Let us assume that Sales is not going as per plan. The numbers for the quarter don’t seem to be achievable now. How to get out of this situation? All of us are susceptible to failures and that includes the most efficient of us all as well. But what we learn when we are in the trenches and what we do with that learning is something that decides how high we will be catapulted. And such a learning will help us avoid going into a tailspin forever again.
If we do a study of mediocre performers and high performers we will get to know that the high performers have gone through more rough edges too often too early in life and have learned from that situation. The mediocre performers haven’t had that privilege yet nor have they learned from the limited situations they have been in. The lesson to be learned here is this: Try a number of things, don’t get bogged down by the results, have the courage and determination to try again but apply the lessons learned.
Every day presents a new opportunity, so start your day with fresh and open mind. I am presenting below a number of activities that you can plan and execute to build up the momentum and keep it up. I promise you will soon find yourself extremely busy closing deals.
- Firstly, tell yourself that you can change the situation you are in. You have the courage, determination and most importantly you are not someone who would get chickened out with tough sales situations.
- Undertake a SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat) Analysis of your product or service.
- Who are your main competitors and what is their SWOT? Who are their Salespeople and what are their sales strategies? What is their USP? Who are their biggest clients? Where are they getting their revenue YoY?
- As the old adage goes, “If you do what you have always done, you get what you have always gotten.” So, don’t just repeat that old stuff. Try new strategies. Try bold moves. Do something that no one has ever done in your field. The idea is to create the excitement and/or curiosity around your products or services. No dull moments whatsoever. The strategy should make you jump out of excitement. Then you can flirt with this strategy in the market.
- Most importantly, do not wait for the Perfect Pitch or Perfect Action Plan for you to start off. That does not exist in the real world. Take Action. That is the single most important thing that is going to bring in the dollars. Without that everything will cease to exist.
- Prospecting: One cannot go on fine-tuning the list before starting to do cold calling or emailing and prospecting. Right or wrong, just get the word out. You can fine tune it as you go along. The idea is to get the word out to as many customers as possible in a short time frame. And the more mistakes you make the more you learn. If it is done faster, it will be good. You cannot afford to take a whole year to make the mistakes and learn from it. Also, if you can learn from your competitors’ mistakes, it will be very helpful. Because you cannot afford to make all the mistakes yourself to learn from it.
- Prospecting Stage II: Once you have moved from a B List to an A List consisting of qualified leads, here is what you should do: Understand the prospect, get to know in which stage of the buying decision process is he/she in and accordingly align your activities to match the prospects’ stage. Join your prospect in their buying journey and get their mindshare. Add Value. Become a Trusted Partner to your prospect. He/she will not take any decision then without consulting you.
- Try different things with different sets of customers. Later you can analyze and find out which one worked best and keep that strategy.
- Write a great Sales copy. Your Sales Copy should clearly show you as an Authority. It should clearly articulate your offer. It should have the benefits for the customer. Circulate it among your friends and colleagues for feedback. Re-do the sales copy. Get that copy across to your potential customers. Does it trigger action? If it doesn’t, go back and repeat this step until you get it right. John E Kennedy famously defined Advertising as “Salesmanship in Print.” Where you are not allowed, your copy travels and talks for you, about you, about your products, radiates excitement and finally triggers action.
- What is your Target market? Are you sure about it? Why not another segment for your product or service?
- Why does your product or service exist? An honest answer is required. This will also find out your conviction levels on your product/service.
- Have you always undertaken bottom-up approach? Then, try Top-down approach.
- Have your Presentation ready for the C level executive. But that alone is not sufficient. You need to get a result. You need to get him to take action right now. Else it is lost. You get only one chance and you should play the shot perfectly. Do your homework thoroughly.
- Map your target customer. Top-down. Left to right. Inside to outside. Find the influencers, budget holders, external consultants, decision makers and other stakeholders. Get your inside champion who will help champion your cause.
- Positive thinking: “Think Positive. It’s Free. No cost attached.”
- Problem solving: Salespeople are genuine problem solvers. What problems are you solving today? What problems have you solved for your clients? Think about it.
- Eat good food. Rest well. Maintain good health at all times. Enjoy great music for motivation.
- Read good books like “Awaken the Giant within” by Anthony Robbins.
- Try Hard. Persuade even harder.
- Jump out of bed everyday thinking of how you can try something new today and challenge the current.
You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.
– Rabindranath Tagore [1861 – 1941]