I am a salesperson by day and a dancer by night. I have often thought about the connection between the two. Selling requires planning and leadership. Dancing requires technique and leading/following. Both sales and dance require choreography and a good sense of timing. It is no wonder that people refer to it as a “Sales Dance”.
As I sit here at my desk on the cusp of the first day of June, I think about our sales plans. The old saying, “today is the tomorrow we thought about yesterday” comes to mind. Salespeople must always be two steps ahead and thinking about what they are going to do when. Without a good plan, you can’t execute the steps required to make it happen. You can’t just run a promotion or sell a package today…. you have to have think about it, do your research, prepare your materials, and get the word out. Only then will someone buy your product.
So, what are you planning for the end of the summer and the beginning of fall?
Selling Power recently published an article by Ernest W. Fair (great name for a salesperson) entitled “7 Ways You Can Plan To Win More Sales.” The key thoughts are,
Sales Dance #1: After Closing A Sales – Suggest Another Product!
Go for the repeat business! Ask for more. Saturate the account – “Is there anything else you have on your agenda that we can plan now?” “Is there anyone else at the company who might benefit from our services?” Keep probing. Keep dancing.
Sales Dance #2: Learn At Least One New Sales Approach Each Day!
To improve the sales dance you must constantly increase your repertoire of steps. Don’t be content always doing the basic steps (but also don’t forget they are the backbone of the dance) – expand your knowledge and constantly improve. Read, attend webinars, talk to people, network and take lessons!
Sales Dance #3: Learn From Your Mistakes!
We are not perfect. Sometimes a plan doesn’t work. If you don’t learn from your mistakes you are not growing. Back leading isn’t a problem if you are learning.
Sales Dance #4: Make Each Sales Contact A Pleasure For Your Customers!
Having a plan means learning about what makes your customers happy. Happy customers make satisfied customers. Stand out from the crowd by dancing to their beat.
Sales Dance #5: Write Down The Ideas You Have Each Day!
Keep a digital file cabinet. My favorite file on my computer is entitled “Items to be stolen from later.” In it I keep pictures, ideas, articles, etc. When I need an idea, I review the file and build on it.
Sales Dance #6: Build On The Trust And Confidence That Your Customer Already Has In You And Your Company!
Look back at last year’s results for the upcoming 90 days. Did your customer plan an event last year that might be repeated? What type of production does your local negotiated client base have coming up? Be one step ahead of the competition and reach out. Know your product and sell it to the right person/company!
Sales Dance #7: Identify New Sales Opportunities, Or Look For Accounts That You Are Only Giving Half-Hearted Attention!
Run reports for all your LNR clients for the year and by month. Compare to last year’s production. Are you getting all the business? Do you see differences? If you have clients that are under-performing versus last year – it’s time to get back in the sales dance and get them on the dance floor. Call the customer. Let them know that you noticed that their numbers are down and make sure all is well. Are they being shifted by your competition because of their increased salesmanship? Do not let this happen – be an active salesperson and keep your customers happy.
Happy Dancing By Day!