You see, like most business owners, and even some newly commissioned sales people, you’re probably thinking of the old-fashioned hustle, those slick guys from a bygone era when the job really was all about the sale. It’s all about results. And that’s the thing. You see, in days gone by, everything was new. New products were coming on the market all the time and if you could acquire them, you had no problem selling them to your market. Chances are, you were the only game in town. But then, things changed. Suddenly the volume of ‘new’ slowed down. More and more people were selling the same thing, so the hustle changed. Competition became king. Discounting started, but sales stayed the sleazy game it had become.
And that’s why you hate sales.
Fast forward to the social era. Highly successful business owners were the ones who discovered that relationships are what is important today. In fact, if you’re not in business to develop professional relationships, you aren’t going anywhere – fast. Call it relationship selling, or consultative selling, sales is all about meeting people, having conversations about what’s keeping them up at night, and coming up with a solution to their problem. But first you have to hear their problem.
You may not be the solution to their problem, so be aware of that.
Sometimes what I thought was going to develop into a sale has in fact taken a left turn and wound up as a darn good friendship. And you know what friends do? They tell their friends all about you because they like you. And somewhere along the line, that non-sale turns into what we all long for – referral business.
But let’s get back to the reason you hate sales.
IT’S NOT YOUR JOB.
Your job is getting out there, meeting people, having conversations, finding solutions and then, following up. You see, when you do that, sales is the result. In other words, your job is to meet people. Not just any people, but people you believe could use what you’re selling. You know you can help them, now you have to let them figure out that they need you – a two-way conversation.
How many people do you need to meet?
One of the things I love about meeting people and closing sales is that it is so measurable. Not making enough sales? Maybe you’re not meeting enough people. Keep going until you figure out what your ‘enough’ is. How many of those people are you following up with, every day, every week, every month? When you think of your own activities, you can see how activity is reflected in results, so if the results aren’t what you’re looking for, change up the activity.
Then what’s the job?
Glad you asked. Activity is the job. Sales is the result. Yes, it’s that simple. Develop an activity plan:
- Number of contacts per week (suspects, centres of influence)
- Number of follow up conversations (prospects)
- Number of closing conversations (conversions)
- Repeat and referral business
- Do it again next week.
That’s it. Do the activity, collect the results.