Tennessean Column- Sunday, July 13
The year is half over. Now is (if you haven’t already done it) a great time to reflect and rededicate yourself for the remainder of the year. Most of us find ourselves in one of three places.
- Way ahead of your goals and coasting to a great year, maybe your best year ever.
- Just on pace to get the results you and others expect from you.
- Behind and headed for a terrible year.
Wherever you are, things can change and you can change them. If there is one thing I have learned and believed, in over 30 years of selling and coaching sales people, it is that there is no such thing as long term circumstances. I do not believe in circumstances. The people that win are the ones who find their circumstances. If they cannot find them they make them.
So here are some ideas to make the second half of the year your best half ever. First, you cannot be too busy chopping wood to sharpen the axe. Commit to some form of continuing education that will improve your performance. Recently I read that less than 2% of sales people spend any of their own money on continuing education. If their company does not spoon feed them they just do not eat. Almost every profession has continuing education requirements. Sales people should too but sadly we do not and as a profession we are lazy when it comes to continuing education.
If nothing else, as soon as possible, attend a class on selling or communication. Read a book about your profession or one to inspire or motivate you. Go online and take a sales course or do research on your prospects and competitors. Make a commitment to yourself and someone important to you that you will improve your skills and knowledge in the second half.
Second, learn from the first half. Two platitudes I have heard over and over again are, “Insanity is doing the same thing in the same way over and over again and expecting different results” and “Those who fail to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it”.
So ask yourself and write it down (please write it down). What went right and what went wrong in the first half of the year? Now it is easy to correct what was bad and multiply what was right.
An easy way to do this is to review your calendar from the first half. Here are the questions you should ask yourself:
- How many days did I actually work?
- How many prospects and clients did I see?
- How many decision makers or strong influencers did I meet with?
- How many meetings were with the wrong person?
- How many sales did I make (now you can figure out how many people you must see to make one sale)?
- What was my average sale ($)?
- What was my average commission?
- What percentage of sales came from new prospects?
- What percentage came from existing clients or customers?
I would suggest that based on this review of the first half you can now make the second half your best half.
Of course the easiest answer is to see more people. That always works. The law of averages is a law of nature. You can trust it.
But I will go a step further, you do not have to see more people and you can still sell more by eliminating unproductive meetings and replacing them with productive ones. You can also improve the quality of both the meetings and the prospect. Either of these will increase your results.
One final piece of advice, do not be disappointed in the results you did not get for the work you did not do.