None of them are effective until you push them…..
How many great ideas did you and your business come up with last year? I’ll wager at least one, probably way more than that. How many of those great ideas did you implement successfully? I’m guessing that you probably didn’t implement them all – fair?
Your business success is predicated upon ACTION! Even a poor business strategy executed well is better than a great business strategy poorly executed or not executed at all.
So often I encounter discussions that are extremely positive and exciting – full of energy and purpose, until it comes to action. Then there is none, and the moment and opportunity are lost.
Will you be different and be a person of action, or will you join the ranks of idea creators and languish in average? The decision is yours
Need some help and guidance or just a sounding board – contact me here
1. Prospecting too little
2. Follow up poor
3. Lack of persistence
Too little prospecting
Prospecting is probably one of the most written about topics in the sales process. The act of seeking out new customers should form one of the highest priority activities for your business. Interestingly, despite this being a critical element it’s incredible how little senior focus this gets (other than quizzing the sales management and sales team on what they have done) across most businesses. Cold calling as an activity, however, has become an industry in itself, often being seen as a sales activity conducted by the junior team members, usually with banks of young men and women calling, calling , calling all day long looking for the needle in the haystack. The words “cold calling” strike fear into even the most mature and experienced professional. Yet if “baked-in” to good sales habits is in no way onerous and can actually become, dare I say enjoyable. Remember too, that like most activities in life, there is no quick-fix, it is about sustaining a regular cadence and patiently watch the results unfold.
Poor or no follow up
Poor follow up is in my mind inexcusable, as it should be a natural activity to follow any engagement and a way of capturing your own take-aways and recollections of commitments made and actions to complete, plus of course next steps. It is a great way of showing your professionalism and interest in the other parties. The old adage of “forget your customers and they will forget you” is for me the embodiment of this habit…stay connected and engaged and be relevant and professional.
Lack of sales persistence
How often have you said or heard sales people saying “I’ve chased and had no response, I can’t be bothered chasing any more” or words to this effect? Statistically 80% of sales are made on the 5th to 12th contact, so stay persistent and show that you want to do business, but a word of caution – not at any cost. We are all living in an attention-deficit society and responses are often delayed because of this.
In summary – get a structure in place and make sure you are consistent in applying your routines and build a reputation that you can be proud of by being a true professional in the way you conduct yourself at all times.
Whether you are Jonny Wilkinson, Steph Houghton or Mo Farah, the one thing they all have in common is that they all had, and continue to have support to develop their skills and success – a sports coach – in fact probably several coaches with differing and complementary skills.
How about you? Are you so talented that you don’t need coaching? Maybe it’s more simple than that – you simply lack ambition?
No of course not, It’s none of the above is it….you just haven’t been thinking in these terms have you? But now that we are discussing it, it makes sense doesn’t it? In fact it’s rather more common than most of us might think.
So now you are thinking about it – what will you do differently?
Give me a call now – that’s right be a “do it now” person of action.
Success awaits you – the bold and audacious, I salute you.
I’m sure you’ve seen that headline before and perhaps drawn some comfort from it as you’ve beaten yourself up for your own personal lack of success in some areas. If we’re honest with ourselves, we’ve all been in situations where things haven’t turned out exactly the way we had expected. Failing is ok – it’s a natural consequence of attempting to be successful. The only time you do not risk failure, is when you do not try.
One of history’s most notable figures embraced failure, but in a way that was incredibly positive. Not something you often associate with failing is it?
Thomas Edison famously used failure as a stepping stone to success – each time his latest attempt to develop the light bulb was unsuccessful, he noted that he was another step closer to establishing what would work. His paradigm was that by finding out what didn’t work, he drew closer to what would work.
How about you? Are you trying hard enough to risk failure, or have you de-risked by simply not trying at all?
Selling – is it an art or a science?
In truth, it’s both. The process of a non- customer becoming a customer through their buying process, has a bucket full of potential twists and turns to arrive as a new customer to your enterprise.
The science of selling is in the planning and understanding of how to get from where you are, to where you want to be. How you reach your target audience and what will attract them to your online presence (the NEW Shop window). The art component is to do with your engagement with the potential customer.
However you consider customer acquisition, you need to attract or find new ones and take care of and nurture the ones you already have. Rest assured that someone will be trying to lure your customers away from you, just as you are attempting to encourage new customers into your care.
The one universal truth is that this does all take some time, so do not expect to have orders rolling in because you have launched your web site or because you have received 3 inquires this week. Building your business is a long game, so stay ambitious but realistic and keep trusting the process, and above all be persistent and professional.
In a world of political correctness gone extreme, it is often very difficult for a business to establish what is a real sales opportunity versus what is simply noise, misinterpretation, over-optimism, and lack of clarity.
Why is this seemingly so difficult for us to manage?
My hypothesis is that more often than not, we fail to create the environment where our potential customer feels able to provide clarity (or a simple no thank you). So how do we create the right environment for good open dialogue, and who takes the lead?
Simply, I’d suggest that the seller should be taking the lead in pursuit of clarity. The buyer may provide a clear indication of the seller offer’s fit to the need, which is great, but my experience tells me this is the exception. So we end up with a “send me a quote”, “leave it with me”, “I’ll let you know”… None of which is helpful. The seller logs into the CRM tool to update and notes that this is a probable deal and it is duly added to the forecast. Misleading? Perhaps. Unhelpful? Certainly.
Ultimately, deals are done where buyer and seller have congruence and the detailed effort goes into working out HOW the deal is done, as the decision to deal is already made.
What the heck Graham!!!! Are you trying to alienate the business community?
Not at all – but it does make you wonder how a business leader can insist that the sales team create a larger pipeline and close more deals…and when the inevitable sales pipeline reviews come about, that the sales team are scrutinised for the level of engagement….. You’re getting there ahead of me now aren’t you?
Business leaders – you avoid the sales people who continue to call and mail you requesting an audience with you, and at the same time push the sales teams in your own organisation to “call higher”. What do you do that supports your teams efforts and how would you suggest that your peers within your target audience behave when your sales and marketing teams reach out to engage?
I’d suggest that it’s somewhat hypocritical to ignore sales requests whilst pushing the sales team to do likewise.
So why don’t we get a little more sales sensitive and not only support the sales effort, but take a sympathetic view of the sales requests.
I’d welcome your views….