SI Review: December 2013

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Power Seller: Embrace Change

Alter your routine to get sales rolling — again!

By Kevin Dee

Every sales person hits a point in time when something out of their control changes, adversely affecting their results. It could be the market, the economy, the competition or the client that changes. The cause is immaterial, because it is inevitable, but it is a signal that YOU need to change things up.

Navigating through change is tough, but one way to help yourself is to implement some easy changes as a way to get yourself into the right frame of mind.

1. Make time for calls. Set aside parts of your day (or week) for calling into your existing and past clients. It sounds simple, but so many people don’t do it — they let their calendar run them instead of driving their calendar. For example, you can book a meeting with yourself from 8 a.m. till 9 a.m. every day for calling clients and former clients to schedule a meeting with them, learn if there is current business opportunity and/or get referrals to others who might have needs.

2. Personal touch. Take a few minutes to write hand-written cards each day (or week). They don’t need to say much, but they need to be personal and relevant. They could be to all of the executive assistants you talked with this week telling them you appreciated their help. Or to all of your clients that gave you business this month and thank them … “Joe, I just wanted you to know I really appreciate the business. Thanks.”

3. Call new people. Set aside time each week to call people you don’t know. You should be asking for referrals when talking to clients and people in your network, so set aside time to follow up with them every week. I call these warm calls.

4. Shake it up. Change up your routine and get out of your comfort zone. We all tend to get into a groove that we follow day in day out, week in and week out. If you want to increase your sales, you need to do something different. You could come to work a little earlier or stay a little later and use the time to plan better. If you always call clients after 9 a.m., try calling people very early, maybe before you leave home (you might be surprised how many people start early).

5. Change how you dress. Buy some new clothes that make you feel GOOD! If you have been a very casual dresser, then opt for suits and ties for a while. If you have been very formal, then loosen it up just a little. Obviously, you need to dress appropriately for your role, but there is leeway in there.

6. Join some new groups. Maybe you could join Toastmasters, an industry association, a charity group or just a social group of some kind. This helps expand your network and adds new contacts that may help you with leads, or just advice. My membership in Toastmasters was great for my confidence and presentation skills. Charity work can expose you to senior people from many different industries, and exposure to the industry association broadens your contact base and helps you better understand your competition.

7. Invest in your self-development. Get some formal training related to your role. If you sell in the tech world, for example, then take a tech course. Take some formal sales training. Do time management, negotiation or writing courses. There are a lot of options.

8. Bring value. Find ways to bring value to your network. It can’t all be about you — make it all about giving back, and you will see a positive return. You might send articles of interest to your clients along with relevant commentary. Introduce some of your client contacts to each other, people with the same challenges may benefit from sharing ideas. Share your market knowledge with your clients.

Just the mere act of changing things up in your own routine will alter the most important thing: your attitude. If you get into a mindset that embraces and welcomes change, then you have the best chance to be successful in sales. Try it!

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle Professional Resources Inc. k.dee@eagleonline.com

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