There’s nothing in this article that you don’t already know.
Now, please continue reading anyway, because I promise that it will be worth your while.
You’re a professional salesperson. Or manager. Or owner.
You don’t need me to tell you, for example, that testimonials and referrals are among the best ways we have to grow our business, right?
You don’t need me to tell you that if you called more customers and prospects, you would sell more.
You know that you should ask for the business more. Like, every time you talk to a customer.
You know you should tell your customers about what else they can buy from you.
And you know that the more you communicate with customers and prospects, the more they will buy.
But knowing is quite different than doing. Isn’t it?
We know a lot of things we don’t do. For example, we know that drinking alcohol isn’t good for us, and yet many of us have some drinks.
We know that eating desert isn’t great for our health.
We know we should keep a neat and tidy workplace.
We know we should work out first thing in the morning (I go to the coffee maker). We know we shouldn’t yell at our kids.
But knowing it is very different than doing it.
I know you know.
But knowing doesn’t make you more money. Doing does.
We need to start doing the things we know we should be doing.
So, why don’t we?
Why do we avoid the things we know will make us more money in this work?
Because we are busy. Our days are reactive. The phone rings, we answer it, and there’s a customer on the other end of the line. The customer either needs something or has a problem. We must resolve the issue. It’s our job. We hang up. And the phone rings again. We blink, and it’s 4 PM and it’s time to go home. There’s no time to do the things we know we should do. There is only time to respond to customers.
Because we are not proactive. A day of answering calls and dealing with urgent issues is a reactive day. These things that we know – that we should proactively call customers and prospects; that we should ask for the business; that we should ask for referrals – these are proactive actions. We must make time for them.
Because we don’t make a plan. The key to doing proactive work is to plan it. And then to do it in short bursts. How long does it take to say “should we write it up,” or “when would you like this order?” Not long, right? We need repeated short bursts, but daily.
Because we’re not held accountable. Accountability is one of the greatest and most difficuilt-to-implement factors for sales growth. Owners have a hard time with it. Managers have a hard time with it. And salespeople don’t like it instinctually – even though we like the results (more money!) a whole lot.
Because we are not recognized for success. The science shows us that recognition is a more effective tool for motivating new behaviors than money. Being told “great work, thank you, and congratulations” in front of our peers is totally motivating. And it has the added and very important value of causing those not being recognized to aspire to be next. Paying somebody a financial bonus in private doesn’t do that.
So if you want to start doing things that you know you should be – like consistently and systematically calling customers and prospects more; and asking for referrals; and asking for the business; and sending hand written notes; and following up on quotes and proposals – the first thing you should do is make a plan to do so.
What will you do?
And then, track your results. How did these actions go? What happened.
And then show your completed plan and results to somebody who is expecting it. This is the accountability piece. Tell your supervisor – or your spouse – that you need them to be comfortable asking you about your plan if you do not show it to them.
Identify the wins with them. Discuss it. Celebrate the successes.
And soon, you will find yourself habitually doing these things that you know you should be doing.
And your customers will thank you with their money.
Alex Goldfayn is the author of The Revenue Growth Habit: The Simple Art of Growing Your Business by 15% in 15 Minutes a Day. It was selected the sales book of the year and one of the top business books of the year by Forbes.
Learn more about Alex’s keynote speaking and revenue growth consulting practice at www.goldfayn.com