Sales is not a numbers game, it's a game of skill!

Jul 20, 2008

  1. Guest
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    We’ve all heard it before.

    "Sales is a numbers game!"

    But this popular sales phrase has become a misleading rant these days. First, I can’t think of anyone who'd want to be treated like a number. One in a long list of potential customers. That mindset brings with it a disregard for the consumer.

    Secondly. That’s not how the expression came about. That phrase never meant “on to the next one.” No, a "numbers game" meant the following:

    You have to knock on 100 doors to present to one client. So to get to that one client, you had to work hard and continue with forward progress to create the opportunity for the results. It didn’t mean that you had to speak to 100 clients to get one sale and if you stumbled over several sales opportunities and failed, you just kept on stumbling! Think about that for a second, you just continue to fail and people tell you to keep going, you’re bound to get a sale. As if it’s chance or luck. That's not very encouraging, is it?

    Even today, in the “cold calling sucks” era where prospects go on the internet and show interest, you still have to know what to say and how to say it.

    We’ve all seen this proven time and again. If you don’t have enough skill in engaging the client who showed interest, it doesn’t matter how much money you throw into filling your pipeline, does it?

    Finally, here’s another way that the numbers game catch phrase is misused.

    For a boss or colleague to empathetically say “shake it off, keep on calling and try to get the next one.” Realistically they should be instructing and correcting you so that you will get the next one.

    Consider this: How often have you heard successful salespeople being told the following? “Don’t worry, it’s a number game!”

    The most successful salespeople don’t need that misguided enthusiam because they work the numbers, the numbers don’t work them.
     
    Guest, Jul 20, 2008
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    I hear this over and over from every guy who "has a system." But there IS no magic bullet. If there was, the guy with "the system" would be making a killing using the system.

    The reason the "numbers game" adage is mentioned so often... is because it is true. There is no system in the world, no internet site on the planet, no magic formula that anyone knows of that will substitute for one simple word: ACTIVITY.

    There is good activity and dumb activity (handing out cards to homeless people from an annuity salesperson.) But no matter what else you do, you need ACTIVITY to get the numbers to get the sales.

    Sales trainers come and sales trainers go. Most of what they have to offer is blue smoke and mirrors. Not all... but most.

    Make the calls, knock on the doors and you will make sales... even if you are the world's worst salesperson. And even if you are the best, nothing is going to substitute for ACTIVITY.

    The Jackass
     
    Guest, Jul 20, 2008
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  3. TXINSURANCE
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    Correct. It is a numbers game. It is also a skills game, but without the numbers the skills are irrelevant.

    The amount of agents on our lead system that are on vacation pause right now is staggering. I am not saying you should never take a vacation - but when you are struggling to pay your light bill, you might want to hold off on Disney World.

    This proves the point. Those who want to work hard and consistent will have the rewards. There is no free lunch.

    Wow - I just agreed with The Jackass :-)
     
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    It seems by your response that you feel that I'm one of the "smoke and mirror" type of trainers and I'm sorry you feel that way.

    Nowhere did I say that it didn't take hard work. And I think it's very discouraging to recommend that a new agent make 100 calls and even if they're bad, they'll still sell. To me and many others, that's not a formula for success.
     
    Guest, Jul 20, 2008
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    I'm going to Disneyland!! On my credit card, lol.

    You didn't actually agree with him, you made a counterpoint. he said good or bad, you'll sell if you work hard, which we all know is untrue.

    You said skill is involved, which was a point covered in my post.
     
    Guest, Jul 20, 2008
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  6. moonlightandmargaritas
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    moonlightandmargaritas Guru

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    I wouldn't take it personally, this guy has an uncanny knack for finding the cloud in every silver lining...
     
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    :D
     
    Guest, Jul 20, 2008
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  8. moonlightandmargaritas
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    An interesting little riff from Frank Rumbauskas, Jr.'s latest newsletter:

    "Feel good??? This is sales, not some overly new-age cult about finding our inner child or whatever. This is business. Business can be nasty at times. Don't get me wrong - I sincerely believe that a positive attitude is necessary for success, and the best way to do well at your job is to make it fun. But there comes a point where one can become overly positive and lose sight of reality. Feeling good is wonderful but it doesn't pay the bills. A positive attitude is only one part of the big picture, and I've seen so many people focus on only one thing and lose sight of the big picture. Don't fall into that trap. It's like my argument against attempting to correct a slump by "increasing your activity."

    By increasing your activity, you're only throwing fuel on the fire instead of correcting the core problems, such as an inability to close or to properly qualify prospects at the start. A positive attitude is a must but will work only if it's backed up by intelligent planning and action.

    It must also be backed up by new, forward-thinking ideas and strategies. Ideas and strategies that WORK.

    The problem with most of the ideas still in use is that they are no longer effective. They are all the old, right answers that today are the wrong answers.

    Too many salespeople are locked into habits based upon old, right ideas that have stopped working in today's economy. They either haven't realized, or refuse to accept, the fact that times have changed and so have the answers."
     
  9. Crabcake Johnny
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    Back in the day I was a manager for a company called WWI - we sold all kinds of stuff BtoB (a run job - did it for years.)

    I ended up as a manager in the Brea office in LA and one day the regional VP - Danny Rowe (infamous motivationalo guy) came to the office.

    At the end of the day we had a meeting and a newbie, Scott, piped up that he didn't make a dime that day and was out for 8 full hours.

    He had every excuse in the book - wrong product, area already worked too hard, etc..

    Danny made him an offer - if Scott was willing to go back out for 30 more minutes and sold a single piece of merchandise he would have him $1,000 bonus.....then took out a grand in cash and laid it on the table.

    Of course, in front of more than 100 people in the office everyone was going nuts - one rule; Danny had to go with the guy to make sure it would be on the up and up.

    Of course, they came back and he sold 3 pieces. Danny have him the $1,000 then fired him.

    If Steve would have sold 3 pieces per 30 minutes for close to 50 for the day he would have made just over $150 in cash that day.

    So what changed? Danny made sure his presentation didn't change from the script.
     
  10. padthaiforlunch
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    Granted you need the proper skill to get the client. And many of us may need a refresher from time-to-time. But most sales people fail because they don't put forth the necessary effort.

    When folks talk about smoke and mirrors, they are typically referring to motivational speakers whose effect wears off over time.

    When I was a political organizer, I ran a crew of 30. We would run weekly trainings focusing on a different aspect of our sale. Each day I would ride with a different person. Some of them needed help with their rap - a little tweaking here and there. Others needed motivation to work instead of sneaking back to their room for a nap.

    The best motivator we had was accountability. At the end of the day, each person would have to detail their whole day to a team leader. -- ok, where did you go first? Who did you see? Tell me the conversation. What's your plan of action? You need to do x, y and z. Then who did you see? .....
     
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