I earned my pilot’s license a while back and learned to fly VFR or visual flight rules first. This means you are licensed to fly when the weather is generally clear enough to see where you are going. With this type of flying you tend to fly by feeling, visually, and “stick and rudder”. However there are six main instruments that I reference to verify what I am feeling is actually happening with the plane. The main six gauges in the cockpit are: airspeed indicator, attitude indicator, altimeter, turn coordinator, heading indicator, and vertical speed indicator. If I ever get into some dicey weather I can fall back on these to help me separate feelings from facts to aid me in getting the plane back on the ground safely.
In sales we also have instruments (tools) that are vital to our success. If your sales are in a slump or you need to refocus my Top Six Sales Instruments will get you back on track.
- Manager: Many people think their manager is there to create more work and tell them what they are doing wrong. DON’T BE THIS REP!! Your manager cares about your success because it impacts theirs. Be open and honest about your professional opportunities and look for them to provide you solutions or strategies that can get you back on track. Warning though, if you ask for help you will need to follow through on their suggestions or you will look like a dope.
- Customers: If I am off track I talk to my top customers to see why they chose me or my product. They can be a great reminder of the value you provide that others do not in your field.
- Data or Analytics: These are the facts of what is going on in your territory (sales numbers etc). Some times we stretch ourselves too thin and do too much with unqualified prospects. Create a Top 10 or 20 list that if you changed these buyers habits it would greatly expand your business. The good news, it only takes a 20% conversion rate and you will be “killing it” in your territory.
- Product: Do a refresher on your product material and keep up to date on industry news to reinvigorate your message. This will help you connect solutions to the problems your customers are experiencing and put some flames under your possibly tempered message.
- Competition: If you do not know why your customers are choosing your competition then how can you competitively sell against them? You do not have to be gruff in confronting them on this, but be direct. It might sound something like this, “When you are looking to make your next purchase on product x or y which one are you more comfortable with?” You know the answer is your competitors but this wording allows them to state in a safe environment what and why they prefer.
- Value: Do you make a sale and then disappear for months or years? Bad salespeople do this! Good and Great salespeople followup because customer service is key to getting the next sale. If you are in their office on a continual basis servicing their account they may not even put the next sale out for bid because of the “High Value” you provide them.
I hope this discussion on how to use your Top 6 Sales Instruments was helpful to get your sales back on track. If you have anything to add or if you’ve had other strategies that have worked please share below.
Picture credit: Instruments