Your greatest strength is always your greatest weakness. Imagine Tom Brady just relying on his field skills instead of studying the opposition, preparing a good game plan, and then executing. He’d get his butt kicked! Top professionals in any “game” including sales, identify all of the variables that will affect their success and then master them. That is what professional selling is about. No different than professional sports!
I’ve met salesmen who are very articulate and do a poor job at preparation. They figure they can “fly by the seat of their pants” because they are so glib. Their greatest strength became their greatest weakness. Any sales professional knows that selling is 90% preparation and 10% execution, just like football or any other sport.
At our company, our salesmen set their own appointments. First of all, they had instruction on how to prospect properly and develop referrals. That initial step of preparation made the phone appointment setting a very smooth process. Further, they blocked off an hour on Monday afternoon, Tuesday morning, Wednesday afternoon, Thursday afternoon, and Friday morning and had to be disciplined enough to only make phone calls during those times.
In conjunction with the above, they partitioned their calendars so that they knew where they’d be driving during the week and highlighted meeting times to simply fill in. Their goal was 15 to 20 appointments per week. So, it became pretty straightforward; all they had to do was set three to five appointments per hour and plug them into their schedule. That is, fill the time slots.
Some days they set two appointments and some days they set eight. Statistically, however, they always averaged three to five. They focused on specific “behaviors,” controlled the “process,” and that reinforced their positive results. They followed our game plan. Like Mom always said, “do the right things and everything will turn out okay!”
What the above preparation did was make it “easy” to just get on the phone for an hour per day five days per week and enthusiastically create sales opportunities. At every aspect of our selling process we were victorious. That made us feel good and the better we felt, the better we performed, and the more sales we made! Success is very infectious.
© Steven M. Stroum