Workshop For Your Business in Washington
I usually begin my sales training courses with a simple exercise. Once everyone is seated and ready, I pull out my wallet and hand a dollar to the first student who stepped into the room, as well as the last. I ask everyone: What did these two do (as well as everyone else) to get paid?
The answer, as it turns out, is very simple. They just showed up at the right time. And sometimes, sales is just that easy.
Sometimes making the sale simply means being in the right place at the right time, and very little effort is required. If you spend hours picking up the phone and calling companies to sell them electric generators, eventually you're bound to dial one person who had just decided that they needed to look into generators. Or maybe you didn't spend hours on the phone – maybe it's the first one you called. Sometimes you don't need any talent to make a sale, just luck. If you "show up" enough you make sales. That doesn't mean you are great at sales just because you "show up".
But showing up means more than being lucky, it means being diligent.
How to Improve Sales
What do you think the difference will be between the salesperson who makes 20 calls per day and the one who makes 40? Laws of probability state that you will get twice as many opportunities or sales. Most top producers are also punctual. Many top producers up their sales by getting there first and showing up more often. This I can't stress enough. Most of your prospects are busy people, and calling or showing up five minutes late means five minutes less to prepare, five minutes less to exchange banter, or five minutes less to make your pitch – and that's if they'll even meet once you've missed your appointment.
With my wallet still in hand, I pull out the next item up for grabs – a five. "So," I ask. "Who wants a five?" Hands go up pretty quickly, as could be expected. "Great." I say. "Now how are you going to get it?" The answers I receive to this generally range from complicated elevator pitches to trades. Someone usually offers me two singles. That's a net gain of 60% for them, which isn't bad at all.
But there's an even easier way to turn a more impressive profit, and someone usually stumbles upon it in the first five minutes: they simply ask for the $5, and, voila, I put a crisp $5 bill in their pocket. And as easy as that seems, you wouldn't believe how often salespeople don't do it. They'll talk about their product, talk about what they can do for the customer and even make the presentation without actually asking for the order. Note that the rep that traded two ones for a five gave an unneeded discount! You cannot rely on customers to ask you for it – you have to make the move and ASK for the order!
Three Easy Steps to Increase Sales in Washington, D.C.
Sometimes calls end with a customer all primed and ready for a product or service, and they get scooped up by a competitor, after you've already put in the time and effort. That competitor, like the two students who received the dollar, was simply in the right place at the right time. The bottom line is that sales are about closing. The two should be synonymous in any salesperson's mind. Until you have closed, it is not a sale.
The crazy thing is that all of my students usually tell me that they considered just asking, but didn't.
Maybe because it was too simple.
But the power of this tool is in its simplicity. After all, it's a very intuitive thing to do – if you want something, ask for it. Sometimes you know exactly what to do, but you still haven't done it. Of course, you don't get money by simply knowing what to do. You have to actually do it.
Finally, I pull out a ten and ask who wants it. Usually someone gets it pretty quickly – all they have to do is ask again. In sales, you will be more likely to get more if you ask more than once. You'd be surprised how often salespeople won't do this – they'll come around to popping the question, and if the answer is vague or unsure, they will simply let it go. There are plenty of reasons why they would do this. For one, they don't want to be pushy. They don't want to intimidate the prospect. They don't want to seem desperate, which can come off as being insincere. But asking more will often get you more.
This exercise sums up three very simple ways to make a sale:
- Show up
- Keep asking*
Though they may seem simple, these three options are very powerful tools in your sales arsenal.
*Note: To get the $10 bill you need to ask multiple times even if I say no the first time.