When a Sales Rep Asks 'What Would You Do If You Were Me?'
“What would you do if you were me?”
That’s the question JP asked me on our coaching call today.
JP is new to sales but not to print. He is young and just starting out. I think this was our fifth conversation and so far he has been impressive. He understands there is a lot to learn and he is drinking in every word.
Today, JP hit me with that question. The set up was, “If you were me — just starting out in sales and knowing what you know now — what would you do?” I think I spit out four or five of the following. Since then, I’ve had some time to add a few more, ending on a list of 10 answers:
- Make a 60-90 day commitment to hard selling work — That is, say to yourself, “I will kill it for two or three months and focus on making call after call after call. I will be the Tasmanian Devil of sales;”
- Establish a daily minimum — Choose a minimum number of calls you’ll make to new customers and existing customers. Make the number reasonable and achievable;
- Create a prospecting process — Decide on a step-by-step, week-by-week plan of weekly new business sales activity;
- Study the craft — There are lots of books on sales (see my website for my recommendations). Pick one;
- Establish good time management habits early — Rule No. 1: You will never catch up. Rule No. 2 — Start every day with a plan;
- Make mistakes — If you aren’t making mistakes, you aren’t trying. The trick is to make new mistakes constantly. It’s the best way to learn;
- Make some bold calls (not a typo: BOLD, not cold) — Go door to door. Pick up the phone. Put yourself out there. These are not sales calls, but rather information-gathering stop-by’s. Tell whomever you meet you are looking for info on the company, what they do, etc. It might just turn into a meeting, but this will give you some face to face experience;
- Look back every Friday: What did I learn? — This is a different question from, “What did I do right/wrong?” Stop each week and assess your lessons and progress;
- Decide if this career is right for you — Do something you love. If you are not passionate about sales, quit after that 60-90 day period and go find something you are passionate about;
- Keep asking this question of others — I really enjoyed answering JP’s question. Don’t stop asking. Heck, I played golf last Saturday with a 70-something and asked a similar question. He replied: Take up tennis. Not sure if that was a commentary on my game, but …
Bill Farquharson’s Sales Vault can be found at SalesVaultInsider.com. Bill can be reached at 781-934-7036.
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.