The process of sales is to start with the universe of ‘suspects’ who could possibly buy my product (here I can very creative in creating this universe, thinking laterally helps), then based on some criteria narrow it down to ‘prospects’ – these are persons with whom I will have to seek appointments (called approach), then I will spend some time (2-3 times) meeting these people, then get down to ‘negotiation’ then ‘close’ the deal and then get a cheque (order).
The conversion ratio for each stage is different for different industries. Say, the conversion ratio is 2:1 at each stage (S.P.A.N.C.O), this means for one order, I need two closes, 4 negotiations, 8 approaches, 16 prospects and 32 suspects.
As a poor sales man, I will create 32 suspects and then run though the sales cycle to get one order. Suppose this takes 14 days. If I, then, start the new cycle, I will get an order after 14 days. That means, in a 8 week program, like SIP, I will get 4 orders.
As a good salesman, I will
- start day 1 with 32 suspects,
- start day 2 with 32 new suspects and 16 prospects of day 1,
- start day 3 with 32 new suspects, 16 prospects of day 2 and 8 approaches of day 1
- start day 4 with 32 new suspects, 16 prospects of day 3 and 8 approaches of day 2 and 4 negotiations from day 1…etc.
This means every day I will have to spend time creating a new set of suspects and following up with the funnel of the previous days.
My sales is limited by
- how I manage time each day
- how fast I move from one stage to another, and
- how good is my conversion ratio
To be a good sales person, I need to start thinking, check out the best sales person in my company, talk to him, accompany him …take short-cuts to learn the best practices.
BUT I MUST MANAGE MY NUMBERS AND MY TIME RELENTLESSLY.
If I am waiting in the reception, I should pick up my mobile and start finding out suspects and their details, start talking to prospects to get an appointment….
Good salespeople are NOT people with the gift of the gab, they are people who are focussed on their numbers.