Luck and selling
I often hear people mention the word luck to me when dealing with a customer or when having a bad month. I would argue that luck does not exist but that we are in a profession that takes skill, education, practice, expert knowledge and planning.
A true sales person does not rely on the roll of a dice or hope and wish that they have a good week.
A true professional depends on the knowledge and understanding of facts, scientific data and laws all applied with learned skill.
If you learn the facts and laws that govern our activities then we can eliminate some of the risks associated with good luck. This becomes hugely important for those who generate an income from selling. If we understand these laws we can make our earnings more consistent.
The science of selling is exactly as it sounds which is the numbers and the data that we create in our daily activities and outcomes.
The first step in understanding this process is to assess all of the statistical data that we as sales people have available to us. We need to consider our selling situation, the product, the sales process and our time scales. We need to also consider all the averages i.e. sales averages, commissions paid to us, accessories and add ons sold, length of time to close a sale, appointments needed to make a sale, the number of telephone calls we need to make etc.
In a nutshell we need data and also need to understand the importance of this data and the impact it can have on our earning potential. This information is freely available and helps us to understand our business.
Selling is a subjective business and we cannot rely on what we think or feel. The amount of prospects that we thought we saw and what we think our closing averages are across all spectrum’s of our daily activity. This guesswork will be completely different from the true hard reality of our averages.
Once we have real data then we can begin to exercise planned control over it. If we assumed that we closed one in five of our enquiries having taken them through the thorough sales process then we begin to understand our ratios. However there will be occasions where we sell to three in five and this is not good luck. There will be occasions where we close one in ten deals and this is not bad luck.
Over time the average will even out and if we make an assumption that our closing success rate is twenty percent then we can start to understand the reality of our roles and what we can do to influence our earning potential. If we take this one in five sale figure and then calculate the commission we earn for example £200 per sale which is the average figure as there are occasions when we earn £50 or £150.
We should then ask ourselves the question of how much we earn for every presentation or even how much we earn when a customer did not buy from us. Every time we ask for an order we earn one fifth of our average commission. Therefore for every action we make we earn from this action whatever the outcome.
The law of averages is no different to the law of gravity if we deal with hard data they will work. What we need to do is find out all our numbers to calculate and understand what we would like to earn. We need to understand that every sales action has a value.
If we work to this rule then every time a customer says no we will earn £40 and equally every time we get a yes we earn £40. Usually we have a vague idea of our closing averages or someone else tells us and we stop there. The problem with this is that the closing average is the end result of an entire sales process. But to achieve consistent outcomes we need consistent input.
Our work ethic should be consistent and hinge on the amount of calls we make, the number of appointments we make, test drives insisted on etc. When we see sales people fluctuate with earnings and sales this is not due to bad luck but the result of an inconsistent work ethic.
Rise above the level of the wishful thinker and control your salary potentials and become a sales scientist.