Last week, I had a philosophical conversation regarding activity that leads to sales.
I was told that the more sales activity that you have, the more deals that will close. There is no doubt that more activity leads to more sales...but that activity has to be meaningful and productive. "Checking the Box" is another term for doing an activity only for the sake of doing the activity, not because we think it will lead to sales success. Meeting with a prospect who doesn't have the likelihood of buying your product just so you can say you had a meeting is a great example.
We can't just "check the box" to sales success.
A couple of months ago, I posted to my blog about which metrics should matter....Click here or scroll down to find that blog post.
So what is the deal with the gears?
Simple. In order to increase your sales, you either need to meet with more people OR YOU MUST CHANGE YOUR CLOSE RATIO.
Easy to say, but hard to do. Aside from meeting with the right people, here are some other ways you can change that ratio in your favor.
- Ask relevant questions: I know a lot of salespeople who "show up and throw up". In our company, we have had sales trainers who have emphasized going into meetings with a script. While having a script and a talk track is important, it is even more important to ask questions and modify your pitch based on the answers to those questions.
- Take great notes: During your meeting, be sure to write down key comments and buying signals. You should have a great list at the end of the meeting detailing exactly what your prospect's pain, needs, and how your product/service fits. When you have your follow up conversation, discuss those points.
- Ask for the business: This one always baffles me. In the quest to not get the dreaded "No", salespeople won't ask for the "Yes". Have you ever found yourself skating around the question, and settling for a non commitment? Channel your inner New Yorker, and ask for the business.
"James, when I was in your office, we discussed the fact that you spend way too much time researching the market, and not enough time prospecting for new clients. I showed you how you can do both with our product. We can provide you accurate reports so you don't have to research, and we can provide you with an excellent list of prospects with their phone numbers so you don't have to hunt around.
Why aren't we doing business with each other, and what can I do to change that?