It’s not just a numbers game

In sales, we’re always told, it’s just a numbers game-play the averages, grab more Ups and your sales career will be just fine. It’s during these times that Dr. Sales Manager quickly discerns that the sales patient is suffering from Up-tile dysfunction; the remedy to give a much needed “lift” back in the sales person’s career, is to simply grab more customers. Heeding the advice of the doctor, the sales person ends the month up by OD’ing on Ups, resulting in horrible Ups to sales delivery ratio. Confused, the sales person feels he must be cursed; he came in early, left late, endured ridicule and punishment, yet sold the same amount of cars. Luckily he doesn’t have to go back to Dr. Sales Manager, the doctor comes to him, sits him down, and advises that if he has another month like last month’s performance, he will have to find another calling in life. Weary and broke, depressed and confused, the sales person stumbles onto the lot, inconspicuously picks a spot between two lot-rot cars, and merely stands at attention all day. Days later, Dr. Sales Manager brings the patient back into the office and advises him that if he doesn’t medicate himself with Ups, he is going to be tearing tickets at the local cinema. It’s not just a numbers game-having too few or too many will cause your career to strike out.

Having the numbers is only half of the equation-it’s what you do with those numbers that equates to having a successful sales career. Just because a player gets into the game, doesn’t mean he’ll be successful-it’s what he does with each opportunity that gets him enshrined into the halls. As sales consultants we suffer from the too-factor; we either work with too few of customers or too many customers.

Working with too few of customers offers no insurance in which to guard your month. With pressure mounting and the month depleted of days, every customer must buy because we are treading the razor thin line of either pulling out mediocre month or have a disastrous one. (Of course the experienced sales person’s defense to laziness is they don’t have to catch as many Ups.) Like life, sales is a game of experiences and it’s learning how to navigate through the highs and lows of those experiences is how one achieves the rank of world class. Ships weren’t made to be dry docked-it is only when you are willing to be tried by the fiery furnaces of rejection that you will discover how truly capable you are at become an unsinkable success.

On the contrary, in hopes of turning our misfortunes around, we sales consultants tend to over correct and begin grabbing a disproportionate amount of Ups. When you begin to work with an assembly line mentality- riffling through Ups, the quality you invest into each Up decreases. The difference between making each cupcake from scratch in order to sell at your boutique bakery versus mass-producing it for Wal-Mart is the time and the quality of ingredients used. With each customer, you must take the time and make your sales presentations from scratch. Drawing from your experiences, follow the proven recipe of discovering your customer’s needs; roll out a salivating product demonstration and demo drive; using your leverage, sit each customer down and write every one of them up. Think of your write-up as your oven-set the right temperature by remaining at ease and good humored throughout in order bake their fears of making a mistake into a cake of courage. When your customers can take a bite of what you are selling and can taste the results of how your product will improve their lives, you will have them eating out of your hand time and again.

Having the numbers gets you started; what you do with those numbers determines how you will finish. I’ll see you next time on the blacktop.

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