How do certain business development professionals seem to demonstrate excellence and to enjoy superior rewards with relatively basic skills? Insurance agents, enterprise software sellers, professional speakers, and life coaches all make amazing livings when they perform their skills at reasonably competent levels. Clearly, off-the-chart excellence in a given profession provides opportunities to enjoy significant rewards through their efforts. Yet, why do professionals with seemingly basic skill sets find ways to prosper beyond apparently more brilliant peers?
The old saying goes, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” In the business development arena, this fight has a time clock and it is relentless. Every minute that a sales professional is not prospecting, selling, or closing, equates to a minute that is not directly impacting their progress toward their revenue targets. In the sales field, achieving revenue targets ultimately takes precedence over everything. This priority toward closing transactions clearly does not eliminate the need to sharpen the saw, or re-energize personal energy sources. However, time that is not re-energizing, prospecting, selling, nor closing represents time that is not contributing toward explicit, quantitative results. Ultimately, investing in these results are the difference between success and failure!
Highest Value Contribution sounds like another nerdy concept, yet it makes a big difference on the commission report. Unsurprisingly, wasted time is extremely hard to recoup. Specifically, inefficient time usage is detrimental to achieving time-based goals. Highest Value Contribution plainly comes down to spending time that results in reaching a desired level of accomplishment. Specifically, if selling a $100,000 policy takes the same amount of time and energy as selling a $25,000 policy, then for goodness sakes sell the $100,000 policy! Of course, other factors play into the calculations of how allocated time, future sales value, or potential for referrals equates to the likelihood or urgency of closing the deal. Still, without overthinking the matter, invest highly valued sales hours to opportunities that will yield larger tangible, financial results.
On the buying side of the transaction, besides the quality of the service, or product, another key differentiator is good feelings. In many cases, the buyer does not simply want the best deal. Many buyers want the best experience! Of course, money matters. Yet, as comparable competing deals converge, a key differentiator emerges in the form of like and trust. Beyond the good or service delivering to expectation, will the buyer want to tell the story of the purchase? Did the sales professional over-deliver in such a way that the buyer is eager to tell others about the incredible experience?
While these positive experiences seem marginally consequential to the deal’s closure, the experienced sales professionals realize that these positive experiences are exactly where their value differentiation resides! Overly satisfied customers are willing to refer other prospects. Those customers actually minimize prospecting time, because the first customer has now gladly provided that function. Having warm leads delivered to effective sales representatives results in a seasoned professional now needing to invest less time to keep the sales funnel equally full. In fact, referrals are much more efficient since they arrive with a sense of confidence in the receiving sales professional. The preceding customer has already taken care of that part of the deal. Ultimately, developing positive emotions in the sales funnel is great for business because establishing credibility takes time, unless the prospect shows up fully equipped with good feelings toward the sales representative.
Fidelity to successful processes is essential for exceptional results! In the aggregate, more calls typically mean more yeses. Furthemore, releasing weak prospects quickly leaves more time for identifying strong clients. Realize that the amount of time selling in a specific niche is relatively consistent. Securing a whale may take more time than getting a trout to buy. Nevertheless, this metaphor definitely does not reflect a linear relationship. Expend energy on bigger payoffs, as long as your product or service mathematically supports that logic. Finally, practice, practice, practice. Know your product, your delivery and your prospect! Those ordinary sales professionals that smear their competition simply do the mundane, busy work to understand their target market and prospective customers much, much better. Late nights yucking it up at the bar may be more memorable. But, spending those exact same hours planning your calls and studying the nuances of the industry pays better. It pays much better!
By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director, Hunter And Beyond, LLC
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