This economy is nothing if not challenging. Sure, our economic climate is full of opportunity, clients and customers who want to do business. Sometimes it feels like getting a foot in the door and getting to that first meetings takes so much time and energy that you have nothing left to pull you through the long wait before the deal closes. The truth, as any sales professional knows, is that there will be a wait time for sales to close.
How is Your Sales Stamina?
So, what is a sales professional to do? How are we supposed to stay in the game, keep our energy up, and continue to stay in front of our customers without being annoying, rude and downright pushy? We have goals to meet, bills to pay and businesses to build. Sometimes it is all we can do not to get frustrated that our prospects and customers won’t just make a decision. But believe me: the two biggest mistakes you can make in sales today are trying to force the close or give up. Both will cost you big time in terms of client relationships, reputation and your ability to positively impact your bottom line.
Five Sales Stamina Strategies You’ll Need to Succeed
What is the solution? Today’s sales professionals need to be following these five simple strategies to ensure that they are in the best sales shape of their lives and have what it takes to go the distance.
- Embrace Reality
– listen to this and listen to it closely, you are not in control. You have zero, and I mean zero power of when the sales in your sales pipeline will close. You can influence your clients, try to create a sense of urgency, and ensure they have everything they need to make an informed decision. At the end of the day when, where and how that sale is going to close is one-hundred percent up to them, not you. Remember, this is a trust and value economy. Your products and services are a commodity, so your relationship with your prospects and clients, how they connect, feel and how much they trust you is going to determine whether that sale happens. So, pushing them to decide, and abandoning them before they are ready to do business, will send a loud and clear message that you are not the person they want to do business with.
- Overfill Your Sales Funnel
– so okay you’ve embraced reality, you understand you are not in control, but that still leaves the problem of your needing to meet goals, pay the bills, and grow the business. You can’t just sit there all day hoping that one of the people you called on decides to close the deal? Or can you? In today’s economy, the trust and value economy, patience is a virtue and the need for instant gratification a curse. You need to overfill your sales funnel; you need to have more potential prospects coming through your pipeline than you need to close to meet your numbers and expand your business. Why? Because of Murphy’s Law, the moment you need a sale to close is precisely the moment the sale won’t close. In a shifting economy, you need to sell from a place of power, not from a place of need. The only way you are going to hang in there as your prospects “hem and haw” about when the deal will close, is if you are okay waiting for a deal to close. The only way to be okay with waiting for a deal to close is to have another deal or two waiting in the wings to close.
- Redesign Your Follow-up System
– we have all heard these statistics, it takes on average seven to eight sales calls to close a deal, and the average salesperson gives up in three. Why do we give up? Because as sales professionals we hate to follow-up. We love the adrenaline rush of the first few calls, but after that it gets uncomfortable. We assume that people are not interested, and we don’t want to be irritating. Well, if you are using a traditional follow-up system, I have news for you, you are pushing the prospect to the point where they are not interested, and quite frankly you are irritating. You need to redesign your follow-up system. What? Don’t you have one? Okay start there. You need to design your follow-up system, then redesign it, so it is more about adding value, then just checking in to see if the prospect is ready to buy. Follow-up has one purpose, to continue to enhance the relationship.
- Make It Easy
– Do you ever need a little something to get you through the day? A pick me up? Something that gives you the energy to make it to the end of whatever it is you are working on. Well, why not add that to your sales process. If you want to make to the finish line, if you’re going to have what it takes to wait out your prospects, you are going to need a little something just to get you through the day. You need to be calling on your existing clients, those people who already love you, want to do business with you, and probably have some opportunity for you. Your weekly sales calls need to include at least one or two”fun” calls, calls in which you are visiting, talking with and reengaging with your existing client base. Best case scenario you walk away with some new business, worst you get recharged, remembering why you love what you do.
- Do It Anyway
–Years ago, I heard an interview where Professional Volleyball player Gabrielle Reece was asked how she stayed in such amazing shape. She was inquired where she found the dedication and discipline, now that her volleyball career had ended, to continue exercising, eating right, and serving as an amazing role model. Her answer was simple; she said that she had learned early on from one of her coaches, that the mark of success, there is one thing they look for when they are identifying winners. They look for those athletes that “do it” anyway. No matter how they feel in that moment, they get out of bed and do the workout anyway. They understand that some days they will be good, some days they won’t, but no matter what, they still do it anyway. Crossing the finish line is more about consistency than about Now don’t get me wrong, you have to be good at what you do, but there are plenty of great athletes and sales professionals who never cross the finish line, because, on those days when they don’t feel like it, they don’t do what needs to be done anyway.
Yes, selling is not always easy in this economy, and it takes more than a little stamina to stay in the game. However, with a few adjustments to your approach and your workout routine, you can build your sales stamina and make to the finish line a winner!
P.S.: Don’t forget about my Linkedin course: Consulting Foundations: Building Your Sales System, is now available on LinkedIn Learning: