In our last installment we continued our discussion into the fundamental building blocks of a successful businessperson. At FocalPoint Business Coaching of Arizona I believe that no matter how long you’ve been selling you must have a continuous mastery of the skills necessary to remain efficient and to insure long term success. We last discussed Disciplines #4 through #6. In Part 4 we’re going to discuss disciplines #7 through #11.
Selling Discipline #7: Have a daily prioritized plan! How do you plan your day? Do you get up in the morning, go to work and sit at your desk and say, “What do I need to do today, and I sure hope I don’t forget something?” If you do you’re not alone. In my business coaching practice I’m continually shocked and surprised at how many people that depend on their sales skills are in the same boat and I guarantee you that their results are mediocre at best. The people that are making the big commissions and that are always successful have a plan, a daily plan of action that they have prepared in advance usually the night before each new business day. Success psychologists and experts have proven in testing that if you plan out your priorities and tasks for the next day the night before that your “super” conscious mind will work on the opportunities and have you ready to go the next morning. In Napoleon Hill’s groundbreaking book, Think and Grow Rich, he details this result as your “infinite Intelligence”. Once you notify it of your plan it will help you achieve it bringing to bear all that is necessary for you to be successful. Now when you get up in the morning, you walk over to your desk and pick up your written plan for the next day and you’re ready to do and have more than a two hour head start from most other sales people. Be sure it’s prioritized as well. Ask yourself, “What is the most important single thing that I should be doing to move my goals forward?” Another way to say it is “What can I and only I do that if done well will advance my business and personal goals?” Then to stay on track adjust the mantra to ask yourself during the day, “STOP, am I doing the number one thing that I should be doing in order to move my goals forward?”
Selling Discipline #8: Have a clear understanding of who your ideal target customer is! This is a fairly simple concept that most businesspeople today have never really considered. In today’s market you CANNOT sell to everyone. Pareto’s Law is in effect more than ever today but with a change. The law says that 80% of all of your results will come from 20% of your activity and it applies across the board. In this case 80% of your sales will come from 20% of your customer base. But today, many business development experts will tell you that it’s narrowed even further to the 90% – 10% rule. That is as much as 90% of your results will come from 10% of your activities, customers, etc. With the impact of the internet and the expansion of options for to days consumers, you have no choice but to identify your 10% and focus on them. Who are they and what do they want? This by the way is one of the key “business killers” that I see every day in my coaching practice. Business people who continue to target everyone versus the key customer that true customer that delivers the lion’s share of business for them. You had better find out and quick, because how you take care of them, service them and cater to their needs may just represent the life or death of your business.
Selling Discipline #9: CLEARLY understand your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) It may sound crazy but do the research. Most top business development experts will confirm that what is estimated to be over 95% or more of all salespeople/businesspeople cannot tell you just what it is that they do in under :10 seconds, or even under :30 seconds for that matter. Try it out. I hear it all the time as a business coach and I test it all the time. Rarly can the businesspeople that I talk to tell me concisely and with clarity what it is exactly that they do. In many cases my prospects and business coaching customers once they understand the concept are shocked about their complete lack of clarity about what they do. Many are honestly surprised that they’ve been able to stay in business as long as they have. In our coaching sessions we learn to understand what they do, I mean what is it exactly that they do for a customer. It’s too easy to say, “I sell real estate” or “I sell cars”. Take the time to sit down and really think about what is unique about what you do and how you do it. That’s what prospects and customers want to know. Otherwise they will always ask that one inevitable and frankly logical question. “So What?”
Selling Discipline #10: Create a powerful :10 second and :40 second marketing message. Remember that most consumers (and never forget that you’re a consumer too) will say to themselves, “SO WHAT?” when you give them a general statement about what it is that you do. There are thousands of real estate people for instance in every market, so why should your customer use you instead of ANY of the others? That’s always the real question isn’t it? And the salesperson who can answer the SO WHAT question is the one that will win. So take the time to truly understand WHAT it is that you do for your prospect or customer in what I recommend is the :10 second statement that is based on your USP….then tell them HOW you do what you do for them in the more traditional :40 second statement. Then sit down and listen to yourself say it and ask yourself the SO WHAT question and be sure your statement has an answer. Tell the prospect what’s in it for them to hire you or do business with you. With this kind of clarity for yourself and your prospect and customer, you sales will improve in a matter of days.
Selling Discipline #11: Talk to lots of people and ask lots of them to buy! Ok, too simple right? However you would be amazed how many sales people mistakenly think that a little bit of activity is something that will get results. IT JUST DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY! Sales, at best and at absolutely any level are a game of numbers. The more target prospects you talk to, the more opportunities you’ll have to find the ones ready to buy….now! Discipline yourself to talk to as many people as possible every day and every week. This should be part of your goal system. Every action that you do, every conversation should be focused on finding someone that might be your client now. In today’s market a salesperson simply cannot afford the time to develop a large group of prospects. Developing long term prospects should be a limited part of your day but the bulk of your day should be looking for the low hanging fruit. Remember the four S’s. Some WILL, Some WON’T, So WHAT, Someone’s WAITING! But also remember this.
Once you find a prospect that’s interested and willing to take the necessary steps never let them off the hook, be consistently persistent in your efforts. You’ll learn that a little extra effort and tenacity will go a long, long way. We discuss that in Part 5.
Stay focused, work hard and as always,