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.”

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T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.
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