Take a moment to peruse a list of the current clientele of your business. Read each company or individual’s name. Now, consider this: Eventually, every customer you have will either quit or fire you. Every one of them. That is the first of five simple truths in selling.
Some customers will cease to exist or relocate and buy from a comparable vendor in their new locale. You may even decide to stop selling to certain customers because of their lack of creditworthiness or failure to uphold their end of the bargain. But, eventually, the customer list you have at present will look nothing like the customer list you may have five or 10 years from now. For that reason alone, every business must practice active prospecting for new customers.
The second simple sales truth is that, at best, only 10 percent of all the business contacts you make will ever buy from you. Ever. Business contacts are comprised of not only prospective customers, but of suppliers, advisors or service providers, business neighbors and fellow business-association members, and advocates of your enterprise that steer people to it. These are all good people to know, but they are mostly people who aren’t in the market for the goods and services you offer.
The third simple truth in selling is that customers and prospects who don’t initiate a call to you are basically of the opinion that you need them more than they need you. Whatever you decide to do to practice better time and opportunity management at your company, establish a good reason why clients should seek you out rather than you beating the bushes to hunt them down.
The fourth and fifth simple truths are, “time is never on a sales person’s side,” and, “any sales person is only as good as his/her next scheduled appointment.” It is far too easy for a sales professional to rationalize why a particular day, time of the day, or time of the week/month is not a good time to make a sales call. Likewise, many sales people end a face-to-face encounter and/or phone calls with customers and prospects with a friendly, yet non-committal, “I’ll contact you in a few weeks to continue our conversation,” rather than making a firm appointment.
Accepting the fact that these truths are self-evident and promising one’s self to never allow any of them to stand in the way of having a good selling day, every day, or ever having them become excuses for poor sales performance is the first step toward developing good time and opportunity management habits.
—Vince DiCecco, Your Personal Business Trainer