We live in a results driven society. We want results and we want them now! Just watch TV and the wait for a commercial hawking the latest weight-loss solution is a mere commercial break away… there are amazing fad diets, super-slimming supplements, new-fangled exercise gear, and workout gimmicks promising faster results (vibrating belts?!) on nearly every channel.
Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news… but they don’t work, long-term. Sure, you might lose some weight by taking those diet pills or a supplement that makes you burn calories faster. And, if you exercise, and burn more calories than you are taking in, you will lose weight despite whichever piece of equipment or workout gimmick you’re using, including your own two feet! What they don’t tell you during the commercial, and they don’t want you to think about, is that as soon as you go back to your real life… the real stuff you eat and the real exercise you do (or don’t) get, you will likely gain it all back… plus some! This is what keeps them in business. This is why they keep paying for the valuable air time during the shows that you watch. They are playing into your human emotion that thrives on the promise of quick results.
Now, if you’re a loyal follower of mine, you know I’m not a fitness or health guru (despite having been an aerobics instructor for many years!), I am however an expert in sales, so let’s apply this same theory to sales. Everyone wants a magic wand to grow their business, and if I was a fairly godmother and had one, I would be retired on some tropical island in the Caribbean sipping a fruity drink and watching the waves lap the shore! But alas, there is no magic wand, there is no silver bullet, there is no quick solution… and I am not a fairy godmother. But, I am an expert in helping people grow their business, and the good news is that there is a way to grow and create a sustainable process to continue to grow your business… it’s all about the right activity!
I’ll give you an example so hear me out… many of the sales people that we work with take great pride in driving all around town to see people (who may or may not be in the office) and knock on doors not knowing if their interruption will be welcome or not. They are in ACTIVITY. They feel like if they are not in the field, then they are not being productive. They are attached to this activity because it makes them feel productive. I understand the emotion, but let’s look at it logically and try to take the emotion out of it. What is going to give you a better result: a) Driving around for 5 hours hoping to see prospects and clients who may or may not want to see you at that time, or b) using the phone to schedule appointments with those prospects and clients for the days you are in the field? Pick B, pick B!!!
I get it, you will be calling people who will not answer the phone, who will send you to a gatekeeper, who will not return your phone call and may even at times be rude to you. This can feel unproductive. In the field, people usually don’t want to be rude to your face, so you may see more people, but are they the right people. Are you sure they won’t resent your intrusion?
Setting appointments is the number one cited best sales activity by top salespeople across every industry; and the best and most efficient way to set an appointment… is using the phone! So… keep calling! Advertising research tells us that we need to see a commercial 7 times before it actually registers in our brains. I have found the same is true for sales calls. We typically need to call a prospect 5-7 times before they are willing to meet with us or send us a deal. So, what I am saying is DON’T GIVE UP!
Given this information, too many sales people give up too soon. Our research indicates that many salespeople operate by the 3 strikes and you are out policy. Meaning, they will call a prospect 3 times and then give up. Well, this applies to baseball… not sales! According to the research, you were half way there!
Now, I am human and I do understand the frustration and pain that goes with making calls and getting no response… so here is the super-secret recipe for success, shared by top sales people everywhere … don’t be attached to the outcome… be attached to the activity. If you could be more productive, in less time using the phone, and more effective with prospects, why wouldn’t you do it more often? Good question, isn’t it?
Think of it in terms of exercise. Let’s say you’ve decided to begin an exercise regimen, with the ultimate goal of losing a few pounds. The first day you walk 5 miles. You are energized and excited about this start to your renewed commitment to exercise, so when you get home and immediately jump on the scale to revel in the excitement of seeing how many pounds you burned off in those 5 miles, you are shocked to see no change. Why is this? Remember that thing I said about quick results earlier? That’s why you’re disappointed. However, if you continue to walk 5 miles each day for 5 days, you will probably see some results by the end of that week. Let the activity be the result you desire!
So, get into action. Leave your notion of results behind with reckless abandon… trust that the numbers will come!
Let’s talk about it…
What activities are working for you in growing your business?
Copyright© Orange Leaf Consulting 2012