust you. When meeting people for the first time and you feel you they could be a good prospect, ALWAYS offer value FIRST. Give them something, information about the industry that could effect them, some ideas of how to market their business. Don't ask for anything, just information about their business and situation.

Bob Meyers

One Stop Close Posted 1:21 PM on 12/31/08 - 

Since companies are cutting out the receptionist(Gate Keeper) expense, I was able bump into the CEO of a company who directed to the VP (decision maker). They are a satisfied client today.


one stop close Posted 8:26 PM on 01/07/09 - Reply to this post

I had some similar experiences today! I closed on three sales in one day! Congrats on your success!


Success Strategy? Posted 11:12 AM on 12/30/08 - 

Hi Everyone: I'd really like to make a kick-ass plan to jump start 2009. I already feel delayed but, with my salesplan, I'd rather be late than never. Last year, our company offered a resource to help build our sales plans. They did not offer this same resource this year. I could use my previous plan but it feels stale. Suggestions on resources that will help me draft my plan?

Paul McDonald

Sales Plans are "math" Sales Results are action Posted 4:56 PM on 01/15/09 - Reply to this post

Here's a bold plan: Figure out how much in commissions you want to earn, and then either put a 1 in front of it or a 0 behind it. So if you want to make 50,000, then either make it 150,000 or 500,000. Okay, that's not a plan, that's a goal... But from there, figure out what your average sales commission is. Let's say it's $1,000 per sale. You'd need to make 150 sales to match the 150,000 figure, or 500 to match the 500,000. Simple, right? Let's go with the 150,000 (just to make the math easy). And let's say that you close 30% of all people who you pre-qualify and decide that you want to do business with. So if you need 150 sales, then you need (clickety-click) roughly 500 quality "leads" or "prospects" or "potential customers" or whatever term you use. Say you work 50 weeks a year, (2 week vacation!) you'll need to meet with 10 quality prospective clients/customers/people we serve/whatever each week, or roughly 2 per day. Okay, so to meet with 2 per day, you probably need to schedule meeting with 6 total because four are going to be duds. Let's say that's "your math" for goals. Now all you need to focus on is meeting with 6 new people each day, 5 days a week. Now, I'm not saying "present" to 6--four of the six you'll probably find out real quick you should run away from (and if you don't, close them and take Thursday and Friday off!) Anyway, this is a simple sales plan. But none of it matters unless you actually DO what you say you will do. All you can really control is how many "attempts" to meet with someone you will make. You can't make someone answer the door or the phone or open your letters, but you can call or drop by or send the letter. From there, figure out your ratios and do some quick algebra. And then do your algebra!

Cheyne Christiansen

Sales Plans are "Math" Sales Results are Action Posted 2:00 PM on 03/17/09 - Reply to this post

I strongly agree that sales is a numbers game! I would suggest before you put that amazing plan into action, solve this equation first. How many sales calls did you go on in 2008? Of that How many of those did you close? Of the ones that you didn’t close, what was the reason for not closing? What was the common trend as to why they didn’t close and how have you tailored your approach bridge the gap? Work smarter not harder !!!!


No Soliciting Posted 12:04 PM on 12/26/08 - 

Are there any legalities associated with the "no soliciting" sign? Can they charge you with anything if you violate it? And does anyone have any suggestions for 'getting past it'?

Tom Rutter

Sales Bible Posted 5:00 PM on 12/27/08 - Reply to this post

There are no legalities with violating a "no soliciting sign". As for ideas about getting around it, Jeffrey has lots of great ideas of getting around it. Buy his latest Sales Bible for the best of them all.


no soliciting Posted 6:04 PM on 12/27/08 - Reply to this post

They have the sign there for a reason and you want to create an objection right away showing no listening skills and no respect for their wishes. Is this the way to start a relationship?


No Soliciting Reminder Posted 1:49 PM on 12/31/08 - Reply to this post

Thanks for the reminder and putting me in my place. So I take it you do not agree with Jeffrey on this topic?

Tom Rutter

"Soliciting" vs. "Selling" Posted 1:00 PM on 01/02/09 - Reply to this post

"Soliciting" is such a misunderstood word. In most cases, it's a request not to try and sell something. But it shouldn't stop you from entering the office and asking the questions, getting information, and requesting an appointment - professional selling. I have it on my door because I want to avoid dealing with the folks that sell remote control cars, fresh meat, etc. that is targeted to everyone in your office on a personal level and costs me money while they try and sell to them. If you have a product or service that the company could benefit from, you're foolish to think they don't want to hear about it. They do - just at the right time, in the right place, and when they're ready to buy (you can create their desire to buy).


Re: no soliciting Posted 1:58 PM on 01/02/09 - Reply to this post

No soliciting, means people don't want to be annoyed. They don't want to be bothered with worthless crap they don't need. It does NOT mean that they don't need someone to solve a need for them. The way you get around "no soliciting" sign is: 1. precall research, and 2. get yourself an appointment with a decision maker. then you don't have to deal with any of this. Firms have "no soliciting" sign for people that are not "in". Get to know the people before you set your foot in the door. Call their sales line. Call their vendors. Call their clients. Do what it takes!!! And good luck!!!

Zac N

Soliciting Encouraged Posted 12:26 PM on 01/07/09 - Reply to this post

The world is for sale! Everything! Don't let anyone fool you otherwise! The company you're walking into SELLS! If they don't want soliciting then they'd be out of business because they're not SELLING! That sign is only for the "riff-raff" perfumes salesman and religious freaks. If you have a product and service that the company can use, it is your job and your obligation to engage in conversation with that company. If you're cold calling "assume" the "c" level personnel is the decision maker, start from the TOP then work your way down. Never ever be discouraged by a "no soliciting" sign, be ENCOURAGED that you are just the person they need to talk to, they just don't know it yet! GET EM!


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