The One True Sales Tip: The Zen of Selling
By Andy Paul
As a speaker, consultant and author I am often asked by sales managers and sales professionals: “If you had to choose one piece of advice to give me about how to grow sales, what would it be?” My standard answer is “Sell more.”
You can see why I am considered such a sales genius and sales guru.
Of course, persistent questioners, beguiled by the zen-like simplicity of my advice, demand to know more. Surely there must be some inscrutable truth hidden behind the words and I shake my head and whisper softly, so softly that they must lean their heads in to hear my words, “Not really.” I motion for them to sit at my feet and I reveal this mystery of sales.
I illustrate the meaning of “Sell More” with a parable about a salesperson for a typical medium-sized business. His name was Carlos. Carlos, who went by the nickname Eckstein, always had a reason for everything. These included why he would almost always make his numbers but never quite get there. His boss was at a loss. He thought the problem might be spiritual so he summoned me, the sales guru, to analyze the problem.
Observing Eckstein in action was to see a fairly typical salesperson at work. On the surface it looked like he was taking the right steps to succeed and he seemed happy in his work. Unfortunately, his desire, his intensity and his sales thought process matched his performance. It was mostly right. But something was holding him back from taking his productivity to the next level besides the mismatched socks he wore each day to work.
Eckstein’s problem was one of distinguishing between “enough” and “more.” He was like most salespeople in that regard. He always thought he was doing “enough” to make his numbers and that if everyone else just did their jobs then he would be able to make his quota. It never occurred to him that the key to unlocking his success was doing “more.”
If you don’t have enough prospects, then sell…more. Prospect with existing customers to assess if they have new requirements for your products and services. Call existing customers for referrals and make those connections now. Go to a networking event and meet 6 new contacts. Ask your connections on LinkedIn for two introductions to potential new prospects. And, if you are lacking all imagination, then heaven forbid, go make some cold calls. Fill every hour with selling. Just sell. More often. More persistently. More creatively. More aggressively. Sell. More.
If you have enough prospects, but aren’t hitting your numbers, then you also need to sell more. Be responsive in Zero-Time to customer requirements for information, instantly follow up every lead with the answers the customer needs, turn around all requests for quotes and proposals and information immediately. and then fill every spare minute with productive sales activity to sell with maximum impact in the least time possible. Just sell…more. More responsively, more quickly, more forcefully, more actively, more enthusiastically. Sell More.
Sell More does not mean to engage in random sales activity. That is what gets sales people like Eckstein into the hole they are in now. To ‘Sell More’ means to fill your sales time with intelligent, productive, creative, responsive sales actions that create value for your prospect, customer and company.
Sell More. Win More Orders. Simple.
Andy Paul is author of the award-winning book, Zero-Time Selling: 10 Essential Steps to Accelerate Every Company’s Sales. A frequent speaker, Andy conducts workshops and consults with B2B sales teams of all sizes and shapes to teach them how to sell more by selling faster. Sign up for our monthly newsletter, “The Speed of Selling.” Enjoy what you just read? Subscribe to our blog!
© Andy Paul 2012