Working Hard and Smart.
The key to long-term, consistent success in sales is building a strong pipeline of future sales. Sounds simple, right? In fact, most sales people know this. However, it is at the execution stage of this principle where sales people falter. You see, building a pipeline requires two things that people in general don’t like to do: Working hard and using your brain.
The reason why many sales people jump from one company to the next is because they hate hard work. They use their personality and charisma to gain short-term success but never back this up with the needed effort. Once the magic of their personality has faded, their sales figures tank and they move on to the next employment opportunity.
Every consistently successful sales person will tell you that building a strong sales pipeline takes hard work. It takes effort to generate leads, contact leads, identifying the warm leads and getting these warm leads to commit to the first appointment. This process must be followed religiously by any sales person.
Create a weekly routine for yourself for these 4 basic activities: Generating leads, contacting leads, identifying warm leads and getting commitment from warm leads. For example: Book the entire Monday morning out to find brand news leads. Talk with your manager, search online, look at your old list of leads, use social media, etc. On a Tuesday and Wednesday morning, make time to prepare thoroughly before contacting the leads. Make sure you know what to say to each lead before you make the contact. Don’t be lazy and choose to a one-size-fits-all approach. You will just end up wasting your time. This is the hardest step of all but the most important one – this step will help you identify the warm leads. Do not skip this step or postpone it. By Thursday, you will have a very good idea which of the leads are warm leads. Now use the next two mornings of the week to follow-up with your warm leads to try and get an appointment. You will notice that you will have every afternoon in the week free for meetings and/or administrative duties.
Following a weekly sales routine will certainly assist you in making sales consistently. However, to boost your sales and become successful consistently, you will have to work smart. This requires brain-work. You will have to analyse your environment and see things that your competitors are not seeing. Are there any current trends that you can leverage to your advantage? Are there something you can do to assist potential clients to deal with outside threats to their business? Are you really speaking with the decision maker? Is your timing correct?
All these questions, and many others, will help you identify ways of working smarter and becoming more successful with the effort you put it.
The Sales Success Formula
Your success as a sales person depends on the combination of your hard work and your smart work. This is called the Sales Success Formula, and it works like this:
Physical Effort x Mental Effort = Success
If you put in only 50% hard work with only 50% smart work, don’t expect to reach more than 25% of your sales target consistently. You can also put n 100% physical effort but with only 10% mental effort, you will still reach only 10% of your target consistently. However, if you put in 100% effort into both your daily activities and your mental preparation, you will reach 100% of your sales target consistently.