Dear Mr. Bellah, I am new to sales and have just gotten a job with (a direct sales company). The trainer didn’t really train me or if she did I didn’t understand it. Because I have no idea where to start. I’m frustrated and am questioning whether I can do this. I’d appreciate any help. I hope this isn’t a stupid question.
JT: First, there are no stupid questions. Secondly, yes you CAN do this and finally, the company you mentioned has been known to have a less than stellar training program. If I were to guess, I’d say they showed you how to present the product to your friends, family and neighbors and that was about it.
Well, there is more to it and I can simplify it for you. But, you have to believe you CAN do it.
In sales you simply need people to talk to or make your presentation in front of, correct? So, that’s really how you start—from the back and work forward. In the book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey talks about beginning with the end in mind. That’s what we’re going to do here. If our ultimate goal is to have people to talk to (and hopefully sell), then you are really in the people finding business. Here’s what I would suggest:
CONTACTS: Make contacts every day, everywhere. This is basically anyone that has a pulse—they can be a “contact”. You should let them know your name, your company and how to get in touch with you. You should also gain this information from them. Build your contact list DAILY. Not all contacts will make it to the next stage of development and become a prospect, but if you make enough contacts you will have plenty of prospects.
PROSPECTS: These are contacts that have shown at least a passing interest in talking to you and learning more about what you’re doing. There are good prospects and bad prospects—you’ll weed those out as you go along. But, as a rule of thumb—if a contact shows interest, they become a prospect.
GOOD PROSPECTS: These are the upper level of your prospects that have shown a GENUINE interest in furthering your dialogue and relationship. They’ve asked a few questions and are open to hearing your presentation.
APPOINTMENTS: Now is when you get to make that presentation you were taught.
CLIENTS: The best ones of all. Prospects that set an appointment with you, heard your presentation and bought. Now, your job is to take the best care of them as humanly possible. You are ultimately going to rely on them to send you referrals which are automatically GOOD PROSPECTS (that skip the first two steps).
So, JT those are the basics. Knock around the site here and read some more blogs. The one thing to remember is you will get better as you go along. Do not get discouraged. Get better.
Best of luck! Please email me and let me know if I can be of further assistance!
Lagniappe: In South Louisiana “Lagniappe” is defined as “a little something extra”. Here’s your Lagniappe for today:
If I were to break this down into a “numbers” game, I’d lean toward this (again this is VERY generalized):
100 Contacts will yield 60 Prospects of which there will be 40 Good Prospects where you’ll get 20 Appointments and add 2-10 Clients.
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