Four Things to Do if Your Sales Suck

Your teacher promised it. Your parents guaranteed it. Your boss predicted it. But the formula just isn’t working. Apparently, will and desire alone aren’t enough to grow your sales. What now?

What do you do if/when your sales tank, no one returns your phone calls and the boss is looking at you with those “budget cut” eyes? You could do more of the same, only harder, but before you do, I’d suggest you look up the definition of “insanity.” Instead, try these four things:

1. Question your work ethic.

What time do you arrive in the morning and what time do you leave? More importantly, how much selling time do you put in during the hours in between? Attendance is important, but efficiency is king. Everyone believes they are busy. EVERYONE! “Spare time” is a myth, as is a “free moment.” But there is a big difference between being busy and being productive. Which are you?

I shouldn’t have to tell you this but I will: You are a sales representative. As such, your primary focus should be on selling. So, let’s say it’s 10:30am and you are reading this piece. You’d better be on quota, Sparky. Otherwise, delay your satisfaction until later and pick up the phone. Don’t make me come out there!

Let me try to make this point one other way—anecdotally. Once, 10 or 11 years ago, I was facing a personal financial crisis. You know the routine…no money, no sales, bad attitude as a result. I remember standing on my back deck on a crisp and cold winter’s night, staring at the stars and making a promise to the universe—I will not fail because of a lack of effort.

If you flunk out of school but you’ve tried your absolute hardest, where’s the shame? There isn’t any. You’ve done your best. That thinking works the same in sales. Go ahead and fail, but do so only after you have out-hustled and out-worked every other sales rep in the office, the territory, the city and the planet.

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  • http://MarkH Mark H

    It’s four simple steps really:

    1. Research your customer

    2. Mail a custom introductory letter (this is a one-off, no template junk here) that speaks to their market and challenges

    3. Follow-up with a phone call and ask for a meeting

    4. Introduce yourself at the meeting, then SHUT UP and listen.

    Works for me every time.

  • http://Kelly Kelly

    Well, I guess I’ll just say that great minds think alike. My last weeks’ blog post was all of your number 1! Great post here, Bill… Hope a lot of people use it to make the tweaks that will ready them for greatness!