Sales Awareness

I’ve known that December 16th was a very important day for most of my life. It’s on my calendar every year. I have a reminder set. The days not done until I make the call. Why is it a big day?

Do you know that today is the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party? (Not on my calendar.)

Do you know that the Battle of the Bulge started today in 1944? (Not on my calendar.)

How about this day in 1977 when John Travolta opened in Saturday Night Fever? (Not on my calendar.)

Honestly, before 5 minutes ago, I didn’t know that any of those things happened on this day in history. To me, December 16th has always been Aunt Joyce’s birthday. I talked to her tonight and I think that I may have been the last of her regulars to call. She sounded very happy. She had a good day and a good week.

Today, I talked to clients in Richmond, Virginia. It was snowing. In Clemson, South Carolina , schools were closed because of ice. And as I write this it’s 80 in Maui, where Phil is talking with West Maui Cycles  and it’s 75 in St. Croix where my brother Vic went after he raised his rates and got rich.

So, what’s the point? …… It’s not about you! Typical saleperson comes along, says boy is it a great day. Still flying because the Red Sox spent $300 million on two players that are gonna rock Red Sox nation. Yankees got beat out of their saviour. Life couldn’t be better. And here I am with a deal for you.

Find out what’s going on in the other guy’s life. Find out what’s important to them. Find out why they do what they do. Where they’re going. What they want. What keeps them up at night. They’ll tell you what they need and how to sell them.

Sales Metrics for Consultants

I wrote and published this article in December of 2010.

I work a lot with clients that are consultants. They typically don’t want to learn how to be a professional salesperson, but they want to learn how to sell well enough that their calendar is full and they’re making a good living. Even some contractors fit the mold sometimes. My dad used to install overhead garage doors and I remember him telling me before I could drive that if he could find 5 general contractors like Henry Carini, he’d have a nice business. (How’s that for a name out of the past, Mom?)

So….Let’s make this interesting.

This may shock you, but Dave Kurlan & I don’t agree on everything. For instance, Dave and I don’t agree on how quick my trigger finger is when it comes to getting rid of prospects that don’t fit my mold of my ideal client. I, like my dad, am looking for Henry Carini, who’s customers loved him. Who’s houses were first class. Who appreciated my dad’s work. Who paid his bills on time and was an all round great guy to be around. So, I use Success Secret #3 to eliminate prospects that don’t fit the mold. BOOM! Next!I

It’s not unusual for me to do a pipeline analysis with a new client a few weeks after we start working together. It often turns into a purge of useless “pretend opportunities” that my client has kept active even though they had died months before. Here comes Rick. BOOM! Next. Today, I had a client tell me that her pipeline was empty after the purge. No problem. 10 minutes later, she had three strategies that she could do that would put 12 REAL opportunities into her pipeline within two weeks.

Interestingly, sometimes we complicate things unnecessarily. This particular client works on a retainer basis and she’d be very comfortable if she had 5 retainer clients. (She’s typically had 2-3.) Think about this from the perspective of Success Secret #3. Pretend that your proposals are lousy and you only close one out of ten. Pretend also that you aren’t very effective in the middle of the sales process and only one out of ten people that you have a ‘serious’ conversation with because they ‘should’ need your stuff will even take a proposal from you. That means that one out of a hundred ‘serious’ conversations with people that look like prospects will become clients. So, if you want to have 5 clients you have to have ‘serious’ conversations with 500 people that ‘should’ need your stuff. (I’ll wait while you catch up because I know how you are with this high level math.)

Get it? 500 conversations gets you 5 clients if you stink!

Here’s the rub! How long will it take to have 500 conversations. If you do one a day, it’ll be 2012 and I’ll be retired. If you do three a day, you’ll finish next year, but you’ll have to keep doing it unless your first client re-ups. (Think about it.) If you do 10 a day, you’re a three month project and if you’re ambitious enough to talk to 25 prospects a day (that’s a lot), you are my kind of client and we’ll be done in a month. Why? Because you’ll work hard and I don’t stink.

Wes Powell is one of those clients that works hard. He posted a thank you on LinkedIn today after working with Frank and me for nine (9) weeks and I’m gonna share it here.

Rick, thanks for all your help. I just closed an $80,000 deal yesterday that I would not have closed in the past due to my reluctance to ask hard questions. I appreciate all the coaching!”

You are welcome, Wes! Incidentally folks, if you know a contractor that’s looking to get found on the internet…Wes is THE MAN!

BTW, registration ends on 12/18 for our next three month program. So if you’re looking to do something big in 2011, send me an email or call me directly.