In small or home-based businesses, sales professionals have been stricken with a disease called “quit-itis.” Although most people desperately want to succeed, they let their fears and misguided beliefs hold them back only to convince themselves that the logical next step is to give up. But it doesn’t have to end this way for you.
The statistics that you might want to tattoo on your forearm are these: 50-25-80. After a prospect initially rejects a proposal, 50 percent of salespeople stop calling on that prospect. An additional 25 percent stop calling the prospect after they gather enough confidence to try again only to be rejected for a second time. Here is the clincher: The majority of sales-80%-happen after the fifth contact. Your tattoo will look something like this: “50-25-80.”
By helping you overcome the four main sales myths that perpetuate fear and the dreaded “quit-itis,” you can groom yourself to be the best in the business. Shatter the following four myths today and watch your sales figures soar:
Myth 1: You must treat sales as a numbers game.
Rather than endorse that sales is a numbers game, I prefer that you consider it a game of darts. By aiming your effort (the dart) at a clearly defined target (your pre-qualified prospect), your chances for hitting the mark (a sale) are greatly enhanced.
If you want to save a lot of time, money and frustration, make sure you know who your ideal customer is. Your chance for success will be much higher if you direct your efforts conscientiously toward a list of defined prospects. I like to call this concept “bracketing”-the systematic process of zeroing in on a designated target.
In sales, bracketing 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 tweaking until you have a method that results in the prospect becoming a client.
Myth 2: You must like people.
The implication is that you should have the innate capacity and desire to cozy up to just about everybody-or at least those with bankrolls in their wallets.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Like it or not, the world has its quota of nasty, insincere and negative people. Some people are purposely dishonest, and others lack integrity or character. On the other hand, there are plenty of fine, upstanding, fun and creative human beings trying to figure out how things work while maintaining a healthy sense of humor and appreciation for reality.
So, let’s give this “you’ve got to like people” thing a different twist. If you want to minimize stress, have more fun, and earn more money begin by spending more time looking for, and doing business with, people who are honest, hard working, fun, intelligent, enthusiastic and easy to be around.
Myth 3: Rejection comes with the territory.
Once you accept the proposition that you have been rejected, you have given up the psychological high ground and put your self-esteem into retreat. Simply put, you need to reject the notion of rejection. But once you understand that all you are doing is helping people, every outcome should be the same. If prospects don’t want your help or choose not to deal with you for whatever reason, it is not your problem. You simply have to locate another prospect who needs your services.
When you stop linking, no matter how subtly, your sense of self-worth and accomplishment to a prospect’s response, then selling ceases to be hard work and instead becomes a game….a game of darts.
Myth 4: Stress is inevitable.
While a lot of sales professionals feel stress, it need not rule their lives. No one was born with stress. It is something we allow to happen.
When our imperfect world follows its natural course, we object to its imperfection and thereby create stress. In engineering, stress results from the application of a constant force to an immovable object. In life, the force is your expectation, and the object is reality. Doesn’t it make more sense to accept the world and all of its nuances as they are, maybe even with a modicum of humor?
The bottom line is that if you want to be more successful, then you must lighten up. When you disregard the myths of sales, you will gain a clearer perspective of what selling really involves. Above all, you’ll persevere when so many others quit, and that’s what will make the difference to your bottom line.
Mike presents a business-building webinar on the third Thursday of every month sponsored by AmaWaterways. To receive a complimentary invitation send Mike an email with the phrase “AmaWaterways” in the Subject Box. You will also receive a link to the recorded version.
For information on Mike’s 6-Week Online Selling Course, email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org with the words “sales course” in the subject box.