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Teaching Salespeople a Winning Process

Posted on: November 28

Author: Admin
Teaching Salespeople a Winning Process

November 28, 2007Good afternoon,Don't forget to check out Tom's interview where he discusses Teaching Salespeople a Winning Process with the Founder & Publisher of Selling Power Magazine, Gerhard Gschwandtner. Click here to see the interview:********************Goals: An Excuse's Worst EnemyNow that you have a base line for what's best is your organization – the average number of presentations for the top two people in your company -- you must now set a goal to increase your own number of presentations. Goal-setting is comprised of some very fundamental elements. We're going to get back to increasing your number of presentations, but an inherent part of increasing your numbers is a clear understanding of goals and how to set them.Goals can be tricky, but they are also essential. They are especially critical in the world of selling. Salespeople have much more autonomy than do most professions. Many of us have the luxury of making our own schedule, but this can become either a blessing or a curse. If you set goals with your time, this freedom can be a blessing. But without goals, you may end up like my first sales manager at the Southwestern Company used to say, “A salesperson without a goal is like a ship without a rudder.” You don’t want to spend your entire career straying off course.I’ve never seen a successful company that didn’t have an annual budget. That is a goal. While it’s true that 10 different people may give you 10 different versions of what constitutes good goal-setting, what is fundamentally important is that you do set them. As Yogi Bera said, “You gotta have a goal or you might end up somewhere else.”Here are four elements to setting smart goals that will keep you on course:I. Write it Down. The first element to good goal setting is to write it down. If you don’t write it down, then it isn’t a goal; it’s a dream, a wish, a hope, but it’s not a goal. Take out a piece of paper and write down the number of new presentations you want to make each week.II. Set a Time Frame. The second element to good goal setting is to set a time frame. Say to yourself, “I will average nine presentations per week over the next three months or quarter.” A time frame allows you to succeed or fail. Without a time frame, there is no success or failure; there is only constant reaching.III. Tell Someone. The third element to good goal setting is to tell someone important to you about your goal. It could be your boss, spouse, parents, a peer, or a friend. The point is to put yourself on the line with someone who is important to you and who you respect.Dizzy Dean was an amazing baseball pitcher in the 1940s. He told everyone that he and Paul Dean, his brother, were going to win 40 games the next baseball season. The next season they did something no one else had ever done – two brothers won 44 games for the same team. Dizzy told everyone his goal before the season to put pressure on himself and his brother to deliver. And they did.After the season, Dizzy was on a bus, and a native St. Louis woman said, “Mr. Dean, you are a boaster and a braggart.” To which Dizzy replied, “Lady, it ain’t braggin' if you’ve done it.”Remember Dizzy’s words: “It ain’t braggin’ if you’ve done it.”Joe Namath promised a victory for the Jets before the Super Bowl. Why? The thought of failure to reach his stated goal was completely mortifying, so he knew it would push him to greater heights and a greater performance. If you’re afraid to publicly or privately communicate your goal to someone else, then it’s not a goal. It is that simple. Kevin Young was an Olympic hurdler. In the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, he did two remarkable things. First, he won the Gold medal in the 400 meter hurdles and more amazing, he broke the oldest standing record at that time in track and field. Edwin Moses held the previous longstanding record since 1983. Edwin Moses’ time was 47.02 seconds; Kevin Young’s previous best prior to the Games was 47.63. How did he do it? First, he set a goal – 47 seconds flat. Then he took 47 pieces of white paper with the number “47” written on them and taped them up all over his dorm room at the Olympic Village. His time frame was obvious – the final race. And of course, he told his coach and his teammates about his goal; in fact it was fairly obvious to anyone who saw his room.Kevin Young went from just another medal contender – he wasn’t even the favorite or the fastest – to the World record holder, and he used this systematic goal setting method.IV. Set High and Low Goals. Another element of good goal setting is to have both high and low goals. Poet Robert Browning explained high goals perfectly: “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?” A low goal should be like Disraeli, the British statesman and prime minister, said: “A goal once set, then death or victory.” Now you have a goal for the number of presentations you make by number per week. It is written down. It has a time frame, the smaller the better. And you’ve told someone important about your goal. You also have a high goal, written down --ten presentations per week -- and a low goal, written down -- nine presentations per week. In most types of sales there are two kinds of presentations: first-time presentations and follow-up presentations. With that in mind, you must continually feed your pipeline with new customers. Every company has attrition, and all industry sectors have consolidations and bankruptcies. It is critical to increase your number of first-time presentations without sacrificing follow-up visits. If you successfully increase your first time visits per week, then your follow-up visits will naturally increase. Trade in your Horsepower for Purchasing Power I was on the “bookfield” selling books door-to-door for three summers and then recruited and trained students to sell for another two summers. Here’s how I implemented this goal setting system in the book business. First, I set a goal of 180 presentations per week. That’s right, 30 demonstrations a day, six days a week. I worked an average of 84 hours per week, six days a week. I had horsepower and I was willing to trade it for purchasing power. I broke every day into three periods:- 7:30 a.m. to noon- Noon to 5 p.m.- 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.I set a low goal of 10 prospects per period and a high goal of 12 per period. I shared all of this with my manager, and I tracked my results every day on a 3x5 card I carried in my pocket. My time frame was 13 weeks, and if I saw 180 people a week for 13 weeks, I won the “Gold Award,” the coveted award given to the salespeople who reached their goals for number of presentations.Throughout my career, I’ve built several successful sales organizations in the banking industry. My salespeople at these companies set goals to see an average of 12 banks per week, with three of those twelve being new prospects. Salespeople called on banks four days a week and spent one day in the office setting appointments and making follow-up calls by phone. In each situation, my sales teams used the same goal-setting process to increase the number of presentations they made, and it worked every time if they did.To your success,Tom Black

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