Sales people have been taught to utilize new selling techniques and tactics. Tactics to help them have a better sales meeting and to improve their sales pitch. You can be the best at holding a meeting and giving a sales pitch – but if you are not taking into account who your audience is, you will not have much sales success.In today’s world – our competition as sales reps is not the other companies offerings – their products or service, our competition is the sales reps that are interacting with the same people we are.What was that sales rep able to, or not able to do when interacting with the prospect? What points did they get across, how much were they able to learn about the day to day problems of the prospect?It is our job as sales people to not only get in front of the decision maker – but then it is our job to figure out what is going on their world. If we are giving cookie cutter sales presentations and sales pitches then we are going to have a pretty rough time.This is how I know, I do not do this – and I win the business over my competition, the other sales reps who are not doing as good a job as I am. My meetings, my “sales pitch” is always different, it directly relates to what is going on in the prospects world.Sometimes I am able to help the prospect, sometimes I am not, depending on what is going on in their world. But if you are not figuring out what is going on in their world and giving the same pitch you always do, it is going to be tough to increase your sales and in an ever more competitive and challenging landscape for sales people.3 Things You can do to tailor your sales pitch for a unique audience:1) Research, Research, Research!Sometimes it seems like I am in Law School – but one of the most important things we do as sales reps is research. I am constantly reading industry publications, news releases, competitors marketing information, and new selling tactics2) Meeting AgendaPrep for your meeting and create an agenda to use in the meeting. Don’t assume you know what you do not know – and generate topics around the areas you need to learn more. Think of yourself as a news reporter trying to get the scoop – we want to ask as many questions as possible to learn the details of their “story.”3) Internal Sales MeetingsDon’t reinvent the wheel! Make sure you are asking the other sales reps in your company about what they are facing – the gossip they are hearing, the problems they have seen with specific audiences. Use other people’s experiences to amplify your knowledge!These are all tools that I use – Knowledge is power, the more we know as a sales rep the more we can consult with our prospects and help them eliminate the problems they are facing. These are sales tactics you should implement today to increase your sales.
Have you ever considered the amount of “Sales Attrition” that you are having in your sales pipeline? You probably haven’t even heard of the term… that’s because I just coined the phrase. As a reminder, Attrition is the reduction or decrease in numbers, size or strength. Therefore “Sales Attrition” is the decrease in any and all sales activities that directly result in the decrease of the number of deals that you potentially can make during the coming months. As a salesperson, you and your management team should be expecting that your efforts will result in the increase of your list of potential deals all the time, eternally. There can be no exception to this rule. I thought that it might be good to review a few of the top reasons why salespeople and sales teams face Sales Attrition (in no particular order)1. The sales team doesn’t have a clear understanding of the ideal customer that they should be targeting. As are result, they spend too much time chasing the wrong deals. Understanding exactly who you should be selling to is an absolute must have in sales pipeline management.2. If a sales person is spending time with a qualified prospect, they spend the wrong amount of time on the deal relative to the potential payoff of the deal. Don’t spend 45% of your time (annually for example) on a deal that will get you only 15% of your quota.3. The salesperson doesn’t know when to throw in the towel. Know when to walk away from a deal. Again, this results in wasting one of the most valuable commodities that a sales person has, his or her time.4. The sale person doesn’t know how to follow and pace the client through the decision-making process and they don’t track the client as they are moving from the “just kicking the tires” phase to the “writing the check” phase.5. The sales team hasn’t done the proper ecosystem development within their industry to generate the quantity and quality of leads that they will need to you’re your sales pipeline.6. The sales team doesn’t properly follow up on potential opportunities in a consistent and timely manner throughout the sales process. This is an insidious and hard to diagnose sales pipeline crusher.7. The sales team isn’t properly supported by sufficient marketing efforts. How many new prospects are you adding to your sales pipeline daily, weekly or monthly.8. The sales team doesn’t understand the metrics regarding how many contacts that they have to be converting to sales on a daily, weekly or monthly basis in order to meet their sales goals and quotas. Understanding the metrics is absolutely critical when it comes to accurately forecasting your sales pipeline and closing sales.9. The sales person is not technically proficient enough to add value as an “expert” to the prospect to maintain their high value to the client through the sales process. If you can’t be the expert… have one that you can bring to the table even if you have to hire that expert to be part of your team.10. The sales professional underutilizes the internal resources available to them via their own company or other leveraged business partners. Know your strengths and use them to the greatest leverage at every point in the sales cycle.Now that you know what you might not be doing consider how you might change your behavior and work style to improve every activity noted above. Address each of the list items courageously and truthfully. Improve every effort in all of the items listed above and you are sure to see that instead of having sales attrition you will have sales addition (okay, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity for a little alliteration…. you get the point).
There is a well known management saying “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” Commission sales people can take a lesson from that saying as well. It would state,”Car salespeople who choose not to track their key activities will not achieve their desired income.”Many in sales believe that the “Win” or “Inking The Deal” is what matters. On the contrary, closing is the result of what matters. Closing the deal is the outcome of the front-end effort.In the automobile sales arena, the highest paid commission sales people have a process to measure their effectiveness. They do this to be able to map out exactly what needs to be done to meet their personal financial targets.That’s right, professional automobile sales people know what they are going to earn because they have decided what that income number will be.Not possible, you say.Think again. To borrow a quote from Stephen Covey, “Begin with the end in mind.”Let’s say an automobile sales person sets a target to earn one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) in commissions over the next twelve months. How would she do it?No, I don’t mean working harder, prospecting more, taking more walk-ins; although they might be what is required to achieve the $100,000 goal.I am not talking about the activity. I am mapping out the planning of how to achieve a six figure commission sales income in selling automobiles.Begin With The End In MindHere is how top sales commission earners decide on a minimum income target over a twelve month period. Based on their closing history they list three numbers:1. their desired income target2. their average commission per sale3. their closing ratioFor example, let’s say Jennifer Brown wants to earn $100,000 over the next twelve months. Based on her sales history, she knows her average commission is $525 per car and that she closes about 20 of every 100 people she speaks to; hence, a 20% closing ratio.Jennifer takes her calculator and crunches the numbers…* Income Target divided by Average Commission per Sale = Number of automobile sales required to achieve the income target$100,000 / $525 = 190 sales* Next calculation:Number of car sales needed to achieve income target divided by closing ratio to determine how many people Jennifer needs to prospect190 automobile sales / 20% = 952 peopleWow, seems like a lot of prospecting.By-the-way, if you are a commission sales person, regardless of the product you represent, a target needs to be believable. A number like 952 can be scary. That seems like an awful lot of people to prospect. And, it might be a little over-whelming for one’s belief system to grab hold of.Since achieving a $100,000 income target is based over 12 months, Jennifer decides to divide the number of prospects by twelve months. That’s about 79 contacts per month. Not unrealistic for a savvy automobile sales person.In fact, to make the number even more palatable, Jennifer divides the number of prospects by the number of days an automobile salesperson works in the run of a year. Allowing for holidays and vacation, the average is 240.Now, 952 prospects divided by 240 days is 4 prospects. Prospecting an average of four people a day is certainly achievable for a professional car salesperson.ConclusionAchieving a six figure income as an automobile sales person is attainable. But you need to know your numbers. As a sales professional, tracking your daily activity is critical.And there are variables. For example, as Jennifer improves her closing ratio, if she stays on target with her prospecting numbers, she will exceed her commission sales income goal.Also, as she becomes more experienced, she will likely hold more gross per sale. That translates into more commissions.And, with experience comes more repeat and referral business.Most importantly, here is what truly excites me about commission sales. Anytime you want a raise, just sell another car. It is that easy.Remember: Nothing happens until someone sells something.Sales Champions Make It Happen!