This is the week where many kids head back to school. They are excited to see old friends and meet new ones. Backpacks are full of school supplies. As a kid, I was always thrilled with new crayons, especially ones with a built in sharpener. (Don’t you wish life was that simple now?)
So here’s a question: Are you excited to kick off the final quarters of the year? What do you need in your sales backpack in order to make sure you hit your full income potential?
Top sales producers pack well and carry three things with them at all times.
- A picture of their best fit prospect. Take time to review where you have won or lost business this year. Many of you might be working way too hard because you are simply calling on the wrong prospects. If you keep setting appointments and meetings with prospects that just buy on price, not value, no amount of sales skills are going to help you close business. Give a referral to the cheapskate prospect and send them to your competitor. They can have the fun of writing a practice proposal.
- A ruler. The best salespeople we know are constantly tracking and measuring their sales activity, appointments and results. They know what gets measured improves. Each quarter, they analyze their business to determine where they received their highest return on investment. Based on the results, they course correct. Insanity is repeating the same behavior and expecting different results. Get your ruler out and stop the insanity.
- A calculator. In a price driven economy, top salespeople know how to conduct sales conversations that help prospects determine what current problems are costing them financially, personally or strategically. Neil Rackham, author of SPIN selling, conducted research that showed impact questions increased close ratios by as much as 50%. Here are just a few.
– Have you put a number to what this problem is costing you?
– Where else is this problem being felt in your organization?
– What’s not getting done that should be getting done?
– How is your biggest competitor handling these problems?
– Is the problem going to get bigger or stay the same?
Get good at helping your prospects calculate the obvious and hidden costs of not making a change. They will thank you for making them do the math.
What’s in your sales backpack?