A few years ago, I had conversations with two solid performing salespeople who worked for the same company. Both relocated to new areas because their spouses had accepted job transfers. One told me how great things were in her new area, and that if she’d known how lucrative it was she wouldn’t have been apprehensive about moving when her husband was offered his promotion to that area. She called it the Promised Land.
The other rep was struggling and spent his time telling me how different the people were in his new location and how hard it was to convince them to buy from him and his company. Now, I wouldn’t embarrass either one of these folks, as both are good sales people, but it’s the man and not the land, and always will be. People will be people, everywhere across the nation.
There are many reasons superstars outsell average performers, but the biggie is the amount of time devoted to selling. According to sales effectiveness surveys, on average top performers spend 55% of their time selling and 45% on non-selling activities. Compare that to average performers, who typically spend 65% of their day on non-selling activities and only 35% actually selling.
How are the high performers able to spend so much of their time selling? You would think all reps spent about the same amount of time on administrative requirements, meetings, and performance reviews, however, it turns out high performers do the following five things that help them free up more time to sell:
- Identify – Top performers quickly recognize and separate good opportunities from poor ones by isolating suspects from prospects. Doing so helps them devote more time on likely customers.
- Innovate – While between appointments, top performers do things that drive interest in their product or service. They realize that is the best time to prospect for the future, visit an old client, or get to know a potential new one.
- Impose – Superstar sellers impose on administrative assistants for reporting, sending out literature, and industry research, so that their time can be spent selling. Even if you don’t have an admin person available to you, think out of the box and compensate a responsible teenager or other family member to handle these routine tasks for you.
- Imagine – Top sellers realize the high probability of being assigned unwanted mundane tasks by management if they habitually hang around the office. Knowing these chores will be unproductive, the winners avoid them by making themselves scarce. When required to be in the office, remain engaged and industrious while keeping a low profile.
- Interrelate – Great sales reps tend to have a good rapport with, and get the backs of, their managers. This results in increased selling time, because managers tend to put more trust in reps like these and require less “gopher” work from them. Management understands their best contribution and their highest value comes from their selling efforts.
Like a see-saw at the playground, when one end goes up the other dips toward the ground. Therefore it only makes sense that as you reduce your non-selling time, you’re selling hours and eventually your sales results will increase. What’s not to like about that tradeoff?
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“Doug has been really good in helping my reps successfully make prospecting calls and appointments. Not only is he good at what he does but he coaches reps online for a fraction of the cost of traditional workshops requiring travel, meals, and overnight rooms. My team is definitely performing better as a result of his coaching.” Mandar S. – Lafayette, LA.
Come to Doug’s website and learn more, then decide if he could be the missing piece at your company.
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