The Myth of the Bad Sales Month
Two of my least favorite phrases to hear are "I had terrible sales last month" and "I had terrific sales last month.” In either case, an error of perspective is being made.
You can't be in sales and not measure success or failure in 30-day terms. "Did you have a good sales month?” is a question that we ask each other. A better question might be, "How are your sales trending?"
Let's say two clients have large orders to place in December. One of them sends you the PO on Monday, Nov. 30, earlier than expected. The other gets caught up in the holidays and doesn't get the job to you until Monday, Jan. 4, 2016. This will result in a "good" November and January but a "bad" December. See the problem? Neither is truly accurate and all three months are mislabeled.
To be clear: A month can be declared "good" when you have done your job, which I define as, "setting and achieving a minimum daily number of sales calls." I would rather have you focus on the activity rather than the outcome when deciding how well any particular month came out.
You see, people who say, "I had a terrible sales month," experience emotions like frustration and fear and even anger, perhaps even going so far as desperation as a result. This does not make for a good basis from which to make sales calls.
Likewise, people who say, "I had a terrific sales month," might take their foot off of the pedal, falsely believing that this trend will continue on its own. They lose the aggressiveness that got them there and don't regain it again until they have a "bad" month.
The goal is to find a steady pace of new business activity, from both new and existing accounts, and then meet or exceed that daily sales goal. Doing so will cause your sales to trend upward and for you to be able to answer the question, "Did you have a good sales month?" with a firm, "Yes!"
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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.