“…In business and especially in sales, we cannot allow ourselves to be influenced by emotions/reactions/frictions – we have to ground ourselves and be consistent within our daily application. Having a ‘WHY’ is of great support if the ‘why’ is genuine and can stand the test of time. The test of time, meaning – when the ‘why’ is so strong inside yourself where it doesn’t matter what you face, it won’t change who you are and what you stand for/as. So, if you are in sales and you haven’t yet allocated your own individual ‘why’ – I suggest you take a moment and find inside of yourself your ‘why’ to support yourself in difficult times. By having the ‘why’ and understanding the ‘number game’ (which I will explain in my next blog) – nothing is impossible…”
One of the first things that you learn as a sales person is the term ‘numbers game’ – the more prospects you identify, the more contacts you make, the more appointments you have, the more sales you make. Though, if it was as simple as that, we would all have been rich by now won’t we?
When I first got a direct sales job, my boss wanted to measure my level of commitment or, in other words – he wanted to see how far I will push myself to make the business work and in that, what creative ways I could come up with to make it work. He called me 2-3 days before I started my first day and he asked me to prepare a list of 500 potential clients before I come to work. Obviously, I didn’t know 500 people and even if I would, the people that I knew would not fit the company profile as potential prospects. But, I accepted the challenge and jumped right into the deep water. Little did I know that the list was a test to measure my commitment, creativity and strength, but more importantly, it was for me to recognize my ability to stand, direct and create meaning, the list was not so much for my boss, but more for me – to eliminate any and all excuses that may come in the future where the statement: “I have no leads” can be valid and instead break through my own limitations to discover the ability to create.
I spent the weekend making lists of people and contact details with the most incredible help that I found – Google; and by the first day of work – I already had an extensive lead data base to start working with. When I got to work on the first day, I was briefly trained in the marketing approach, the value of the product that we sold and 2-3 hours later, I was already making phone calls to schedule appointments. Obviously, I was terrible in my real time application, it was so awful that I felt so embarrassed inside myself. But, I had a ‘why’ in front of my eyes – I couldn’t give up even though I really wanted to. With the support of my boss, who is a master in direct sales, I learned from the mistakes I made and made it a point for me to investigate what went ‘wrong’ and align it the next time; basically, I had to realize that perfection is not something that you are born with – it is something I must create and become within myself through walking the process of making mistakes, learn from the mistakes, align and correct in the physical reality.
The next problem that I faced was with not completely and effectively understanding the ‘numbers game’ principle and thus, I went into the energy cycle during the first 3 months as I explained in the first blog post of this blog series. See, in my mind, because I had an extensive lead database, I believed that I had already played the numbers game, little to no result actually manifested – I was able to schedule appointments and met new people, though the people that I did meet up with, were not the type of clients that were suited for our company and so, my effort was in vein essentially.
For example, the first 500 contact details list that I created was very random and if I would to look a bit deeper at the details, I would have seen that 450 out of the 500 names were not qualified for the type of business that we did at all. That means that I spent all this time making phone calls to 450 people, meeting with a few of them, hoping that the ‘numbers game’ principle will work for me and when that didn’t work out I opened the door to access the energetic cycle.
Here, I had to understand that hope, cannot take place in a business – I must know the product, know my prospect clients and specify my application to success or otherwise, I will waste my own time
The clock was ticking as there was a ‘why’ that I had to accomplish very fast which to me was the number 1 priority – I was at the breaking point, but I could not allow myself to give up – I had to push myself forward and reach my goals. So I sat down with myself and brain storm my options – by the end of the day, I created a new marketing approach to a new market that was never tested/walked in the office – it was a long shot, but there was nothing much to loose – I had to create a plan to work in the right market and apply the numbers game. I spent a lot of time in lead generation because that was the heart of the business – if I had no qualified leads, there was no business to build. I found lead generation to be the most time consuming part of the business, the most boring part of the business, the most down motivated part of the business AND the most expensive part of the business. Though, if following through the process effectively, specifically and consistently, the lead generation phase turns into gold, which is the most rewarding part of the business.
Once I focused the lead generation phase in the right market, with the right people, an interesting thing happened: I still played the numbers game though I had to put in less effort than before (when I worked with the 500 random people list that I made before I started the business). Meaning, previously, I called maybe 100 people, seen 10 people and closed 1 sale. Now, with the focused market list, I called 12 people, met 4 people and closed 2 sales. Thus, with understanding that the game must be played within the right market, my effort and creativity was specific and the only real challenge was to find 12 new prospects every week, though, it wasn’t a struggle anymore because 12 people, is not a lot to ask for.
So the point here is to understand the relationship between the numbers game principle and the energetic cycle that a salesperson goes through when not applying the numbers game effectively, specifically and consistently. It is very easy to blame the business or the product/service and make so many excuses and justifications in the mind as to why the business isn’t working for oneself. Though, in self honesty one has to ask oneself at the end of each day: Did I apply the numbers game effectively – did I generate new specific potential leads today? Did I schedule appointments today? Did I have an appointment today? If any of these questions answered with a ‘no’ then you must realize that you didn’t apply the numbers game effectively and you will soon enough access the energetic cycle because you allowed yourself to sit back and stray from your purpose, from your ‘why’.
I often hear people that are in the process of giving up that they have done everything in their power to make their business work yet, they keep on failing. When opening up the point with them, there are underlying currents of excuses, justification and projected blame as to why they are not making it in sales. This has primarily to do with the main 2 components that we discussed thus far- the ‘WHY’ and ‘Effective Numbers game’ application.
I looked at this point and the process that I’ve walked and I found that there is one more primary component that needs to be realized and applied in one’s process of developing a sales business mind – the Comfort Zone – this will be discussed in the next blog post.
This blog was written by M. from South Africa.