Sales Conversations

I originally posted this article on my other blog on 1/10/2011. I’m republishing it today because many 2800 attendees are doing a ‘fresh start’ today after returning from Inbound 2012 and many others are doing a similar restart after Labor Day. Just change the dates and if you need me, send me an email.

Let me start with three hopes.

  1. I hope that you wrote down your goals for 2011 and that you’ve checked them for conflicts.
  2. I hope that you’ve converted your sales goals into a behavior plan that’s based on actual historical metrics rather than guesses or hopes.
  3. I hope that you’ve given your written goals and your behavior plan to someone that will check for validity, know when to coach, when to mentor, when to motivate, and when hold you accountable.

I spend most of every day working with business owners that are looking to double or triple sales in a few months and typically, as soon as we do, they raise their sights and we do it again. Today, I’ll be speaking with each of them. We’ll be looking at last week. First week of the year. Did they meet their sales goal? Did they meet their base move goal? Did they meet their conversation goal?

Notice that each of these is a yes/no question. Notice that each yes/no is based on a number. Numbers are concrete and specific, black and white, no gray. You either did it or not. We have to start there. Once we get the quantity, then we can work on quality. Quality will be determined by the quality of the conversation that happens at each step in the process. “Do you want to buy?” is better than not asking, but not as effective as the Inoffensive Close. The quality of a conversation is also affected by

  • tonality of delivery
  • emotional accompaniment
  • business relevance
  • personal relevance
  • depth of engagement
  • a few other factors

So, today, one week in, did you meet your behavior objective? Were your sales conversations effective? Do you need to improve? Where?

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