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Shatter the four sales myths that could be ruining your profits – Myth #1: Selling is a numbers game

When asked this week to serve as guest columnist by Richard Earls I was both flattered and challenged. Five “meaningful” insertions that I felt were worth reading tested both my imagination and creativity. Not to mention my writing ability. I decided to hit the ground running and to allocate the first four columns to bashing the popular sales myths. One a day with a curve ball delivered on Friday. Here goes. Happy reading.  – Mike Marchev.


Individuals and sales departments across the country have been stricken with the disease “quit-itis.” They quit everything too soon, from their prospecting efforts to their follow-up attempts. Although they desperately want to succeed and produce the numbers, they let their fears hold them back and convince them to give up. I am here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way for you … or your sales team.

The fact is that after a prospect first rejects a proposal, 50 percent of salespeople stop calling. Another 25 percent stop calling a prospect after a second rejection. But the vast majority of all sales happen after the fifth contact.

While this is bad news for the quitters, it doesn’t have to be that way for you. By helping you overcome the four main sales myths that perpetuate fear and the dreaded “quit-it is,” you can groom your efforts and become the best in the business. Shatter the following four myths that I will be addressing over the next four days and watch your sales figures soar.

Myth #1: Selling is a numbers game

Undoubtedly, you’ve heard this one before: “ Selling is a numbers game.” You may have even preached its tenets. Make the calls, make the presentations, work your way through enough people, and eventually you will make a sale. This is not totally false, but raw volume does not necessarily produce success. Rather than preaching that sales is a numbers game, I want to strongly suggest that you begin relating it to a game of darts.
 
By aiming your effort (the dart) at a clearly defined target (your pre-qualified prospect dart board), your chances for hitting the mark (a sale) are greatly enhanced. Contrast that mindset with a pure numbers game, where you buy a lottery ticket or throw a handful of marbles up in the air hoping one or two land in a paper cup.

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If you want to save a lot of time, money and frustration, make sure you know who your ideal customer is and what they look like. Your chance for success will be much higher if you direct your efforts conscientiously toward a list of defined prospects. This is nothing more or less than a systematic process for zeroing in on a designed target. It’s a trial and error, adjustment-setting exercise designed to focus in on a given mark.

It works like this: First, you have to exert some effort in the direction of a specific goal (your specified prospects). Then, watch what happens; make an adjustment; and try it again. Keep on tweaking your efforts until you have a method that results in the prospect becoming a client.

Here is a specific sales strategy you can try today. First, make a list of five qualified prospects you would like to do business with. Next, write down three ways you can improve awareness of your company’s products or services among these prospects. Initiate the awareness program and record the results from the first-round attempt. Now, make the appropriate adjustments to the program and try again (either on the same five prospects or on a new set of five). Record and adjust again. Continue until you get the results you desire. Finally, apply the refined method to a new group of targeted prospects.

Let others waste their time chasing raw numbers. Identify your target and then use bracketing to become successful by design. You’ll discover that there’s very little luck to sales after all.

Tomorrow, I am betting I get your attention when I address Sales Myth #2. “You Must Like People.”

Note: Mike addresses The Four Sales Myths along with 34 other sales career building strategies in his book titled Become The Exception. For details on how you can purchase a copy, send Mike an email at mikem@marchv.net

  One thought on “Shatter the four sales myths that could be ruining your profits – Myth #1: Selling is a numbers game

  1. Bridget Cruz says:

    I have been in the travel business for 20 years and it always amazes me at the agents that just keep doing what they do day after day. Fighting change instead of embracng it. If your business is slow maybe it’s your way of doing business. This is advice is awesome!

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