Monday, June 22, 2015

Love the process and your sales commission will follow through

Often, when I ask potential candidates why they will like to be in sales, almost 90% of the cohort will scream “Because I want to earn more money!” The sky is the limit. Your commission depends on how hungry you are as a salesperson. While the end goal is extremely important, one has to remember the process that filtered through.

I still remember my early days of a typical salesman, making about 70 cold calls per work week. It’s tough to pick up the phone repeatedly, talking to every prospect with the same infectious opening statement. Too many repetitions. Do that for a week, for a month, up to 12 months continuously. There are days where my battery runs dry. But I did not give up. Actually, my mental capacity helps. I remind myself constantly through positive words of affirmation. Soon, this becomes a habit for me. I began to be superbly focused to create numerous leads through calls and thereafter, direct emails. From the pool of contacts, my leads turn to quality follow-ups. My conversion rate spikes up when the leads changed to real opportunities.

Most will drop out mid-month for a coffee break and swear never to return back to their sales desk!

This is just an example of prospecting, the early stage of any typical sales professional. I am not financially rewarded by the number of calls. Instead, I realize that my motivation boils down to my enthusiasm for talking to new contacts with creative conversation starters. My discipline is necessary, telling myself that my set of targeted phone calls has to be realized. It’s about me, wanting to self-achieve my personal agenda and prove myself wrong.

What this means is, if you dislike cold calling or prospecting completely, you may find it a problem to build up your sales opportunities in future. Therefore, be in love with your tools that connect you with new contacts. Find a way to get your constant affection, involving lead research, calls and emails. It’s about self-questioning your FIRST purpose in sales.

And this is just the beginning.

Like any salesperson, there are pains alongside the selling process. Rejects, unreasonable prospects during presentation, pricing, competition are examples. I feel a sense of disappointment when my client turns down my proposal. Question is, how will one be able to love selling completely when pain overtakes? The key answer is to enforce a positive framework and optimistic approach around the failed opportunity. It may not be your sales now but could be in months ahead, as long as one keeps regular correspondences in a systematic way; neither intrusive yet value-added for instance, random updates about what the prospect’s interest. Perhaps, you get a new network of buyers.

I did not fell off the cliff. Minutes later, I will self-reflect and write down on paper, what have I learn from the discussion. I will put this into practice for my next sales pitch.

It’s about the level of passion in selling from the first point of engagement with the prospect. Simply put, if you embrace pain and gets a sense of adrenalin during the different stages of selling, your inner ability may just be your next weapon to influence the buying decision - at your favor, closing deals with fat commissions.

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