Successful Sales Reps are APTT to Succeed (Part II)
Last week Fire Enterprises (FEI) Sales Tribe Leader Zoot taught apprentice Helios four key attributes every great salesperson should possess (also known as APTT) and detailed the first one, Attitude. This week, Zoot demonstrates how effective planning is key to selling success. Remember, fire=print.
Helios found Zoot in his office, talking on the phone. He waited a few minutes until Zoot finished the call.
“Last week, you said we could talk today about the importance of planning to sales success,” Helios said. “So let’s do it!”
“Why don’t you start by planning not to interrupt me during a big sales call?” Zoot asked, and laughed at his own joke. Then, noticing Helios’s dour expression, he added: “Just kidding. Let’s get started. To be an effective salesperson, you need a realistic, actionable plan to guide you to success! Every successful plan should have two characteristics: efficiency and effectiveness.”
“Can you explain that a little more?” Helios asked.
“Efficiency can be something as simple as how you schedule appointments and manage your sales territory,” Zoot said. “Take yourself through a territory planning exercise and determine which stops you can make along the way. Then, extend that exercise to plan how many stops you can make per week and per month.”
“Great advice!” Helios exclaimed, jotting this all down on a pad of papyrus.
“Now that you have a plan for making sales calls, make sure you know what you're going to say when you get to each client,” Zoot continued. “Tailor your presentations and your solutions to the needs and desires of your ever-changing audience.”
“How about an example of how effective planning has helped you in your sales career?” Helios asked.
“Sure!” Zoot exclaimed. “I never head into a sales meeting without doing my homework first. Take a recent FEI prospect, Sully’s Stone Carvings. Through extensive research, I determined what Sully cared about (getting his stone carvings finished quickly and cost-effectively), what his pain points were (fires that go out, inconsistent flames), and what he was looking for in a fire solution (fire hot enough to quickly cut stone). And I determined what FEI could offer him that Flintstone, his current fire vendor, couldn’t: consistent fire that virtually never goes out. If it does, we guarantee we’ll replace the flame in one hour or less. This meticulous research helped me prepare a customized plan squarely focused on Sully’s needs, which I presented to him.”
“And let me guess—FEI won a new customer,” Helios said.
“Bullseye,” Zoot sad with a wink. “Now, scram until next week! I got more calls to make!”
Helios looked sadly at Zoot.
“Hey, I’m just kidding again! You need to get a sense of humor!”
Next week: Zoot teaches Helios why Thinking is integral to sales success.
Today’s FIRE! Point
To be an effective salesperson, you need a realistic, actionable plan to guide you to success.
FIRE! In Action: Sales Success Begins with Good Planning
Before meeting on site with prospective clients, T.J. Tedesco always identifies their specific needs and develops appropriate customized meeting agendas and talking points. To secure these initial meetings, Tedesco will often send prospects personalized one-to-one communications that specifically address concerns or needs they’ve expressed. All this planning has paid off. In the 17-year history of Tedesco’s company, the vast majority of these on-site visits have led to client engagements.