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Common Questions and Answers
It seems that most people look for secrets or shortcuts to success and some are willing to try almost anything, regardless of how preposterous, to earn more money. For those is sales, earning more money usually requires selling more.
Simple as that. No secrets, no shortcuts but a real, viable and reasonable way to earn more money.
Sell more stuff.
But just knowing that to earn more a sales professional must sell more does put more money in your account.
Sales professionals live and die by their activity. So while few would argue against the importance of activity in sales, many seem confused about what activities actually lead to more sales. I was fortunate to have worked for a true sales professional early in my career. While he demanded excellence and expected a ton of activity from each of his employees, he was very precise when classifying what activities he expected.
This was an often heard statement from my employer and with it he wanted to make it clear that just stopping by a customer’s office to say “hello” should not be viewed as sales activity but as “visiting.” Going to a customer’s office with something of value or of distinction, instead of just stopping by, is what distinguishes the call from a visit to a sales call.
For sales people who make phone calls to clients and who are expected to track their calls, the temptation to make as many calls as possible so as to satisfy their activity requirements is a powerful one. I have seen so many reps whip through as many calls as they can fit into their designated “prospecting hours” but have seldom seen any of these “dialing for dollars” sessions produce worthwhile results.
Making calls for the sake of making calls is a wonderful way to get micro-managers off your back but a terrible way to improve your sales.
Think that it doesn’t really matter that you show up on time for customer meetings? Everything matters.
Think that how you dress when meeting with customers is not all that important? Everything matters.
Think that skipping a training session won’t have any negative affects on your sales skills? Everything matters.
Here’s the bad news: Just making sure that your activity levels are high and that your days are filled with quality activities, doesn’t mean that your sales results will improve. Yes, you probably will begin to realize more sales, more revenue and more earned income, but you will be missing out on the substantial improvements that those who couple targeted activities with an ever improving set of sales skills enjoy.
Your sales skills are like any of your other skills and are governed by a universal truth: Use it or lose it!
In fact, your sales skills are governed by an even stricter truth: Use them, improve them, expand them or lose them.
While it may be challenging and create serious scheduling demands, you should never pass up an opportunity to attend a training session. If you experience time management challenges, they should signal to you that you need to work on your time management skills or create more empowering daily routines. I’ve been using morning routines since starting the CPSP Certification and have enjoyed a tremendous increase in my productivity and an absence of scheduling issues.
If your employer does not provide frequent enough sales training, the responsibility falls onto your shoulders. Go buy a few books, attend a sales seminar, download some audio books, hire a sales coach or find a mentor. Better yet, do all of these as often as you can.
Sites like NASP.com provide tremendous value to those committed to sales excellence. Not only does NASP.com have experienced authors who share their tips and tricks, but also offer a wealth of sales content. I am 100% certain that if you are reading this article and are a member of NASP.com, that you are leaps and bounds ahead of your “less than committed” competition. You only need to continue your focus to improving your sales skills.
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