are the seven keys to sales success that will ensure you will blow your quota
away year after year:
1. Have a planned quota
or goal to achieve?
Now double it. Set your goal as double or triple whatever your boss told
you to sell. People tend to miss their own goals - on average, they only
hit about 80% of the goal. Therefore, your goal needs to be higher than
your manager's goal for you. If you are in business for yourself, take
your sales goal that you know you need to sell to make money, and triple
it. Strive for that goal, rather than the break-even goal. You're in
business to make money, not lose it, right?
2. Deliver what
you promise. There is something known as "vaporware" in the
software industry. It refers to selling something that doesn't
exist. If you're selling "vaporware" your customers won't buy
again - and they won't refer you to anyone else. That will spell doom for
your business. Sell something real, something you know you can deliver,
and sell it honestly. You'll build customers for life.
3. Offer what you can
deliver today. Don't sell futures. Many companies make the mistake
of selling the product they're announcing next year. Well, is that going
to put money in your pocket today? Probably not. Sell what you
have. It will keep the cash flow coming in.
4. Build relationships,
not orders. Many managers are always focused on the order. What are
you forecasting this month? Which order will close? Etc. But
what brings in the order is building a relationship, first. If the
relationship is in place, when the order is needed it will be easier to ask
for. Believe me. If you ask for the order but haven't earned it, you
will lose respect. And respect is a salesperson's #1 sign of credibility.
= Pick four departments which you absolutely must penetrate in order to grow
sales with a company, then get to know four people in those departments really
well. Don't worry about selling them, at first, just build a
relationship. As each of these sixteen learn to trust you over time,
they will send business your way because they will know you offer real solutions
to their needs.
5. Use your
network. As you meet one person, always ask if there are one or two other
people who rely on them for advice and who could possibly use your product or
service. Often, people won't say anything at first. But when you
say, well, if not in your company, how about another company outside your
industry (the people they know are usually in related industries)... at this
point, they'll usually come up with two or three names more easily. Follow
through with these people immediately, and report back to the original person
the progress you made. This lets them know you valued their advice and
used your network wisely. This is the single most useful selling
"trick" anyone ever taught me. Networking.
It's not who you know, but who you know who knows who.
6. Keep some in
reserve. I used to have a Director of Sales who jokes "you open the
cage, throw in some meat, and slam the door back shut before the lion bites the
hand that fed it!" Well, it is important to "feed the
lions." And yes, the lions DO have a "what have you done for me
lately attitude" even when they're smiling and patting you on the back for
your stellar month. When you have orders coming in like crazy, stall the
booking of orders where you can do so without losing credibility. (Yep,
sandbagging is a form of job-protection.) The reason you should do this is
to always have some left in case of a rainy day. Don't lose the customer
or the order, just make sure that you always have a slab of meat to throw in the
lion's cage at the end of each month. This keeps the lions happy.
7. Spend your time
wisely. First, how much time are you in the office versus in front of
customers? The salespeople who are in front of customers the most learn
the most, and sell the most. A key to keeping fresh over the long run is
to remember that your customer is not just a friend. They're supposed to
buy something, at some point... if they're off the path for your success, spend
your time elsewhere for a while. Sometimes, people get so focused on the
business plan, writing the perfect email, or spending time in the relationships
where they feel comfortable they forget to make to meet new people or they
forget to make the sale.
Again, in summary:
1. Work your plan
- double your manager's goals for you, or double your sales figures.
2. Deliver what
3. Offer what you
can deliver today.
relationships, not orders. Build 4x4 relationships.
5. Use your
network. Keep people informed.
6. Keep some in
7. Spend time
wisely. Time is our biggest resource -- and our smallest. Use it
well and make the sale.
Follow these seven keys
and watch your funnel grow.
Andrews is CEO and Founder of AspireNow (www.AspireNow.com),
a leading business productivity and personal development firm based in
California. AspireNow helps organizations launch new products and
services, train sales teams, and innovatively change businesses through
cutting-edge business models and techniques to improve success. For more
information, contact Scott@AspireNow.com,
or visit http://www.AspireNow.com.
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AspireNow's business consulting team