ABCs of good sales, The

ABCs of good sales, The

Kennedy, Jerry L

As a sales professional, your value to the company you work for stems from one thing-and one thing only-your ability to sell more. More what? More of whatever it is that your company produces or offers. Why more? Well, if your company had been happy with what they were already selling, they wouldn’t have hired you.

You can be the nicest person around, have the neatest desk, generate the most incredible PowerPoint presentations and turn in the best paperwork that anyone in the company has ever seen, but if you don’t sell more you will eventually be replaced by someone who can. If you don’t believe me, just have your sales manager read this paragraph and ask if he or she agrees.

So you’re probably asking yourself, “How can I sell more?”

First of all, stay away from the office! Sales are made in the customer’s office, not yours. That being the case, the less time you spend in your office and the more time you spend in your customer’s office, the more you will ultimately sell.

“But ferry!” you cry, “When will 1 get my paperwork done?” If at all possible, set up a workspace at home that will allow you to do whatever paperwork is necessary and then spend as little time there as you can. Paperwork is an important part of most sales jobs, but it’s not the most important part. The most important part is seeing customers!

The reason I encourage salespeopie to avoid the office is that most offices are time vacuums. The minute you cross the threshold, you are at the mercy of all the people there: the receptionist who wants to get you up to speed on the latest office gossip, the dispatcher who wants to complain about one of your customers or the general manager who wants to chat about how things are going in the field. All of these are probably important conversations on some level, but they suck valuable time away from your day If you were not in the office, the people who really needed to talk to you would still find a way, either by e-mail, phone or fax. If it’s important enough, you will hear about it. Spending less time in the office will allow you to take the next step in your efforts to sell more-making more calls.

How many calls should you make in a day? As many as it takes for you to achieve the results you and your company are looking for. 1 realize that is a little vague, but it really depends on you and what you are selling. Here are some simple suggestions to help you determine the right number of calls For your situation;

1. Determine the number of closes that will make you and your boss happy.

2. Determine how many presentations you usually have to make in order to close one sale.

3. Determine how many appointments you need to go on to get to the point of making one presentation.

4. Determine how many cold calls you need to make to get one appointment.

5. Multiply that n umber of calls by the number of closes you need.

Compared to that number, how are you doing? This is a great exercise to do from time to time, as it usually reminds us that we aren’t seeing anywhere near the number of people in a day that we need to in order to sell more.

Success in sales is really very simple. There is no magic bullet or secret technique that will get you there It is a simple process that successful salespeople have followed for decades, and it all starts with talking to prospects. The more time you make for talking to prospects, and the more of these conversations you can schedule into your day, the more success you will have in your endeavor to sell more!

Jerry Kennedy, CLS, is sales manager for Bruant Petroleum in Modesto. Calif. He is also (he founder of nside Out Business Solutions, a sales ana customer service training organization, you can reach nim at jkennedy@inside-out-solutions. com. For tmifi’ information ahmt lnsiifi1 Out Busings Solutions, visil www.inside

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