• Traits of killer sales people

    It’s better not to hire, than to take on the costs and time required to bring someone on who can’t hunt & close the business you need. So, what are the traits of success of a salesperson with a real ‘hunter’ mentality?

    1. Strong “fire in their belly.”

    Successful hunters wake up each day rekindled with an innate natural drive to succeed. They are consistently driven by their ambition to be the best. They usually set high personal goals, have confidence in their abilities, and have a high level of energy in their daily work.

    1. Creating value and demand.

    A-player sales people understand that they are not order takers simply fulfilling demand but must create a demand for a particular product or service. They have the skills to communicate the value of their products or services and deliver solutions that will sort out the unique pain or problem of each prospect.

    1. Taking control of the sales process.

    It’s easy to get caught up in the prospect’s process and not take control of the buyer/seller dance. Taking control requires confidence, assertiveness, and an ability to influence others. Strong and effective sales people set appropriate expectations. They make sure they and the prospects agree on each step so are on the same page throughout the sales process.

    1. Taking action.This one is obvious. Do they act without needing direction? Some salespeople with apparently good track records were order takers, not business hunters. They will sit on their hands waiting for someone else to make a move or that call back.

    Successful hunters do not suffer from “analysis paralysis” or have many reasonable explanations why they don’t have enough on-target appointments, aren’t picking up the phone or going on sales calls. They set their goals and intend to achieve them. They take regular, effective, and consistent action.

    1. Taking responsibility for their results.

    Too often people make excuses like, “I was given the worst territory” or “This economy is just too tough.” But not the hunters; they attack their goal no matter the obstacles. They take responsibility for the things they can take action on.

    1. Adjusting their own behaviour & style.

    Great hunters adapt their style and understand the impact on others. They don’t just force through sales. They figure out what will grow their prospects’ trust in them, and build confidence and rapport. They never blow out deals by coming on too strong, and know how to make sure prospects don’t go quiet and hide behind voicemail.

    Self-motivated driven determined salespeople love to find new business day in and day out.

    When you interview, dig deep so you are certain they’ll be the hunters you need. Hire them and pay them properly. Manage them well.

    Apply these criteria to your existing team. How do they shape up? If you need help in assessing them, call your local Sandler Trainer who can show you an easy way to evaluate the team.

    Do not allow star players to break the rules, ignore your sales process or fail to record progress on the CRM. Reward them well – and invest in their development.

    If you need people on your sales team who truly love the hunt for new clients, it’s essential to structure your team and your recruitment process to discard the order takers or move them into an order taking job, and find and nurture the killer traits for sales success. Look for these 6 traits, and you have the basis for creating a successful sales team.

    Ermine Amies

    Ermine Amies

    Ermine Amies runs Sandler Training in East Anglia with monthly Master Classes in Norwich

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  • Sales: How to hire a killer

    I bet you haven’t ever hired a sales person who seemed perfect at interview and didn’t work out. Someone who had all the right answers, was excited by your vision of the future and assured you they were a self-starter. Someone with a brilliant track record, who came highly recommended and yet …..when they started, seemed “off the boil”. Someone who didn’t deliver in the first month, and despite your hope that they would get “up to speed” has been a mediocre performer or has already left you. Mishires are bad for the person you employed and are expensive mistakes for you in time, money and morale.

    There’s a joke amongst recruiters that the best sales meeting many salespeople have is the one that gets them their next job. So how do you tell the difference between someone who will perform for you and someone who never could, or can’t right now?

    The hiring company gets really excited and feels they’ve found a hunter. The sales person is hopeful and excited too. Maybe they also get a shiny new car, phone and all the gadgets.

    The new hire asks all the right questions at induction and the managers feel they’ve hired right. The sales person starts with enthusiasm to prospect or go out to meetings.

    But then tumbleweed.

    Or some sales but way behind the management projections.

    Or forecasts slip into the next reporting period.

    Management say “Give it time. S/he’ll find her/his feet”. Two months. Three months. Eight months. How long?


    Maybe they are a salesperson who can take complicated orders but doesn’t have that killer instinct needed to drive sales.

    Maybe you have hired a sales rep who is naturally good at developing relationships with an existing client base and finding opportunities to cross-sell and up-sell. They just aren’t that driven to go in cold and win new business.

    Maybe you hired someone better suited for long sales cycles that require patience, focus and structure. These people are careful not to let any details fall through the cracks. They can extend the timeframe to closing business so slow your numbers.

    Good salespeople – but not a fit.

    They just don’t have the traits they need to be successful with you.

    To be successful, get clarity on what will make a sales person successful with you. Here are 6 criteria for hiring a hunter, someone who is keen and driven to make sales for you – look for someone who:

    1. has strong fire in their belly
    2. creates value and demand
    3. takes control of the sales process
    4. takes action without requiring direction
    5. takes responsibility for their results
    6. adjusts how they deal with people

    You can train skills – but forcing someone with account management or long sales cycle mentality to hunt for business to close this month or quarter is an endless and thankless task for the sales manager. Read next week’s blog for more on how to identify those killer traits in your new hires.

    Ermine Amies

    Ermine Amies

    Ermine Amies runs Sandler Training in East Anglia with monthly Master Classes in Norwich

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  • A story of 2 sales calls

    shutterstock_358001996The phone has been ringing with incoming sales calls. I always love being on the receiving end of a cold call.

    Fascinating how people with the courage to pick up the phone often have been failed by their management who haven’t trained their staff to effectively sell on the phone.

    Call One a few weeks ago was from a new sales person at a company specialising in high end coaching. Her hook was that a coach I know was working for them.

    The problem was she didn’t check if I rated his coaching.

    It’s true that past clients are often great prospects. Often companies don’t have a systematic keeping in touch programme. It works brilliantly if the client you are calling valued the services they received.

    The problem was I didn’t think the coach added enough value so the payback on my time and money invested wasn’t worthwhile.

    She asked some open ended questions. She was comfortable asking follow-on questions. I let the call run because I am interested in hearing sales people working. Her tonality was good – it didn’t feel like she was reading her questions from a script.

    However, she made an assumption. I’d worked with that coach in the past so she assumed I’d want to work with him again. “Wrong. When I said no thanks, she failed to find out why I was saying no. so I didn’t feel she had listened to the intent behind my answers. She was determined and kept going – so I’d give her extra marks for that. Then take off the marks for failing to clarify and discover what I meant by my answers. She didn’t get any info from me into why I said no. It felt like she’d been told not to take  “no” for an answer and didn’t want to explore my “no” as it could mean she had to end the call.

    So I’m pretty certain they’ll be wasting their time and will call me again in 3 months so.  Marks out of 10 – 3!

    We at Sandler are not a prospect for a local authority directory. Councils don’t tend to sell stuff – that’s usually spun out into stand-alone companies. So call two was never going to end in a sale.

    The directory sales woman who called me was certain we are a prospect – because they have a category for training in their publication. I got the feeling that whatever category I said we were in, she’d have a category for that! She listed every other training category. She simply wasn’t listening to my answers to her questions. She’d stuck to her script – which didn’t deal with my objection that we don’t want to proactively sell to local authorities. Her main convincer is that it was really cheap and thousands would be going to county and district council officers.  Not worth the time it would take for Marketing to get the copy ready. No really did mean no.

    She had urgency – the publication deadline was the next day. How convenient. Really? Hmmm – maybe or maybe not.

    The finish was as weak as the start. She read out the web address so I could go and check it out. Did I want the address? Hell no! But it was on her script and she’s started so she was going to finish.

    I was sad after that call – they have a member of staff who is willing to talk to strangers but she was only skilled to keep going with her script, and didn’t take charge of the conversation. The process she’d been taught did not enable her to quickly qualify or disqualify me.

    Again I think our contact details will remain in the database and someone else will waste their time calling us next time.  What a waste of her time and the company’s investment in a sales person.

    Marks out of 10 for Directory Lady? 1 – for picking up that phone and dialling. Marks out of 10 for her employer? Zero.  Zero for wasting her time, the company’s resources and my time!

    If you want to work out how to help your guys or yourself be more effective at prospecting by phone or following up those people you’ve met at networking, then contact your local Sandler office. We’ll figure out if we can help you or not.

    Ermine Amies

    Ermine Amies

    Ermine Amies runs Sandler Training in East Anglia with monthly Master Classes in Norwich

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  • Trade Shows & Exhibitions: 8 more steps to closing more business

    ICSC dealmakingIt’s easy to attend exhibitions and trade shows and be uncertain if it was worth the investment. It can take a while to know if you have a long sales cycle.

    To ensure your time is well invested, make a plan to work smart in prep, on site and afterwards.

    Here are some steps you can take in advance which will make your investment in time travel, exhibit fees and other costs worthwhile.

    1) Prep your route.
    At major events, it’s worth planning where to start so you can get round the maximum number of your target companies by your priority and proximity of stand location. There’s usually a show plan on the exhibitors’ pages of the show website.

    It also makes it easier if you have a team on site to work the whole event. You won’t duplicate and will cover all your hottest prospects and priority clients.

    2) Contact your prime targets – existing clients and prospects in advance.

    Use the event organisers’ platform which will have contact info and maybe a messaging facility. Supplement it with direct mail, emails and LinkedIn messages.

    Call and get meetings in the diary for everyone on your hot list.

    Where you don’t get a meeting, plan a walk round and go onto their stand. You may get lucky. If not, then put them into your nurture campaign.

    3) Research your hot list and others you are meeting

    Prepare. If you haven’t researched your hot list, check them out properly. Are they creditworthy?

    Select the news tab on the Google search to get the latest news stories about them.

    Check them out on LinkedIn. Who can introduce you? Download a copy of our book written with LinkedIn if you don’t know how to prospect effectively using LinkedIn.

    4) Get a speaking slot.

    Most tradeshows have conferences on site. Make friends with the person responsible for filling the speaking slots and panels. It makes you an authority and will differentiate you from the competition.

    Write some blog posts before the event. Email your contact list to tell them you are speaking. Talk to the trade media and get quoted.

    Do a good job and your prospects will be standing in line to talk to you after you’ve spoken.

    5) Plan to launch your new product or service.

    Have an event to launch a new product or service. Send out invitation cards in the mail – not just email invites.

    Make an announcement. Get it covered in the show media and trade journals.

    6) Prepare your follow up before you go.

    Don’t wait to write your follow up emails and nurture campaigns. Do it before you go.

    Then you’ll be able to pop your new contacts into your system without delay.

    7) Use tech to help you

    If there’s an event app, download it before you go. You may be able to fill any time that becomes free by contacting someone on site using it.

    Transcribe the business cards you collect. Scan your business cards using your phone or tablet. Use an app like FullContact which uses humans to transcribe the cards. Check out what your CRM providers recommends as there may be an automatic sync of data.You’ll need to check them afterwards but it’s better than digital transcriotion.

    You can also get a software widget such as a zap from Zapier so they are fed directly into your CRM without you having to upload them. You can set up your follow up emails will go automatically.

    8) Never eat alone

    Make arrangements for breakfast, lunch & dinner before the event.

    Don’t waste breakfast on a team meeting. Or if you need to meet your stand team first thing, have a second breakfast – a quiet start to the day with an important contact in the dining room  of the best hotel. You can sometime have some of the best chance encounters with CEOs of major prospects as you go into breakfast.

    Use other meals for hot pre-qualified prospects, valued clients and referrals.  Can you introduce people you know who could do business?

    Can you make the referral, and connect one of your clients to another company or person they want to do business with?

    Would one of your clients introduce you to over lunch or dinner to someone they know well who you want to do business with?

    Drinks reception are also useful for making new connections. They need a different strategy.

    Find out if the VIPs attend or not and plan your strategy accordingly. Either way, never get drunk. It looks bad and affects your performance the following day.

    Arrange to connect with people on your warm list at drinks receptions. You may not meet them all – but you will have been in contact before the event and can follow up afterwards if you miss them.

    If you want more tips on trade shows & exhibitions, read the earlier blog on 9 steps to closing more business .

    Ermine Amies

    Ermine Amies

    Ermine Amies runs Sandler Training in East Anglia with monthly Master Classes in Norwich

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  • Trade Shows & Exhibitions: 9 steps to closing more business

    ICSC dealmaking

    ICSC dealmakingSo are you selling on site, gathering or qualifying leads, qualify leads, launch a product or service, meeting or negotiating with existing customers?

    It’s easy to attend exhibitions and trade shows and be uncertain if it was worth the investment. It can take a while to know if you have a long sales cycle.

    To ensure your time is well invested, make a plan to work smart in preparation, on site and afterwards.

    1. Start with your end in mind.

    This classic Stephen Covey advice is essential.

    You can’t make your clients and prospects do what you want. You can only manage your behaviour.

    So be clear on what outcomes will make it worth investing in a specific event. If you aren’t completing sales on site, measure qualification conversations, disqualifications and yeses to agreed next steps. That way, you will know what actions you need to take to get the best results.

    2. Why are you exhibiting or attending?

    Some shows, like the massive retail property events run by the International Council of Shopping Centers are deal making. Retailers, agents and shopping centre landlords have back to back meetings looking at floor plans, and agree terms for leases in new and existing malls. It’s really time effective.

    If your show is deal making style, start early. Put dedicated time into filling your diary with the clients and prospects you really want to meet.

    Track the progress on appointment making weekly – so it gets the priority it deserves.

    Make sure you get their mobile phone numbers and email addresses. Send them the meeting as an online appointment request.

    Use their mobile if they are late for your meeting. You may not get the meeting but they’ll be more inclined to try to reschedule or meet you afterwards.

    3. Get very clear on your process

    If you won’t be concluding your deals on site, be your goal to qualify and get off site meeting with the decision makers? Is it more time effective to have short initial meetings at the show?

    Is there prep you and your contact can do to make the face to face time really effective?

    Make sure you decide so you can manage where you spend your time on site and afterwards and what you will achieve.

    4. Block time out in your diary.

    Do you set aside enough time to follow up and get back up to speed when you return to the office?

    Block out time so you can follow up promptly. Allocate time for next step meetings & calls and to catch up with other work.

    If other staff will support you in the follow up, make sure they have time blocked out too.

    5. Make the date on the spot.

    Don’t say “I’ll call you next week to fix a time”. Don’t be that guy or gal swirling through your phone to look for a time that works for you to have that follow up call or meeting. Have a printed diary with you.

    If you have an online diary, print out the week at a view A5 size so you can get 4 weeks double printed on aA4 paper. Take 3 months diary so you don’t have to default to following up for a date afterwards.

    In the evening, drop an electronic diary invite to confirm the meeting or phone call. This a simple step for a slight edge in getting faster follow up and not losing momentum. Our clients tell us that more of those post event calls actually happen because it’s in their prospects diary too.

    6. Intelligence. 

    Make sure your whole team knows what info is useful to you. And how to feed it back so it’s corporate knowledge, not just in their head.

    If you can’t meet the decision maker on site, gain intelligence on their current suppliers, their cast of characters and decision making process.

    7. Find out what your competitors are up to.

    Never ever criticise them to your prospects. It’s not good business practice and if they are the incumbent supplier, you may tip your prospect into recalling all the good reasons why they work with them.

    Listen to what other people are saying about them. Visit their stands.

    Scout for potential staff – any competitors’ staff you’d like to hire?

    8.Avoid the time thieves.

    It’s easy to have interesting conversation that’s fun and absorbs a deal of time without much purpose. It’s your responsibility to manage the time and move elegantly onto the next prospect to qualify them.

    Know your process – qualify or disqualify for clear next steps. Agree next specific steps with your prospect while you are with them.

    9. Don’t pitch – be conversational

    Drop your pitch & listing the features and benefits. Develop your 30 second commercials.

    Get the prospect to decide where to take the conversation.

    Ask your local Sandler Trainer if you don’t know how. Click here to find your local office and to book into an Executive Briefing.

    Ermine Amies

    Ermine Amies

    Ermine Amies runs Sandler Training in East Anglia with monthly Master Classes in Norwich

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  • Do you pay staff commission?

    Paying Commission

    Paying Commission
    Companies paying commission and overtime will need to review their holiday pay arrangements and possibly the way they pay commission.

    Following a European Court of Justice decision and subsequent Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decision in Lock vs British gas Trading, a case that was first heard in 2012, employers will have to pay commission as part of holiday pay. For more details of the case read on here: http://www.personneltoday.com/hr/holiday-pay-case-eat-confirms-employers-must-pay-commission/

    Commission, guaranteed overtime and overtime where an employee may be required to work will have to be included in holiday pay. It will affect staff who normally receive commission and overtime and are paid less when on annual leave. The details of how payments should be calculated have not been decided yet.

    British Gas have requested permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal so that there can be a definitive ruling on the issue so the case is likely to go to Appeal.

    So what should you do in the meantime?

    You can do nothing. You can get legal advice and change your commission and holiday pay structures. You can make financial provision for back pay.  Your lawyers are sure to be providing their clients with a briefing soon – so read it and then decide.

    Ermine Amies

    Ermine Amies

    Ermine Amies runs Sandler Training in East Anglia with monthly Master Classes in Norwich

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  • Farewell Star of LinkedIn

    Maybe you hadn’t noticed the star on some LinkedIn profiles. And now it’s too late.

    Until 25 Feb, there’s a small star on your 1st degree connections, and other profiles under the photo in the top section of profiles on LinkedIn by the word relationship. Your 1st degree connections are automatically saved to your LinkedIn Contacts when you connect to them.

    Contacts in your email address books and other sources are also saved when you sync them.

    Why does it matter?

    That Star was particularly useful because you could save profiles that are not your connections by just clicking the Star icon in the top section of the profile under their photo. The word Relationship would appear next to the star for saved contacts.

    On 25 Feb that Star is disappearing. LinkedIn are “retiring” the Star and the Save to Contacts feature. You’ll still be able access all of the Contacts you’ve previously saved by going to your Connections list, choosing the Filter By Tag option, and selecting the Saved Contacts tag.

    So get a move on today if there’s anyone you want to track without paying.

    Why are they removing it?

    It was a really useful feature – which most people didn’t use. I’m not surprised that LinkedIn are removing it – they need to pay the bills. And that means encouraging us to use their premium services.

    What do we use instead?

    We recommend Sales Navigator – if you are doing any business development or sales. LinkedIn is a great tool – when you know what you are doing. And when you do you LinkedIn prospecting regularly. Just having a profile and connecting with people you meet is not a prospecting activity. It’s essential to moving LinkedIn prospects off line and qualify them by phone for face to face meeting with you to get payback for the monthly fees and the time you invest.

    You can learn more about making LinkedIn work for you in the book we wrote with LinkedIn – [ download your copy here]. You’ll get the practical steps for prospecting – which work really well with Sales Navigator.

    And if you want to find out why we train LinkedIn, Salesforce and other global blue chip companies as well as all sizes of businesses across the UK, sign up for one of our Executive Briefings across the UK here you can find details or our training centres here: http://www.uk.sandler.com/locator/?country=GB  

    Ermine Amies

    Ermine Amies

    Ermine Amies runs Sandler Training in East Anglia with monthly Master Classes in Norwich

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  • The definition of a fool is s/he repeats the same old mistakes

    Maybe it’s just me, but I have learned more when things don’t go well that when a meeting or sales call is really successful. It can be a tough way to learn what works. But it’s even tougher if you ignore your failures and repeat the same old mistakes.

    The simplest way to learn from mistakes is to take a few minutes at the end of each day to reflect on what went well and what didn’t, and to consider the lessons learnt. By writing down in a journal what you learnt and the alternative steps you’ll take next time, you capture that knowledge. You’re creating new plans for behaviours that will generate better returns for you & your company and more sales.

    At Sandler, we debrief after every sales call or meeting. It makes sense to do the same if you are out prospecting at an event (aka networking!) or on the phone, having quarterly meetings with clients or exhibiting at trade-shows and exhibitions – in fact anytime you interact with a suspect, prospect or customer. We follow a systematic debrief and ask ourselves questions like:

    • What did I do well?
    • What will I do differently next time?
    • What information didn’t I ask for?
    • What questions do I need to ask next time?
    • Are the next steps for my prospect or client and for me clear and in the diary?

    By making debriefing yourself a habit, it becomes easier to identify where you rocked, and where things went wrong, to recognise patterns of behaviour, and to decide what you’ll do next time. The key is to remember the Sandler Rule:  Every Unsuccessful Sales Call Earns Compound Interest. In other words…. There are no bad sales calls! Just calls you learn from – and improve your performance.

    If you want to increase your sales and your resilience, never ever miss debriefing your sales calls/meetings and start debriefing yourself at the end of each day. If you want to know how to debrief sales calls/meetings quickly and effectively, phone your local Sandler Trainer for an invitation to their next open briefing.

    Ermine Amies

    Ermine Amies

    Ermine Amies runs Sandler Training in East Anglia with monthly Master Classes in Norwich

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  • 5 steps to start 2015 with good business relationships

    So it’s the start of a new year. You took time to look back and reflect. Maybe you have your plans for the year, your daily, weekly and monthly action plans, your goals and your vision board to spur you on to greater success. So here’s are the hard questions. Did you ask your clients? Do you know what your clients really think of your services & products? What changes they’d like? And have you evaluated them?

    I know this is simple, common sense. But how many of us really do this type of account management behaviour regularly and routinely to protect our business? It’s devastating to lose a client when you could have retained them and annoying to lose out on selling additional goods and services just because they didn’t know you offered them. So call your best clients to set up Client Review Meetings in the next 4 weeks.

    Here are the 5 steps to holding effective RECON Client Review Meetings:

    • R = Remember
      Revisit and relive the original reasons, issues, problems or objectives that led your client to buy your products and services.
    • E = Evaluate
      Evaluate your relationship. What’s worked? What hasn’t? What do you need to do differently? Grade yours and the client’s performances in the partnership.
    • C = Changes
      What’s changed? What’s changed in their business? And in yours? Any other changes that will improve performance?
    • O= Opportunities
      Where are the opportunities for the client? For your business? Any you can pursue together? Any other issues, problems or objectives the client currently has that you can address?
    • N = Next Steps
      What happens next? Make a clear, specific, certain up front contract so that you both know what will always happen next by when. Contract with your client for the next call or meeting, for the next piece of work, for the next phase of a project, for the next RECON review and for referrals & introductions within and outside their organisation.

    Maybe ask your client to note down their thoughts in advance of the meeting. It won’t matter if your client doesn’t follow through on their prep as the RECON meeting be very productive and effective because you have a clear agenda and have set the expectations for the discussion.

    By you being proactive, they’ll share bad news and maybe bring small issues to the table before they become critical. Because you are being proactive in your efforts to make changes and improve performance, even if they perceive the value of working with you has not lived up to expectations, they’ll continue buying from you. If you are not proactive with this kind of activity, your best clients are your competition’s best prospects. You will also reduce the risk of your clients buying goods and services from someone else because they didn’t know you offered them.

    So call your best clients this week. Thank them for their business – and get that review date in the diary for your RECON meeting. That way you’ll start 2015 with a strong platform in place to grow your business with them this year.

    Ermine Amies

    Ermine Amies

    Ermine Amies runs Sandler Training in East Anglia with monthly Master Classes in Norwich

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  • 6 steps to stop sales failure this summer

    It’s that time of the year. School holidays. Summer holidays. Everything slows down. Prospects are away. Decisions won’t be made. And your sales team are telling you they won’t make quota because it’s summer time.

    At Sandler, we disagree. If you accept it as an undeniable truth, it’s undeniably true that your summer slowdown will show up with serious consequences to the bottom line when sales initiated now should be closing. So don’t accept slowing down the prospecting or keeping in touch calls with customers. You will create a self-fulfilling prophecy if you accept that despite your efforts, your summer will be tough.

    You may need to take action – just don’t roll over and accept that you won’t find new business, close deals and meet new and promising business connections this August.

    Change that old sales mantra ABC from Always Be Closing to Always Be Calling this summer. You’ll get much better results.

    So what steps can you take to ABC Always Be Calling this summer?

    Sort out your head trash create a winning sales plan

    1. Manage your mind.
      Decide not to participate in the ‘Summer is Slow’ myth. Opt out of self-fulfilling prophecies. Your attitude matters. If you think it won’t work, you can be sure you are right. So show leadership and don’t make excuses yourself. And agree with your team that excuses aren’t acceptable and agree a plan of action to win more business this summer.
    2. Clean up your new business pipelines.
      Be brutal. Remember that Sandler Rule #31 – close the sale or close the file. Stop wasting time chasing business which won’t close. If you know there’s not a good fit, or your prospect won’t agree a mutually satisfactory up front contract for your next meeting, then don’t waste more time. Politely let the prospect know you are closing their file and clean up your pipeline. Make sure your active prospects are well qualified and active.
    3. Analyse your own new business pipeline and conversion rates.
      Do you know the stats for each salesperson on your team? Understand your metrics. How many sales calls do you make each week? How long does it take to sign a contract? What are the best conversion rates? Why?Use your high performers as a benchmark and develop a standard for everyone based on the number of calls your high performers are making. And if you want to take summer Friday afternoons off, simply increase the number of calls earlier in the week; don’t reduce the number of calls.
    4. Increase your prospecting.
      Remember Sandler Rule #7? You don’t have to like prospecting; you just have to do it.Make a plan for more activity that covers 5 key areas so you can make effective warm and cold calls: direct marketing (emails/twitter/snail mail), cold calling, networking contacts made, referrals and business introductions.

    In particular, make sure you are booked into those networking meetings that do take place in the summer. Are there some new ones to attend? In addition to networking, make sure you are giving and asking for referrals and that you arrange and receive good quality targeted business introductions because they’ll deliver higher closing rates than colder calls.

    1. Watch out for signs of procrastination and excuse-making.
      Stop any self sabotage and set the example by sustaining the same level of intensity and action that you had in the spring. Catch delaying tactics early on in yourself and your team and you break or prevent a cycle of summertime blues.
    2. Be accountable.
      Help your salespeople manage their time by committing to setting behavioural goals daily and weekly. Those behavioural goals must include prospecting activities. Make commitments yourself – and share them with your team, your accountability partner (you do have one, don’t you?) and your Sandler trainer. Having commitments written in your cookbook is the number one way to manage your time effectively and be successful.
    3. Celebrate.
      Have your team share success stories about the goals they developed, achieved and turned into best practice. Sales team meetings shouldn’t focus on big sticks and failures – use them to identify how to succeed and recognising the accomplishments. Deal with any performance issues one on one. With the team, celebrate getting the calls completed. Acknowledge the appointments made. Create and some new and unexpected ways to celebrate achievements and new habits. Make it fun.

    So this summer, sort out any old beliefs about summer slumps and keep up the momentum so that you can have a good holiday yourself and you and your team have a happy hot summer at work prospecting and converting leads into new and repeat business.

    Ermine Amies

    Ermine Amies

    Ermine Amies runs Sandler Training in East Anglia with monthly Master Classes in Norwich

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