Since starting this blog in January 2006 I have written almost 600 blog entries, of which more than 120 have been on the topic of sales. I guess that demonstrates just how serious I am about this topic.
As I have said many times before, Selling is the life blood of any organization and if you are not selling then it isn’t going to be long before you are out of business. As a salesperson you are ultimately measured on sales … not much else matters. You can have great relationships, the clients can love you, you can know your products cold, but if you are not bringing in business then you are not doing your job.
In order to bring in business you need to identify people that have a need and then satisfy their need with your solution.
ONE way in which to increase sales is to do something different. This is another great example of that old saying (Bob’s rules) … Insanity is doing the same thing you’ve always done and expecting different result.
Here are some ideas about things that you can do, if you are not doing them, already:
1. Set aside parts of your day for calling clients. It sounds simple but so many people don’t do it … they let their calendar run them instead of driving their calendar.
Example: Block out from 4pm till 5pm for calling clients to (a) get meetings (b) understand if there is current business opportunity (c) get referrals to people who might have needs.
2. Take 15 minutes to write hand written cards each day. They don’t need to say much, but they need to be personal and relevant.
Example: Send cards to all of the executive assistants you talked with this week telling them you appreciated their help. Send cards to all of your clients that gave you business this month and thank them … “Joe, I just wanted you to know I really appreciate the business. Thanks”.
3. Set aside time each week to call people you don’t know. They don’t need to be COLD calls, you can get introductions from other people, but call people who are not in your regular list.
Example: Always ask for referrals when talking to clients and people in your network. Set aside time to follow up with those people every week.
4. Change up your routine and get out of your comfort zone. We all tend to get into a groove which we follow day in day out, week in and week out. If you want to increase your sales then you need to do something different.
Examples: Come to work a little earlier or stay a little later and use the time to plan better. If you always call clients after 9am, try calling people very early, maybe before you leave home (you might be surprised how many people you will actually get hold of).
5. Change your dress code, buy some new clothes that make you feel GOOD!
Example: If you have been a very casual dresser, then opt for suits and ties for a while. If you have been very formal, then loosen it up just a little. Obviously you need to dress appropriately for your role, but there is leeway in there.
6. Join some new groups. Maybe Toastmasters, an industry association, a charity group or just a social group of some kind. This helps expand your network and adds new contacts that may help you with leads, or just advice.
Examples: I spent a couple of years in Toastmasters which was great for my confidence, presentation skills etc. Charities expose you to senior people from many different industries, exposure to the industry association broadens your contact base and helps you better understand your competition.
7. Invest in your self development. Get some formal training related to your role.
Example: If you sell in the tech world the do a tech course. Do sales courses such as the CPSA certification training. Do time management, negotiation or writing courses. There are tons of options.
There are many obvious things that you can change to effect better sales, but so many sales people just don’t do it. Just the mere act of changing things up will change the most important thing … your attitude. If you get into a mindset that embraces and welcomes change, then you have the best chance to be successful in sales.
Here are links to some earlier, relevant blog entries on this topic:
Selling Staffing Solutions in a Recession
Sales Success – a Secret Formula
7 Lessons of Great Sales People