Sales: One Step Back, Two Steps Forward

Posted By on Dec 26, 2012|0 comments

Good salespeople know that sales is a numbers game.  Like a star quarterback, they are prepared to get knocked down and get right back up again. While a quarterback is looking for his next big play to forget about the last sack, good salespeople move from rejection to their next potential clients. After all, good salespeople know that to win clients, sometimes one step back is two steps forward.

In fact, the best salespeople I know started their careers selling door-to-door. One sold hot tubs while the other sold bottled liquid vitamin replacements. Literally, they would choose a street for a day, sometimes taking several steps back before they took any forward. How did they make it down the street every day?

Now running their own million-dollar businesses and equipping financial advisors with sales tips, these two salespeople found success by focusing on two things: 1. Creating a process for sales; 2. Understanding that sales is a numbers game.

Let’s start by dissecting what I mean by a specific process. It begins with a simple checklist: the 1-2-3s of how you identify, pursue and close your sales. Step-by-step you meticulously hone the items on your checklist, testing them through trial and error, before landing on a seamless routine. No longer in need of the checklist, you now have a process that is more familiar to you than the back of your hand.

Once you have nailed down your process, you can easily share it with others, helping them get an edge on their sales. If you have written down, it’s even easier to share your insights with others—just pull out your polished checklist.

I am not a salesperson, so when I started my business, I reached out to Townsend Wardlaw. A seasoned sales professional and leader, Townsend helped me create specific processes not just for sales, but for everything I do, from paying bills to onboarding a new employee.

How has it worked out for my business? Just this past week an employee was celebrating at our weekly huddle because she successfully (and easily) filled in for another employee who was on vacation. At first, the employee didn’t know where to begin, so she consulted the process document we had created and started following the checklist step-by-step. She was relieved at how easy it was to understand and implement; she could handle the extra responsibility in addition to her regular responsibilities without the stress. While covering for a co-worker is quite different than improving your sales, they both benefit from a sound process.

A quarterback wouldn’t step onto the field without studying the playbook so why plunge into sales without thinking through the steps to make you successful.

When I hear financial advisors discuss their frustration with sales, more often than not they are struggling because they lack a specific process that they can repeat day in and day out [read more about process here]. They keep rewriting the playbook without perfecting any play.

Is there a task you have became successful at because of a processShare your experience with us.

Once you have a sales process in place, then you can work on the second part of the sales equation: numbers. The more prospects you pursue with your solid sales process, the more leads you will turn into clients. Learn more about sales processes, lead generation and more in other blogs.

Homework: Make your sales checklist and check it twice. Test it, revise it, perfect it. Then go after those prospects.

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