There are fundamental principles in every profession that must be practiced in order to succeed. In football, it is blocking and tackling. After a poor game performance, coaches will often re-enforce the basics to the team by running them through training camp type drills. The famous Vince Lombardi would make this point by holding up a football and saying, “Gentlemen, this is a football.”
In sales, activity level is one such basic. Sales is a game of numbers.
Activity level can be divided between pursing new accounts and handling existing accounts.
A salesperson must contact a large number of prospects in order to create customers. The more prospects you contact the better, because there is a direct correlation between the number of contacts made and the number of new customers created.
It is somewhat like a prospector sifting through the many particles of silt and sand to find the nuggets of gold. Salespeople are sifting through potential customers looking for those that meet their company’s ideal customer profile.
Once a customer is created it must be cared for and developed. A sales rep should make sure they communicate regularly to ensure transactions are handled correctly, any service requirements are being performed satisfactorily, and that an enduring relationship is built that will facilitate on going sales.
Another basic is demonstrating products and services that produce value for the customer. People use their five senses to make buying decisions. Research studies have discovered that buying decisions are made with emotions and later justified with logic. So when we provide an opportunity for the prospect to see, touch, hear, and smell the product emotions are engaged. Never just talk about a product if you can demonstrate how it works and brings some value to bear.
One last basic I will mention here is asking for the order. Once a product is demonstrated and the customer agrees it is something that would benefit them, then ask them to buy it. Asking a customer to buy will very often get them to take action right then. If the customer still has reservations or objections, they will then come to the surface so that they can be discussed and the sale can proceed.
So remember to create and maintain a high activity level, demonstrate product (don’t just talk about it) and ask for the order.