A Blind Squirrel and His Nuts I am sure everyone has heard the idiom “even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while”. I would like to express how it relates to sales in today’s blog. As a business consultant, I have had the privilege of speaking to many groups about sales and business operations. While speaking to a quarterly conference of insurance agents a few years ago, I opened my speech with three simple questions. By a show of hands, how many of you achieved your sales goals last year? How many of you have a sales forecast for this year? And lastly, how many of you know what you have to do on a daily basis to reach your sales goals? Interestingly enough, not a person in the room raised their hands for any of my questions. I was sitting in a room full of blind squirrels! How can salespeople achieve their goals if they don’t know what they have to do each and every day? It has been said for many years that sales is a numbers game. I agree with that statement 100%. In sales, a widget is a widget. No matter your business or what product or service you sell, there is a process that you go through to close a sale. The process in general terms is as follows:
- One must have a certain number of potential customers in your queue.
- Make a certain number of calls/emails/contacts.
- From those, there is certain number of reaches/responses from those calls/emails/contacts.
- From those responses, there is a certain number of possible customers.
- And finally, from those possible customers, there is a certain number of closes/wins that will be made.
Each and every business has a different set of numbers. In addition, each and every sales person within the company, has a different set of numbers based on his/her skill set. My point to all of this is simple. How can a business owner create a financial forecast/proforma, or you as a sales person achieve a sales quota if you have no clue what you have to do every day? On the flip side, imagine a sales forecast that is based on dreams rather than reality. When meeting with business owners, I used to call this “Smokin’ Hopeium”. For example, a call center wants every sales person to close 20 sales a week. Their numbers were hard and fast. The problem was that the number of calls that were needed to be made and the amount of time that each call took would require the sale person to work eleven hour days, not take a lunch, and Heaven help them if they needed a bathroom break. It was an impossible task to complete that destined the company and each sales person to failure. It is critical in sales, that you know what you have to do each and every day to achieve your goals. In closing, take a look at your sales forecast and see if you know what you have to do TODAY to make a sale. If you do not……….you might be one of those blind squirrels looking for a nut!