We have all had a great week where virtually everything we touched confirmed as SOLD! We have all experienced the opposite where you could not give away a free steak at a BBQ.
There is a method of repeating the success and making it more of a regular occurrence. Here is how…
All your pending sales have closed. A few of them that you did not expect to confirm fell your way. A potential client from the dead resurrected himself. You could do no wrong. It’s one of those weeks where your Sales Manager even tells you to go home early Friday. Just be discreet about it please.
What just happened?
You had a killer week. The planets aligned and you were a Sales Superstar. You might have even multiplied your sales volume this week by 52 weeks of the year and your commission rate. YEAH, BABY you said in that Austin Power’s voice when you envisioned your yearly income!
Don’t shoot the messenger
Pardon me for giving you a dose of reality. After a record sales week, there is an overwhelming chance you will have a low, if not poor, billing week. It’s the ultimate irony and also very disappointing. How can you go from having a killer week to one that made you feel the exact opposite? You might even think it would be better to spread your sales volume out over two weeks instead of riding the roller coaster. Fight the urge to do that. Celebrate your victory and learn from your challenges. Don’t be a sandbagger who holds onto orders until the next week just to make themselves look good.
Here is what happens
Every Professional Salesperson in every industry I have worked with goes through a Two Stage Sales Process in securing business. It’s like a two stroke engine that functions on an upstroke and a downstroke to keep the pistons moving. Both components are necessary to keep the engine performing and delivering power to move ahead.
This where you are doing all the preliminary work on starting relationships with new clients, booking appointments, doing a proper needs analysis and hopefully mutually engaging with your client. While this stage of the sales process shows no sales results, we all know it’s prerequisite to the possibility of doing business together. The downstroke is a vital part of your potential success. The work you do in this stage determines whether there will even be the upstroke, so don’t sell it short.
This where your efforts pay off and clients give you confirmation of purchase. You put the order in and look like the hero. This stage in booking the business is a minimal amount of work. It’s more like administration. Of course, this just starts the process of conversion from prospect to actual client. Now your efforts focus on you and your company delivering on your commitments. That’s as much, if not more work than the downstroke.
In planning your week, you should be spending an equal amount of time on both stages. This has you building sales for future weeks and confirming sales by booking them. When you have a great balance between the two, you will go home Friday feeling positive. You experience sales and set up future potential business. Your two stroke sales engine is moving ahead nicely.
Be assured it won’t always be that way. The profession of Sales has a way of messing with your head and testing you. There may be times when you feel like you’re in the downstroke for a few weeks.
The Mental Test
This could leave you feeling a little uneasy. You haven’t put any sales numbers on the board for a while and you don’t like that. No matter what your commission rate, zero sales means zero income. Your Sales Manager might be asking you a few questions to make sure you’re on track. This can add to your anxiety. Keep your head in check. As a great Sales Mentor once told me…
Save some of the fuel in your tank on a great week for the times when you need to draw on it.
Great advice from a true Sales Veteran!
Here’s something else I learned
When you have a great billing week – the Upstroke – physically record everything you did that made it that way. Document your success and study it. Write down each contributing activity, thought pattern and behavior you experienced. This is your template for repeating the pattern and making it more consistent. Ask yourself these questions:
- What did I do differently this week?
- What did I do better this week?
- Why did these clients buy?
- What created the sense of urgency for these sales to confirm?
- What activities led to my billings?
- What was my attitude?
- What was the level of my activity and work intensity?
- What observations have become apparent to me?
- What do I have to do to repeat this pattern?
Make no mistake!
Your success was not by accident. You engineered it. You were responsible for having a great week. Results come with hard work and repeating the pattern that works for you based on your sales style, personality and approach in doing the job. Master it! That is how you repeat a great sales week. Sales is the study of human behavior – how your clients respond and what you can do to influence their actions. That’s what makes it challenging. That’s what makes it fun.
One more point
This process can easily be used in the opposite manner – To learn what mistakes you’re making when in a sales slump. In my management and training career, that process never has the same positive impact. No one likes to analyze a bad week and beat themselves up. You want to change it. When you’re having a challenging week or month, go back to your notes on the Upstroke Week. The answers are already there waiting for you.
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Dave Warawa PROSALESGUY
PROSALESGUY TRAINING offers Group and Individual Sales Training, Sales Management Mentoring and Consultation, and Business Consulting Services in Victoria, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto. Training can be done on site or via web conferencing.