When I began selling, my boss gave me a sales goal. I had to achieve those results any way I could.
The focus was only on results. Sales process was a different discussion that my boss didn't want to have.
In my next selling job, I received "sales training." The training was all about outsmarting the buyer, doing something that would force the buyer to give me the order. I couldn't imagine making a living by deceiving others. It was depressing.
I began a journey of exploration and self-learning. I based my journey on a novel idea: selling should be about enriching the customer, not by deceiving them.
Many of my peers thought I had lost my mind. (Perhaps that's true, but it happened long before they noticed it.)
I found that by being more organized in my sales efforts, I could reach more prospects, sooner. Without giving it a name, I was turning my selling efforts into a project. My sales project had these characteristics:
- I had an annual sales goal. It was measurable. It had a due date. It was easy to see my progress during the year. It was easy to see if I achieved my goal at the end of the year.
- My daily chaos was reduced. To achieve my annual goal, I created milestones during the year. If I was achieving my milestones on time, I would be more likely to achieve my annual goal.
- I created a list of activities that would help me achieve each milestone. Each activity had a deliverable, a due date and an accountable person: me.
- I scheduled the start dates and due dates of my activities. I now had a project schedule for my entire sales year.
- It was time to execute my plan. My list of activities, each with their own start date and due date, let me open my Franklin Day-Planner and schedule my week with confidence.
By turning my sales efforts into a sales project, I reaped these rewards:
- I was more organized. Chaos went down. I didn't wake up at 3 AM, wondering if I was doing the right thing.
- My sales increased dramatically, because I was using my time better.
- I enriched the lives of more customers, sooner.
- I was able to take more time off. I spent more time with my family, my hobbies, exercise...you know the list.
I learned this valuable lesson: to sell more, turn your sales efforts into a project.
What about you? Would you like to learn how it works? Watch this blog for the details.