How many times have you seen a highly successful salesperson get to the point of total frustration over not having any personal time? Nothing is sadder than someone making lots of money but never having a day off to enjoy the things they can now afford. From the outside it seems as though their success has created a new world of problems; stress, feeling like they can’t stop, endless calls from customers and a sense that being highly successful has a very high price. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Too often highly successful salespeople use old methodologies to grow their business. The habits and tactics that worked when they first got into the sales game aren’t as applicable or reliable as their book of business grows. The old practices of waiting on decisions, cold calling, presenting without an agreement to get an answer and trying to close every opportunity actually prevents growth and requires they spend more and more time on the job. Those outdated sales approaches are too inefficient to support the success most people want professionally and the enjoyment they desire personally. These people don’t really have the benefit of an invested experience of 20 years of selling, but they most likely have one year’s experience 20 times. The difference is significant.
This scenario gets worse when the business grows and the owner is still the best, most profitable sales producer. I talk to lots of these people that complain that they never get a break. If they don’t sell the company struggles, and if they don’t take time to do all the backroom responsibilities or sales management duties the company will spin out of control. To many of these highly committed entrepreneurs their dream of owning their own company turns into a nightmare. It seems like they can’t ever get away from the business.
The only way to become more productive in the same, or even less time, is to develop skills and disciplines that are both more efficient and more effective. When the pressure of limited time is such an important factor in growing a business, having the right tools becomes even more essential. Here are some critical concepts to selling more without using more time:
- Prospect through referrals and introductions. Cold calls and leads are the slowest way to grow your sales business.
- Stop trying to qualify for every opportunity. Instead, make every opportunity qualify for you. If it doesn’t qualify, discard it as quickly as possible.
- Keep your pipeline full so your mindset is always abundant. When you are desperate the prospect owns control of the process.
- Focus on questions, not statements in your sales approach. You show more value and expertise through the questions you ask than the statements you make.
- Every opportunity must have a declared timeline for a decision. Without a timeline there is no sales strategy. Without a sales strategy you are just a peddler.
- Never leave a meeting confident you have the deal unless you have the deal. Always stick around to ask the one question you are afraid to ask.
- End every meeting with answers to these two questions: what does it take to do business and what is the next step in the process. Without these answers you are going to be chasing not winning.
- Hunt bigger, more valuable opportunities. By raising your average deal value, you will earn more in the same amount of time. Believe you can play in the upper stratosphere.
- Remain mentally sharp and emotionally tough, no matter what. It is just business so don’t take disappointment personally.
- Make your job fit your life desires and don’t let your job control your life.
- Get a coach.
If you want to talk about anything on the above list, get in touch.