Lent and Sales
This week marks the beginning of Lent, a special time in the calendar when Christians choose to make a sacrifice for a 40-day period, mirroring the 40 days Jesus Christ spent fasting in the wilderness. Some people give up chocolate, others alcohol or TV or sweets or some other treat. It’s a personal challenge undertaken only once a year. On Easter Sunday, their pledge or promise ends and they can once again go back to that which they gave up.
There is a sales lesson here.
One of the reasons why Lent works is this: It’s finite. While difficult, because it has an end date, Christians can meet their commitment and on those dark days when they are tempted by, say, Cadbury mini eggs (clearly the devil’s work), they persevere because they know it’s temporary.
A sales blitz whereby we turn up the volume of sales calls made for a short period of time can mirror Lent. Challenge yourself with a month-long daily sales call minimum that is a stretch but still reasonable, and you will see what I mean. Sure, it is hard to find the time every day to drive new business opportunities, but if you see it as a short-term goal and then make a daily commitment to hit that number* you will reap the benefits in the months that follow.
From experience, I can tell you that your initial focus wants to be on Day Two. Anyone can hit the sales activity goal on the first day. It’s that next day’s effort that becomes a challenge. Therefore, I suggest you make your day two calls early in the morning so that they are certain to get done. Ditto for Day Three.
My second piece of advice is this: Strive to exceed your daily sales goal early in the week so that you’ve got extra calls “in the bank.” This way, if you get sidetracked during the week, you have a bit of a buffer. I call this, “Frontloading.”
There is great personal satisfaction from reaching a goal, be it a sacrifice or an action. Set reasonable sales activity goals. Have a strategy for those days when you fail. Your reward for success will be measured in dollars and cents, as well as a great feeling for a job well done.
Oh, and while Lent happens once a year, this is an action you can repeat once a quarter. Amen to that.
*On my website, you will find a White Paper called, “How to Make 10 Sales Calls a Day.” Read it and you’ll learn how to maintain a high call count on a daily basis.
Bill Farquharson is a sales trainer for the graphic arts. Email him at Bill@AspireFor.com or call (781) 934-7036. Bill’s two books, The 25 Best Print Sales Tips Ever and Who’s Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing…and How? as well as information on his new subscription-based website, The Sales Vault are available at BillFarquharson.com.