My day usually starts at 5:00 A.M. at my local health club, and today was no exception. After finishing a 10-mile bike ride it was time to head to the weight room. I was bored with my current program so I opened my program folder to see if there was another one that I could substitute. As I was looking through the folder I realized that I had 10 years of accumulated programs in the folder, wow! As I looked through some of my older routines I realized that my fitness and exercise skill level had increased significantly over the last 10 years. Some of my early training regimens seemed difficult at the time but would be very easy today. As I got stronger and more proficient my trainer continued to add increasingly difficult exercises and heavier loads to the regimen.
As I thought about it more, I realized that having a disciplined approach to exercising is no different than having a disciplined approach to any activity, including selling. Sales Leaders, if your 2012 sales results were less than impressive now is the time to get back to your sales fighting weight, consider some of these sales exercises to get you back into top shape.
Know your markets
The marketplace is changing at an incredibly fast pace and the issues facing your prospects today are far different than those of one or two years ago. If you dont understand your prospects challenges you wont be able to interact with them effectively. Take the time to keep abreast of trends and key pain points facing your clients, it will make conversations much easier to start.
Know your products
Sales people will sell what they are comfortable with and often sell only a small portion of the products and services available to them. Get out of your comfort zone and become an expert on your firms newest products, your firm built them because the market needs them.
Know your prospects
I know it seems elementary but I frequently see sales people get a lead and make the first contact without taking the time to do some background research. Company websites, LinkedIn, Facebook, and SEC filings are packed with information that can help you establish the critical initial conversation.
Know your competition
Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your competition can help you differentiate your firm without resorting to bad mouth tactics. New competitors are constantly emerging so stay vigilant!
Keep your pipeline squeaky clean
Your senior executive team is relying on your forecast to make future business decisions meaning an accurate sales pipeline is a must have. Sales pipelines tend to get bloated over time with deals that are poorly qualified or have aged to the point of no decision. Review your pipeline on a weekly basis and make the hard decision to remove lost deals as early as possible.
2013 is right around the corner and now is the perfect time to start your personal sales strengthening program. If you would like some help getting started we have several tools and resources that can help you. Sell above your weight in 2013 and start training now!