2004 Predictions for Salespeople.
How will it go for you in 2004? Here are some things gathered from my crystal ball and a bunch of people you think are hot prospects, a few irritated customers, a couple of tightwad buyers, and a sales manager in a pear tree. Some of these predictions are tongue and cheek — or are they?
Here is what I predict will happen in 2004:
Your phone calls won’t get returned.
The prospect who says “Call me Tuesday at 10am for the answer,” won’t be there when you call.
The prospect for your most important sales meeting will call to reschedule — several months from now.
You will be kept waiting.
People will tell you “no.”
You will think of switching jobs more than once.
Someone will tell you your price is too high. Once a week.
You will be out-sold by a competitor.
You will blame other people for not making a sale (and it was your fault).
You will quit early on days you make a sale instead of pushing for another one (like you know you should).
An unexpected bill will come up that could have been paid had you made one more sale (see above).
Your parents or spouse will ask you when you will get a real job.
Your prospect will ask you a question you don’t know the answer to at a crucial time in the presentation.
At some point you will think everyone is stupid except you (and you will be wrong).
You will think about reading a book, put it off, and reach for the remote.
You will miss selling opportunities at dinner and parties where people ask you what you do, because you have not practiced a 30-second personal commercial, and you forgot to bring a business card.
You will be with a group of sales people and everyone will be bragging about sales they made, and they will all be lying.
You will send your customer to a competitor without knowing it (poor service) and wonder why you never got repeat business.
You will make several statements you will wish you never said.
You will wish your prices were lower. Once a week.
You will complain about your prices to your boss. Once a week.
You will finally realize that price is not the issue. It’s value.
You will think, “This place can’t make it without me,” and you will be wrong.
You will start all over again in the selling process with renewed enthusiasm.
You will get angry at someone else’s voice mail and wish it didn’t exist. Then your company will install automated attendant and make all your customers angry.
Your mother will call your company and the temporary receptionist will say they don’t know you.
You will have your hot prospect call what you think is a happy client. Your client will say they haven’t done business with you in a while and have since switched vendors.
You will be treated rudely by someone else in sales.
Someone in your company will lose a client for you through lack of action because they felt “It wasn’t their job”.
Someone in your company will argue with an angry customer. They will win the argument and lose the customer.
Your competitors will come out with a better quality product than the one you are selling.
You will have a big sale fall through at the end of the month.
Someone will cancel an order and ask for a refund.
Someone will call in a big unsolicited order. You will go around bragging how you made the sale.
One of your co-workers will make a sale and a commission for your work. And they will take all the credit for it.
You will bump into one of your big customers at a networking event and forget his name. (And he will be the only guy with out a name tag.)
You will lose a sale because you failed to listen.
You will lose a customer because you failed to listen.
The boss will offer you a free seminar on “listening” and you’ll say, “I don’t have time.”
Someone in your collections department with a one-minute phone call to a customer, will destroy a relationship that took you a year to establish.
You will get some free advertising by word-of-mouth from a happy customer (this will only happen if you work hard).
You will win a sale from your competitor. You will see him later that day and gloat.
You will resist the urge to down the competition even when the opportunity is ripe.
You will make 20% of your sales on off hours.
You will be recognized by the president of your company. (It’s not clear if it’s good or bad — seems like that’s up to you.)
You will invest in a pager. Finally.
You will invest in a lap top computer (and contact management software). Finally.
You will invest in a cell phone. Finally.
You will invest in a personal website to learn more about the web before it’s too late (HINT: 2005 is too late)
You will listen to sales and attitude tapes in your car instead of Rush Limpjaw (check spelling).
You will attend a seminar that will change your selling attitude. It could change your career — all you’d have to do is take action.
You will be talked about after you leave a sale for “having done all the right things.”
You will celebrate with your customer after a big sale, because they were as happy to buy as you were to sell.
You will just “be yourself” and make a sale.
You will have a healthy, happy, prosperous New Year. And all your marginal sales will come through — just before the end of the month.
Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless. President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at 704/333-1112 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org