Can you imagine taking a trip through some barren wilderness without consulting a map first? It wouldn’t be smart. You may wind up like the host of some survival show on the Discovery channel. So when you go for a hike in the woods, you sit down with a map and plot things out beforehand.
In the same way, a good salesperson should take the time to map out their path to success. This is counterintuitive to most people, especially those who are very driven. They want to jump right into their work, making as many sales calls as they can and expecting to ultimately win out at the end of the day. But this kind of attitude can burn out even the most seasoned salesperson. If you make sales calls for a living, the time sacrificed early on to plot out success will undoubtedly make up for itself in the end. You will make more sales in the long run without burning out. The following is are three helpful steps to assist you in mapping out your sales calls.
1. Begin With The End In Mind
This might be the most important step, because if you can’t envision where you want to be, you’ll never get there. Think of an Olympic athlete. They don’t get bogged down with the countless hours of training and the strict conditioning because they simply don’t focus on those details. They focus on the gold medal. So what is your gold medal? Think about the big picture down the road. A six to twelve month goal would be best. Do you want to be promoted by the end of the year? Double your sales in six months? Your goals should be big and ambitious. You’d be surprised at how much you can accomplish if you just sit down and map it out.
2. Work From The Top Down
Once you’ve set your big goal or goals, it will be tempting to start listing all the little tasks that need to get done in order to get there. Don’t give in! If you’re goal is to double sales, don’t just start making double the calls. That would be like deciding that your goal is to visit China, so you start digging. It makes sense if you don’t think about it too much. The most direct route to China is down, after all. But that is definitely not the way to go. Instead, start with your goal, and break it down into big priorities. Then break those down into key events, and finally make a list of all the tasks you will have to get done in order for those key events to happen. Start with that “big picture” goal, and gradually work your way down to a more specific level.
3. Make it easy to win.
Everyone likes to win. Think back to your days in elementary school. When all the other kids were playing basketball in gym class, there was always a group of kids sitting out who didn’t want to play. Did you ever see the best basketball player sitting with them? Of course not! That kid was up and constantly taking shots. As for those kids on the side line? They probably all had some extra curricular activity they were good at, and you probably never saw basketball kid trying out those activities. We gravitate towards winning. It’s human nature. Too often salespeople get burned out because they never win. So when you are listing out all those tasks needed to reach a key event, make them as simple as possible. For example, “make five sales this week” is not a good task. You will spend the week feeling like a failure until sale number five comes in at the last minute on Friday. Then your victory will be sour because you barely made it. Instead, calculate how many calls will earn you five sales, statistically. Divide that number by five and make that many calls every day. You will end up feeling like a champ by the end of the week because you will have been winning every day.
Putting It All Together
Suppose you set an ambitious goal to double your earning in six months. You will need to prioritize how you spend your time. One priority will obviously be increasing the number of calls you make to get those sales. You might also have some key clients that represent a potentially large sale; that will be another priority. Finally, your third priority could be to increase the ratio of sales to calls you make.
Once you’ve got these three solid priorities, you should decide which key events will have to take place in order to see those priorities maximized. Let’s take the last priority; increasing the ratio of sales to calls. How might you do that? For starters, you will want to become better at making sales calls. That would be your first key event. Perhaps you need to improve your rapport with potential customers. Add that to the list. Finally, a third key event should probably be to improve your targeting of clientele.
It is now time to break up these events into tasks. If you want to improve your targeting of potential customers, there are quite a few things you can do: Ask a colleague for tips on who to target, acquire call tracking software, analyze the data from that software to determine what your customers have in common, compile a list of potential clients who fit that description, make enough calls to that demographic to determine if a change in percentage of sales has taken place, go back to that call tracking report to determine the new percentage.
This one key event holds the potential for six tasks and, if you continued mapping out all of your priorities, key events, and tasks; you will find yourself with a task list big enough to keep you busy for the next six months. What’s more, you will find it easy to double your sales in that time because you will have mapped out every step along the way to getting there. The time it took to create your map will make you more efficient and more likely to reach your goal in the long run, and you will feel less pressure and anxiety every time you pick up that phone.
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