“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do.
Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.”
~ Jim Rohn
When Referrals Are Not Enough
Does your business rely on a steady flow of new clients to make a profit?
Are you relying on referrals for all of those new clients?
Does it impact upon you when referrals quieten down or things become less busy?
Recently, a prospective client called me and explained that he was relying on referral business to get new clients. This strategy had been working fairly well, but when Covid hit, and networking was restricted, his referrals dried up and he had no new clients to do business with. This presented a major problem!
After going through our client qualification process we determined that we were a good fit for each other and started working together with clear goals for the number and type of clients he was looking for. I worked with his team and we identified a pool of ideal prospects and a process for reaching out to them.
When he implemented these steps he was managed to increase his team’s call to appointment ratio from 12% to a whopping 85% success rate in just one week (This means that for every seven calls they used to make they now only need to make one!) and he also realised how much more effective and profitable this strategy was than his former networking process.
Taking the ‘Cold” Out of Cold Calling
I’ve done a lot sales calls in my time. At a former job my manager expected every person on the sales team to make 50 calls every other day, so that they could book 5 appointments for the next day – he based that on the calculation that we would close 1 appointment for every 10 calls.
My problem was that if I made 50 calls, I would end up with closer to 30 appointments, but he still wanted me to keep making the calls and my calendar was quickly booked out for months ahead. When I moved into a team manager role, I didn’t make the same mistake!
My best-selling book Confident Closing: Sales secrets that grew a business by 400% in six months and how they can work for you! tells the story of later adventure, but when I was first made manager I told my team, “Appointments are the things that generate income. You need to make as many calls as you need to book 15 appointments per week with qualified buyers.” I then taught them how to take the ‘cold’ out of cold calling so that they could make fewer calls and set more appointments.
Not only did that make my sales team happy, it also meant that they closed a phenomenal number of sales because we worked on how to turn more appointments into closed business as well.
DON’T ‘Start at the Very Beginning’…
The ‘very beginning’ may be a great place to start when it comes to reading and singing, but when it comes sales you should begin with the end in mind instead.
You cannot know if you have achieved your goal in anything if you don’t know what ‘it’ looks like when you get there. In sales, it’s important that you define the outcome that you are trying to achieve when you call or meet with a prospect.
Is your call designed to sell directly?
Are you generating interest and booking a face to face meeting?
Perhaps you are simply wanting to introduce yourself and find out if there is a potential need?
In the stories above, my manager gave us a goal of making x number of calls. He didn’t really care how many appointments or sales came from those calls and the only ‘reward’ that came from making more appointments was a calendar that booked out months ahead. I have always thought that was a stupid approach because the real goal (the part that is profitable) was appointments that lead to sales.
That’s why it’s important to know what your end goal is. I’ve worked with businesses where 5 appointments per day = 1 sale, but 2 appointments per day could easily equal 2 sales (or sometimes more, if I was meeting with a department in a larger organisation).
Success in Sales (and many other things) Starts in Your Head
Have you ever noticed that when you are having a good day and feeling really positive that you have better conversations with people?
It’s not just that you are looking at yourself with more kindness, it’s based on the reality that people tend to pick up unconsciously on the way that you are feeling no matter what you say (or how much you smile). If they don’t get a positive projection from you then (regardless of how much they need what you are selling) they will often say “No,” to you and go out looking for an alternative provider. All your conversation did was to make them aware of their need.
That is why it is absolutely essential for you to get you in the right frame of mind before you call anyone.
When you do a simple activity to raise your energy and prepare for the call, you raise your confidence, raise your awareness… and you will see the difference in your results. One of my colleagues used to make cold calls from under his desk if he needed to change his state of mind – he claimed it raised his call to appointment ratio by more than 25%.
Jim Rohn’s Secret of Success is True in Sales
There’s a simple reason why this series is entitled “How Much Do You Want That Sale?”
I’ve noticed that most of the time when people don’t get what they say they want it’s because they aren’t willing to do the work it takes to achieve their goal. This doesn’t mean they’re lazy… Many people work very hard… But they focus on the wrong things.
The people who get what they want are willing to do the things that are hard or go against their natural talents. They’re always learning, always growing their skills, and they’re willing to try something new even if it feels unnatural.
If you want to succeed in sales (and after all, sales is the #1 life skill) then there are just a few key areas to focus on. I’ve already covered most of them and we’ll look at the last 2 areas in the next segment.