5 Strategies to Increase Sales and Have Your Best Year Yet
From Tony Cole, Founder and Chief Learning Officer
Somehow, it is already time to start thinking about your goals and resolutions for the coming year so that you can:
- Fix problems
- Leverage opportunities
- Become the best version of yourself
- Scratch an itch
- Re-commit to previous resolutions
In a nutshell, we make resolutions to either achieve pleasure or avoid pain. Unfortunately for many, the pleasurable outcome isn’t significant enough, or the pain isn’t severe enough, to make the resolutions stick.
So, let’s do away with resolutions for a moment and talk about 5 Strategies that will help you have your best year yet.
#1 – Show Up and Show Up on Time. When I was a product rep for Provident Life and Accident, my manager told me on my first day that the most important key to success in the business was to show up, and to show up on time. If you do that, you will already be ahead of the competition. I believed that then back in 1990, and I believe it still holds true today.
- Show up –Just get there. Be in front of the people that you need to be in front of to tell your story, discover their needs, uncover their desires for a great outcome or to avoid pain.
- Show up on time – showing up on time demonstrates more about who you are than what you do. If you are a manager, make sure you show up on time for your 1-on-1 coaching sessions, your pre and post-call debrief meetings, and your sales meetings as well. When you show up late or cancel/reschedule, you are sending a message to your people that showing up late (or not showing up at all) is okay.
#2 – Focus on Green, “Go-To” Activities. I call them Green Activities because these are the activities that make you money. Make a list of all the things you do during the day, and then carve out about 20% of those activities that lead directly to making sales/money. 80% of your time should be spent on “Go-To” activities. Too often, we get caught up doing the other stuff that allows us to stay busy as opposed to focusing on what matters most. Don’t misunderstand me. I know other activities such as preparing for meetings, responding to emails and calls, and helping current clients are part of your role, but it’s important to prioritize the go-to activities to make sure they get done first.
#3 – Work with the Best of the Rest. Assume for a minute you have 50 clients. Focus on asking your top 36% (18) of them if they know at least 5 other people like them. That gives you a potential pool of prospects of 90! Let’s say your average revenue from your top 18 clients is $27,000. The potential revenue of the prospect pool is $2.4m. Assuming ½ of the 90 will meet with you (45) and half of those people will be qualified prospects (22.5) and half of those people would buy from you (11.25), that means you could generate about $300,000 from that pool of prospects. The question I want you to answer is this: How many of your bottom 36% clients would you have to sell to equal just 1 of your top 36%?
#4 – Answer the Question – What is Holding Me Back? Many salespeople and sales organizations go year after year without performing as expected. Individuals and companies invest in training and sales enablement tools but still they find over 66% of the team members fail to reach goals. There are exceptions but the studies we’ve done consistently tell us two things:
- The top 1/3 of the sales team generates close to 80% of the revenue
- The bottom 1/3 generates less than 5%
Sometimes what is holding someone back from being their best has nothing to do with technique or their ability to build relationships. If your onboarding, training, development and coaching program does not focus on items where they specifically struggle it won’t matter or make a dent in your results. Stop treating symptoms and thinking you must work harder! Find out what is holding you back and focus on the root cause. If you are a Sales Manager, VP or President: What is holding your team back from selling more business, more quickly at better margins?
#5 – Be Coachable. Every great professional gets to be the best for reasons other than natural ability or God given talents. The example I normally use is baseball but choose any profession you like, and I guarantee you that the best of the best are coachable and they practice to perfect their skills. Here is an example:
- José Carlos Altuve is a Venezuelan professional second baseman for the Houston Astros. The Astros signed Altuve as an amateur free agent in 2007, and he made his major league debut in 2011. From 2014 to 2017, Altuve recorded at least 200 hits each season and led the American League (AL) in the category. He won three batting championships as well as:
- 6 time MLB All Star
- MVP for the American league in 2017
- 5 Silver Slugger Awards
- 1 Golden Glove
The question is this, when spring training starts in February what does Altuve do? Does he sit on the sidelines and just watch because “he’s a pro”? Does he participate in some of the drills and exercises but omits others because “he knows how to do that”? Does he skip batting practice or taking infield? The answer is no, no, no and no. He’s a professional, he’s coachable and he recognizes that he can always be better.
If you are going to continue to grow you must have the motivation, desire and commitment to become the best version of yourself. That is what will help you be coachable.
For more information on how to implement and execute these 5 strategies, send me an email at email@example.com, Schedule a meeting using this link: Schedule A Meeting or text “5 Strategies” to (513) 226-3913.