Often we are looking for silver bullet systems or recipes for success, while ignoring the basics. In my experience 90% of big sales improvement comes from getting back to the basics. These basics will have an immediate, measurable impact on your sales numbers.
Let’s put it to the test. Here are five fundamentals of sales. If you focus on them they will increase your sales this week.
Breakthrough the Fear of Failure
Jeffrey Gitomer, a sales guru and best-selling author, is famous for saying “fail faster.” This is a critical concept for a sales person to grasp early in their career. Like any professional athlete or best-selling author will testify to, you will swing and miss, shoot and miss, write and miss far more often than not. But, that’s okay because it’s the big ones that make them millions.
Sales has the same odds and the same big rewards. You have to kill the fear of rejection. You will hear “no” far more than “yes.” Embrace it. Know that it only means that you are that much closer to a sale.
Stop Getting Ready to Call, and Call
This is the top failure in sales performance–failure to call. Cold calling has become a pariah. However, the truth is that cold calling is the backbone of sales. Fundamentally you have to make contact and get your message out. That usually means calling a few people, setting up some appointments, and introducing yourself.
Sitting back and waiting for someone to find you and discover how you can help them is really making the buying process hard. And that, of course, is not good for your sales numbers.
Stop Picking Leads, Just Grab One
Here is another real sales quota killer–picking leads. Better known as cherry picking.
The thing about trying to constantly find the “best lead”–it doesn’t work and it wastes time. Ultimately, sales leads are often little more than a name, telephone number, and email. What are you going to make your, “this is a killer sale lead” decision based on?
Much like my advice to pick-up the phone and call, just grabbing a lead is about forward motion. Creating momentum has a far greater impact than getting the right lead.
Start Doing a Little Lead Nurturing
Regardless of how effective your sales pitch and charm might be, most buyers don’t immediately pull the trigger. That’s okay. Assuming you have a good lead nurturing program. In fact, studies show that lead nurturing not only keeps that sales lead active and viable, but may also creates a trust relationship that will actually increase the size of the transaction.
Think about it. You can build a strong feeling of reciprocity with lead nurturing. If you have a good system of touch points and you are giving away valuable content you are building buying pressure on that prospect.
Start Measuring Your Sales Process
One big mantra at a high performance sales organization I used to work at was: “What gets measured gets improved.”
If you’re not breaking down your sales process into measurable elements you might as well be “shooting BBs at the moon”–you’re never going to hit your target. Measuring helps you observe and make timely adjustments, before it’s too late. Do you need to make more calls? Is a certain objection eating you up? Are you losing deals in the proposal phase? If you aren’t measuring you won’t know.
Most importantly, do something with those improvement prompts. Work on increasing your leads and call volume. Tweak that sales script. Improve the value in that proposal.
Hopefully you are seeing a theme. So often, whether it is sales, sports, or any other competitive endeavor improvement is often best achieved by getting back to the basics. Try these back to basics tips and tell me how they go.
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