It has been said, “Nothing happens in America until first something is sold.”
There is a lot of truth in that statement. But, often I see that many sales are unconscious and not on purpose.
We all know those, on both sides of the sales equation, who are confused about value and cost. Many salespeople I meet believe that price is the one thing that determines the success of their selling. “If he, the owner, would just sell at a lower price then I could make more sales.”
It’s my belief that the price driven market is not filled with salespeople at all but order takers. Sales is the art of persuasion and it is an art.
Just as athletes measure their performance and the results so that they can improve so should salespeople.
Among those elements a salesperson should measure are the following:
- 1. Pre-qualifying leads. When marketing provides a lead it is to the benefit of the salesperson to analyze the probability of success they might enjoy.
There are indicators which, when discovered, will help the salesperson to estimate the percentage of possible success.
Among these are:
- Marital status
- Owner or Renter
- Immediacy of need
How often is the salesperson successful with each of the preceding indicators?
- 2. Some elements of the sales call
- Observation skills: Can the salesperson, like Sherlock Homes, deduce from the surrounding of the prospect (type of houses on the street, upkeep and care of the home, boats in the yard and pictures on the wall) what kind of people these are and what approach would be best suited for success?
- Questioning skills: Does the salesperson ask questions which provide indicators of need or other readiness to buy signals. Do question clarify objections the prospect may have to a purchase? How often does this work?
- Answering skills: Does the salesperson have the ability to clearly respond with solutions to needs or emotional and rational responses to objections the prospect may offer? What is the number or percent of success?
- Closing Skills: Can the salesperson ask for the order and help the prospect to make a buying decision? How often does this happen per every ten calls?
- 3. Close rate: Out of all the appointments with prospects, what number or percentage purchased?
- 4. Mining for referrals: Sometime after the completed sale, what is the percent or number of qualified prospects a sales person gets from a completed sale?
If a salesperson was to track his success with these elements of the sales experience and use the results of the tracking analysis to modify his behavior, then like the athlete he would have a conscious approach to sales and would be doing things on purpose.
Next – Counting Production