Sales Moves

Salespeople have questions; Jeffrey has answers

November 1, 2013
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I get a ton of emails from people seeking insight or asking me to solve their sales dilemmas. Here are a few that may relate to your job, your life and (most important) your sales thought process right now.

Dear Jeffrey, What is your opinion of tracking daily sales dollars versus activities that will result in revenue? Does it really matter if Monday's sales dollars are lower as long as the month pans out in regard to your goals? My thought is, "Who cares which day the dollars get posted as long as they do get posted." Ocha

Ocha, So I'm assuming your boss is making you do this and he or she is paranoid you won't make your number by the end of the month. Both of which — tracking the daily sales dollars and the daily sales activities — are stupid.

What you need to do is track the sales cycle and know where you are with respect to that sales cycle and what your expected revenues are. Because if your expected revenues are underneath your daily dollars but your daily dollars are over your goal, you think you're doing well, when in fact, you could be achieving 20, 30 40 or 50 percent more sales by making certain you're looking at your target dollars, not just your actual dollars.

Received dollars are real easy to record, but if you're a salesperson and your boss needs to know what activity you're doing every day — whether you’ve made five follow-ups and whether you did three cold calls — you're doing it all backwards and you’ve got the wrong boss. What you need to do is look at the sales cycle and parenthetically look at the dollars, but they have to be compared to what you projected those dollars to be. Best regards, Jeffrey

Dear Jeffrey, I have a regional billboard company with two years of experience. For the smaller, greener and less connected salespeople of the world, how do you keep a strategy in mind at all times to help land clients such as AT&T, Best Buy or Taco Bell? Stuart

Stuart, You're not going to land those people without years-worth of trying, banging your head against the wall, seeing their ad agency and doing all kinds of other stuff — unless somebody in your family, somebody in your circle of friends or somebody in your circle of influence knows someone up high at those big companies. If they do, and you can be introduced, you can get in the door. And if you can get in the door with some kind of impact, you're going to win.

But here's the secret: Don't just be selling them a billboard. Give them a design that helps them get a response. And maybe you could even arrange with your company to give it away for 30 days to measure that response and go from there. The biggest mistake anybody in advertising makes is walking into a sales call with some kind of a media kit that shows how big a quarter page ad is, or how big a billboard is, or how many 30-second commercials there are. Go in with something already finished so people can look at it, like it, invite other people in to see it and ultimately buy it. Best regards, Jeffrey

Jeffrey, You are pretty critical of CRM systems. They are here to stay, so how do you suggest we make them less threatening and more useful to the sales rep? How do you suggest someone shows the value of CRM to the sales users? Mike

Mike, Make the CRM applicable to the sales cycle, not just what they did on Tuesday. Don't count the number of cold calls. Rather, study the sale from the beginning to the end and coach on that. That will actually help the person who is forced to use it. 

Keep in mind salespeople just want to make a sale. They don't want to be accountable. They got into sales so they wouldn't have to be accountable. But that doesn't mean that they're not responsible. And it's the managers’ or the leaders’ responsibility to help them be responsible for themselves. Best regards, Jeffrey

Jeffrey, I sell broadcast television advertising in a small market. I have mountains of information that shows TV as a great way to advertise, but how do I work that into my sales presentation without being overly analytical and pedantic? I need to give my prospective clients reasons to buy, but I don't want to overwhelm them with data. Dennis

Dennis, Good. Everyone hates data and, in fact, no one believes data. Seventy-four percent of all people don't believe data. Where did I get that number? I made it up. But it sounds good. It's data.

What you need are video testimonials from customers who have already advertised on your station, got great results and are willing to recommend that another prospective customer use your TV station. That's all you need. If that's not working for you, or you can't get them because you don't have any relationships, then do a 30-second spot where you are the voice. And do a spot about whomever you're trying to get: the car agency, the car wash company, the cemetery lot salesperson. Whatever it is that you're trying to get people to buy, do that. You make the commercial. It's 30 seconds. It's only 90 words. Figure it out. You're a smart guy. Your method of being pedantic is too pedantic. Making a commercial in advance and getting a testimonial — those are the only two ways to sell. Best regards, Jeffrey

 Jeffrey Gitomer’s website has information about training and seminars. Visit gitomer.com or email Jeffrey at salesman@gitomer.com.

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