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Category: Peter Mosley

Sales – A Wake Up Call: Part 4b

Coffee break
Here's my final instalment of Sales – A Wake Up Call series. In the previous instalment, I talked about  avoiding "Black Dot" days and making sure you have a reliable, trackable sales system.

Here are my final tips for the sales folks out there:


10. Call at least two current customers each and every day.

  • I have always contact all my customers at least once every three
    months. Whether I am doing active business with them or not. A note, an
    email a phone call (the best) just to say hi.
  • The best thing is to sort by industry and in your reading, find two
    or three items per sector that you can start off the conversation with:

    Hey
    Sally! How’s tricks? Great – Listen, I read that Blogtastic.com just
    purchased www.Ihavenoclue,.com? Does that impact you? What did you
    think about that?
    " (Oh and then let em talk.) You have two ears and one
    mouth. Listen twice as much as you speak!

11. As above, have a communication process for contacting all of
your prospects – a note, an email, a letter … have something.

  • Do it so your customers are contacted at least twice a year. Better
    still get them something of value. No, not logo’s golf balls! A report,
    some research, an interesting find.
  • You have to keep in front of folks. Squeaky wheel and all that. It is important to stay in touch. Out of sight – out of mind.

12. Further to the above – Get your best customers some "New
Customers". Introduce them to someone they want to do business with.

  • One solid strategy I have always found: find out who your
    customer’s best customer could be. Set up a lunch or dinner with that
    “potential customer” and invite your "current" customer. Talk about
    fertile ground. I like to be a fly on the wall and not manipulate the
    meeting.
  • Better still, for my personal preference, I use a golf game. Golf
    is a “contact sport”. In all my years I have NEVER come off a golf
    course with a group like this without a solid appointment, a sale or at
    the very least, a plan to move forward on something we – the three of
    us – had just discussed.
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Sales – A Wake Up Call: Part 4a

 

Blackdot

For Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of this series, I covered selling in a down economy and tips for the bosses and the marketers.

Here's my advice to sales people.

Ok all you sales types, gather round and listen. Grab a "Cup of Joe" and pay attention.

The above illustration is the first thing we have to get over.

What do you see?

Most folks – if not everybody – sees a "black dot."

Well, that is an example of why things aren't working as well as they should for you. That black dot represents everything that is wrong right now. The bad coffee, the idiot Boss, the way they treat you, the shitty leads, the bad sales territory, the commission structure, the fact you got up this morning, tore a hole in your pants, spilled juice on your tie and the cat peed on you. All that stuff!

It goes on and on, doesn't it. This is sadly the most critical issue you face – it is called fear. It masks itself in all sorts of manifestations – mostly us wanting to have something else to blame for our failures.

Well, I believe that the first thing to do is look at the rest of that illustration. I call the technique "eliminating Black Dot days".  There will always be something wrong – there will always be a gripe. But by focusing on these things you miss the point. Look at the big picture – the white space which represents everything that is right.

 Okay, here is the list of "do's" and "don'ts" for the sales types:

1. Do a projection formula for reliable, real, achievable results – don’t lie.

  • You need a formula. It has to be real. Start with what you want to make this year. Then figure out just how many sales that would have to be and base the net on what you get from each sale. Then calculate how many sales presentations you have to make to get the sales. Then the sales calls to get the sales presentations and then finally the number of sales cold calls. This is called turning Suspects into Prospects, into Sales and then repeat Sales.
  • You will need to track honestly exactly how you measure up. Number of cold calls that end up in sales is a sales ratio.

2. Get a sales system that can be tracked, adjusted and monitored – and don’t lie.

  • Your system must be solid, real and one that can be tracked and adjusted.
  • Track the number of suspects that you need to turn into prospects (whether by sales calls/phone calls or letters) and then the number you need to turn into presentations or sales visits. And then track the number of conversions from prospects to sales. You then can track repeat sales. Look at the numbers, do some initial percentage calculations (i.e. 100 suspects = 40 prospects = 20 presentations = 6 closed sales).
  • Then, if you have to, modify any and all factors. A better presentation, more work on your phone techniques, more suspects, better initial sales contacts, better “CLOSING” tactics or better tracking. All are flexible! All can be improved. And should be!

3. Never talk to other sales folks. Full stop. They lie.

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Sales – A Wake Up Call: Part 3

Sales – A Wake Up Call: Part 2 was a well-placed "Kick-in-the-arse" delivered to the Boss. You know who you are – don't be bashful. You are the folks who we look to when all hell breaks loose. It is, after all, your fault.

Now, moving on to some tips for the Marketers:

1. Stop reading pamphlets.

  • Please stop thinking every new trend will save your ass.
  • You know when Total Quality Management was the buzz in the last recession over 70% of companies that went bankrupt listed TQM as their #1 priority. Yeah, well #1 to me is doing your damn job.

2. There is no secret cure. There is no quick fix.

  • Everything is hard to do. And more importantly everything worth doing takes hard work.
  • If something is too good to be true – it is!

3. Like above -  a baseball  game is won by getting on base. FIRST BASE!!!

  • Home runs are great – but no one wins a pennant with just home runs.
  • Really focus on your core strengths – make 'em better and treat every customer like they are your ONLY customer.

4. That insecure feeling you get everyday at the office is good for you – it will keep you in your place.

  • You know that feeling. Wake up and wonder if today is the day they will finally find out just how much of a fraud you are? Yeah, we all feel that – get over it. If you stopped thinking about yourself as the centre of the universe, you might actually get your job done.
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Sales – A Wake Up Call: Part 2

Cash_register
In the last instalment of this article,  I started with a preamble to selling and how it will be the saviour in this econolypse.

I have been fortunate to have been a salesman, to have run companies as a CEO and Board Member and to have been a marketer. The following are my "To Dos" for each of these points of view

Here is a list for the Boss:

Note: These are business truisms as I personally know them. I am not talking about anything here that I haven't personally experienced. These I believe with all my heart!

1. Hire properly.

  • Hire real slow – fire real fast. No one wins by keeping dead wood around the shop. It’s better for you, your company and for the folks who are probably in the wrong posts to change. It is a very stressful thing to do. I know. I have hired literally hundreds of folks and sadly had to let a few go. That is never good. In fact, a couple were friends. That hurts even more. But no one said being a boss is easy – you can't stand the heat, get the hell out of the kitchen.
  • I have heard umpteen times, especially at agencies that "Our assets go up and down in the elevator every night." Wow. When I hear that the first thing that comes to mind is a joke. Consultant asks company Prez "So how many people work here? Prez … "Oh, about half."
  • I have always wondered how, or why, certain people ever got hired. Folks, if you have what my Ol Buddy David Maister calls "Human Capital" issues and they are rotting on the shelves? Get rid of them. They will poison the rest of the assets, smell when customers come near them and be really nasty to look at. Enough metaphors – you get my point.

2. Price, promote and plan properly. If ya don’t know how – get help.

  • Most people running companies aren't marketers. Hell, most marketers aren't marketers! I know, Sally-  "Pete say it ain't so!" They are engineers, accountants, inventors, sales folks or simply kids whose parents left 'em the shop. If you aren't a great marketer – get help. Companies will eventually tank without great marketing.  Companies like GM, who haven't had a marketer within 1,000 miles …ever, are evidence of this fact.

3. Get out and meet the folks. You staying in your office is like the faux-hunters at the lodge I mentioned in the previous instalment.

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Sales – A Wake Up Call: Part 1

Well, as we are knee deep in the “ECONOCLYPSE”, I just may have the solution for you.

It stems from something I have been noticing for years. We can’t sell. Full stop.

I can list dozens of alleged sales contacts I have had over the last few months alone, with seemingly professional sales folks who, quite frankly, couldn’t sell eternal life to a dead person. I believe this is a pandemic. And, no that isn't a sick cuddly black and white bear.

We hide behind marketing (whatever the hell that is today) with all that PowerPoint drivel with its spinning globes, throbbing gristle and jumping bunnies. And the all-too-hip glossy, marketing-speak chest pounding end-to-end-solution brochures. The sales pipelines done in spread sheets longer than Rip van Winkle’s beard and all-to-common ever-so-soft useless, pointless, make-me-feel-good titles like Business Development, Account Executive, Business Drivers, Thought Leaders, Change Agents and on and on and so on and so forth. Makes me wanna scream. If I ever see a card handed to me that says "Joe Schmoe – Salesman" I will die of apoplexy!

What the world – the marketing world that is – needs and needs right now, to get us out of this mess, is a good kick in the ass.

Lemme talk about selling.

Selling is about building long-lasting relationships. You cannot have a relationship where fear is the starting point. You can’t have a relationship built on lies. And, most importantly, you can’t develop a relationship without a lot of work.

Selling is in grave danger. True selling that is. And in all businesses – sales are key. "Nothing happens till someone sells something."

I am not talking “order taking” – which is “clerking.” That's where the customers surprise you.

I am talking about selling. Where you go out and surprise them!

My view on selling is as follows: Selling is like hunting. There are two types of hunters (Metaphor alert: I am referring to sales people).

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