important is sales in your business?
Sounds like a silly question, doesn't it.
However, how much time do you really spend on
sales activities? That is, first appointments, telemarketing, sales
training, strategic partnerships and other sales activities that you
are asking a decision-maker to do business with you? No, this does
not include networking! I am surprised at the amount of time that
business owners and entrepreneurs really spend on sales activities.
recently did a poll that asked that asked “how will you increase
sales in 2009?”
Here are the choices:
improve my sales skills
increase my networking efforts
explore social media
focus more sales more sales activities
do you think was the first choice selected?
most people chose the networking answer. Sixty-two percent chose
“increase my networking efforts”. Thirty-seven percent chose
“focus on more sales activities” Nobody chose improve my sales
skills or explore social media. Now, this poll was not a scientific
study, but, I was puzzled with the results.
over twenty years of sales experience, I know what activities produce
sales. It is not networking. Sure, you meet interesting people and
learn more about them and their business. It feels good to socially
connect with other business owners. You get to add another business
card to the stack. However, it does not get you new sales and more
is some questions to ponder:
What is your return on investment for your networking efforts?
How much time are you spending driving and meeting people?
How many sales have directly resulted from your networking?
What would be your results if you invested that time to pick up the telephone to call a prospect or ask for a referral from your clients?
be honest. Sometimes networking is just “busy work” that
replaces what you really should be doing to build your business.
Some business owners and entrepreneurs can sometimes do much
networking to the detriment of their business.
majority of my day is focused on sales activities. I am calling
prospects (smiling and dialing), connecting with my clients,
completing first call appointments and producing solution
presentations and closing sales. These activities will directly
result in SALES. Everything else is secondary. This means that I do
all my administrative, educational and creative activities before and
after my work day. In fact, I am writing this blog on Sunday. I
don't read and reply to my emails during the my time dedicated to
sales tasks. I don't take personal calls during this time. I don't
create my sales proposals during my sales time. Yes, it is a sales
activity, but it takes me away from making a sales call, connecting
with my clients or closing a deal. That's a no-no.
If you want more sales, then you must focus your time on sales-related activities. Duh. Unfortunately, some people realize this too late. That is why 80% of all new businesses fail within the first five years. Your solution to more sales is not a better website, effective marketing strategy, a comprehensive advertising-public relations campaign or a pretty corporate brochure. You need more activity dedicated to sales. If you want to be successful in business, you must engage your clients and prospects. Don't be afraid to ask for the sale. You will not close 100% of sales, but I guarantee you that you will learn more and become a lot wiser. Learn from your mistakes and failures. Look for all sales opportunities and seek to maximize any opportunity. You can not make a sale by networking. Be smart. Focus on sales and not just “busy work”. So, how important is sales in your business now?
What do you think? Please share your thoughts and make a comment.