A lot of our work involves fixing an organisation’s marketing and sales processes so they stop wasting time and resources on the wrong prospects while converting the right ones into more profitable business.
A fundamental mistake we constantly see is confusing activity with outcome…
Seeing lots of unqualified prospects who have no intention or ability to buy might tick your activity boxes, but will never lead to a sale – the ultimate outcome you really want.
It’s a trap I’ve seen countless sales managers and sales people fall into.
Many sales managers set appointment goals for their staff. i.e. you need to see X number of people a day, week, month etc. Never mind what the quality of the call is and whether the person was really a prospect or just a tyre kicker.
And the sales people who work for them comply by rushing out to anyone who will meet with them because they’re so excited to have found a willing prospect. They make no effort to actually qualify them first and waste precious time meeting people who aren’t likely to be a good fit.
And both sides play the game.
However, the fundamental objective – making sales has been lost.
So what should you be doing instead?
We all have limited time. So it makes sense to only work with people who have already expressed an interest in your products and who qualify for your “sales” time. Ironically it’s your willingness and ability to qualify people out that will determine your success.
One of our clients in the consumer market has this down to a fine art. Using a broad net, he gets hundreds of leads a week through the very well oiled marketing system we’ve jointly put together.
But not every lead is created equal – in fact far from it.
He has a very strict set of qualification criteria – and over 80% disqualify. Automatically!
This means he can work on people who are a good fit for his business without wasting time on people who aren’t a good fit.
And the same holds true if you sell high ticket items in the business to business market.
Who finds whom is vitally important. A prospect who finds you and then calls is far more likely to buy. They’ve already expressed interest in what you can do for them.
Your initial goal is then to qualify them in or out as quickly as possible – WITHOUT meeting them “for a coffee” or any such time wasting rubbish.
The reality is that if your marketing has done its job, good, qualified prospects will buy without wasting your time and requiring 4 appointments and 6 months to make a decision.
If you haven’t read “How I Raised Myself From Failure To Success In Selling” by Frank Bettger, get it.
It’s one of the all-time classics and one thing in particular from that book stands out in my mind. The author kept detailed records of his activities for several months and those records revealed an astounding fact:
70% of his sales were made on the 1st appointment 23% were made on the 2nd appointment 7% were made on the third and after.
However, 50% of his time was spent chasing that 7% who bought the 3rd time or after! By only dealing with those customers who bought on the 1st and 2nd try and writing off those who did not,
he immediately doubled his sales production.
And frankly, we’ve found the same to be true in our business. The percentages might vary, but the vast majority of our high end clients sign up the first time they speak to us – on the phone. They’ve already decided they want our help due to the relentless drip feed marketing which keeps our name in front of them while offering valuable free advice.
Others just stay on our newsletter list and when they’re ready, call.
So how’s your marketing and sales system performing? Are your people spinning their wheels talking to the wrong people?
If you’re not satisfied with where you’re at and want to improve, give us a call on (02) 9499-7958 and have us diagnose and prescribe a solution. Yes, you will need to invest some money. But doing nothing will probably cost you more.
Call us now on (02) 9499-7958 or reply to this email to get started.