Everybody Sells

January 4, 2010

by Matt Michel

Jennifer is one of the top salespeople in her organization.  Her peers roll their eyes when discussing her.  She’s in a whole other league.  She’s a sales machine.

As good as Jennifer is, any of the salespeople in her organization could match her if they were willing to put out a similar effort and practice similar disciplines.  They don’t, so she outsells them. What are those disciplines? 

1. Jennifer Doesn’t Sit Around
A lot of salespeople would rather sit around and complain than hustle.  Not Jennifer.  She doesn’t waste time.  She works.  She’s out making sales while the other salespeople are trying to figure out what they’re going to do.

2. Jennifer Plans During Downtime
With every product or service, there’s a time when you can sell and a time when you can’t.  Jennifer takes advantage of the downtime.  She uses it to pre-plan her sales.  She doesn’t waste sales time getting ready.  She’s already ready.  Sales time is for selling.  Downtime is for preparing.

3. Jennifer is Opportunistic
Jennifer makes sure everyone she knows, knows what she’s selling.  She’s not shy about it.  As a result, she gets orders other salespeople from her organization miss.

Show the least little interest and Jennifer’s ready.  She’s always got an order form with her.  She knows her product line backwards and forwards.  She’s alert for buying signals.  She scripts what she’s going to say, but will vary the script based on the circumstances.

4. Jennifer Keeps Records
Many salespeople fail to keep records of what they sold, to whom, when, and where.  Jennifer keeps detailed records.  She reviews these every year.  As a result, she knows what to do to maximize sales time.

5. Jennifer Retains Customers
Buy from Jennifer once and she considers you *her* customer.  She learns and records your preferences.  She reminds you what you purchased before.  She asks for a reorder and suggests new items.

6. Jennifer is Efficient & Unconventional
The best salespeople are willing to try new approaches.  They are willing to go beyond their training.  The products Jennifer sells are typically sold face-to-face by a direct sales force.  This is how they’re trained to sell.

Jennifer sells that way too.  She also telemarkets.  She simply calls her old customers and asks for orders.  With the telephone, she can reach more people.  She can extend her selling time.

7. Jennifer Sets Her Own Quotas
Jennifer disregards the quotas handed down by her organization.  She sets her own quotas.

Jennifer is 12 Years Old.

Yes, Jennifer is 12.  She’s a Girl Scout.  She sells cookies.  Every year, between school, scouts, softball, and soccer, she finds time to sell more than 400 to 500 boxes of cookies.  She has a cookie clientele. 

If Jennifer is a sales star, Katie is a Girl Scout Cookie superstar.  This year, 9 year old Katie went from 210 boxes to 1,869.  How did she do it?  Simple.  She created a new approach.

While other girls went door-to-door in residential neighborhoods, Katie went business-to-business.  She walks in, asks to see the manager, explains that she’s selling Girl Scout Cookies, and explains the program where people can buy cookies for the troops overseas.  Katie then asks how many *cases* they want – not boxes, cases.  That’s new paradigm selling.

If a 12 year old can follow those seven sales disciplines, so can you.  If a 9 year old can create a new sales paradigm, so can you.

Why are you still sitting around?  Remember the first discipline?

Source: Comanche Marketing. Reprinted by permission.
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Copyright © 2005 Matt Michel

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