One Reason Your Sales Numbers May Suck

I remember reading a single-panel comic strip years ago in which a bunch of people were exiting a conference room and someone was yelling from behind them, “…and we’ll keep having these meetings until we figure out why nothing ever gets done around here!”

That’s how I feel about a lot of the discussions on LinkedIn. If you are in sales, what in the world are you doing checking out the banter in a group during prime selling time? Makes no sense to me.

I saw a string of 45+ comments to a question that essentially asked, “Why aren’t I selling more these days?” And more than half of the comments were from the person who posted the question. Hey, I’m no expert (wait, yes I am), but I do think that maybe if you got off of LinkedIn and made some sales calls, your numbers would go up? Just sayin’…

I don’t think you’ll ever hear someone confess to being parked on LinkedIn for too long. But just in case you think you might be one of those people, I suggest that you keep a running count of the number of times you visit a LinkedIn group in a day’s time. Might surprise you.

Oh, and if you are reading this blog entry at the office on one of the several LinkedIn discussion groups we post to, well, that counts as one visit.

“The Sales Challenge” and the new “Tuesday eWorkshops” will help to drive your sales. Go to www.AspireFor.com for more information, or contact Bill at 781-934-7036.

As a 30 year sales veteran, Bill has the perspective of a been-there, done-that sales rep in the commercial print arena. Following sales fundamentals and giving unapologetically "old school" advice, he writes and speaks in an entertaining fashion to make his points to sales people and owners who sell. "Bill Farquharson will drive your sales momentum."
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Comments
  • Rob Reichstein

    Bill this is not a new issue, just a different time. I was a sales manger for decades. I mandated when no customer meetings – get on the phone. Back in the days of old with land lines I didn’t know if the reps were on the phone with friends, family, prospects, or customers. I had them keep logs. Even with phone logs you almost had to wait until the end of the month sales reports to see who was productive. Truth be told the 80-20 rule plays out today the same as days or yore. If you want to work, you work, if you want to screw off you will. Whether it is on the phone, Linked in, or any other communications medium. The question really is: How do you get sales people to be more effective and productive? It’s not telling them what not to do, they already know. It’s showing them what works. One of our reps was a scratch golfer. He did his best work on the course. Most company employees thought he was a screw up, but his sales were highest during the golf season. Customers wanted to play with him. The most difficult time we had was with him was winter. He was lost when he was out of his comfort zone. Our job was to teach him how to use a phone for something other than making tee time. But come spring, I wanted him on the course. Bottom line an effective sales manger has to understand his rep. And, just like dealing with a customer, you have to figure out the right buttons to push. Motivate, don’t retaliate.

  • S SR

    Any sales manager or client services leader out there in the Dallas area that wants to hire someone who promises to stay off of LinkedIn, give me a shout. Dead serious, I’d rather do my work face to face instead of being some electronic presence on a web site. Bill, I’d also like to know where people get the time to make connections with 500+ people. Do they even know these people? What’s their value as a connection? Are they decision makers or just "people"? I can understand Journalists and bloggers and a few other categories but People who sell, run companies and manufacturing departments don’t have time for social media. It’s really turned into something it was not intended for.

  • Victoria Gaitskell

    Regarding your dismissal of Facebook, Bill: if there are any dissenters in the crowd, I’d be interested in knowing the reasons why they find Facebook useful.