If you feel unhappy with your results, you have only to look in the mirror to stare the culprit straight in the eye.
If you have experienced a Butler Street training or have followed our blog for any length of time, you are familiar with the above saying. It reflects the very essence of the second of our Four Cornerstones of Success® – Personal Accountability. (See Related Blog: We Are All CEOs Of Our Own Life and Work) We talk about this in the context of eliminating socially accepted excuses from a culture to ensure everyone is focused on the one benchmark that matters most – performance.
Today's blog is focused on my own personal experience with this topic and how we must “eat our own dog food”, as we like to say, meaning “practice what we preach”. So how does this apply to me, or any salesperson trying to achieve superior performance?
I was actually on the road training for 8 consecutive weeks recently. And while training is one of my absolute favorite parts of working with our partners, it is often times challenging to maintain the proper balance between driving current revenue and filling my prospect pipeline to ensure future revenue. Like we always coach our partners, in order to drive a sustainable revenue stream, we MUST prospect actively and consistently.
Simply put, I recently found myself with an opportunity pipeline that was not up to my standards and really made me reflect on a few areas that I think are valuable to share.
1. Always Be Prospecting
Research has found that 80% of salespeople fail due to a lack of consistent or sustainable prospecting.
Obviously, this makes great sense. Whether it is due to a lack of time, organizational and/or time management skills, an inability to communicate value to your prospects or a lack of follow up and follow through, this can and most times will, cause your pipeline to run dry. In my particular case, it was simply making a few adjustments, pushing through when I was on the road and tired, and making the time to network through LinkedIn, email and phone calls. Remarkably, when I have focused on this specifically in the last few weeks, my pipeline is rapidly improving…shocking, I know. One of the tools we employ at Butler Street and share with our partners is our 12 week/16 touch strategy. I would love to share that with you, so if you would like to learn more, please connect with me on LinkedIn or send me a message.
Oh, and don’t forget about referrals from your best clients. Remember, you get paid to say how great you are, but they don’t. If you’ve never heard of or considered doing a Net Promoter Score® Survey of your current clients, watch the video below to learn how powerful it can be in creating new business.
2. Follow the 15:4 Rule
Mary Ann mentioned this in her recent blog, but thought it was important enough to reiterate here. Every single morning, before the “whirlwind” of the day begins to intrude on your plan of action, take 15 minutes to plan the 3 most important priorities you must accomplish for that day. It will save you approximately 4 hours of time during the day of distractions. If you can become “in the habit” of doing this, you will find yourself feeling quite accomplished. In my case, I specifically write down the 3 prospects I must communicate with and accomplish a focused outcome, such as set up a meeting, share a meaningful article with them, or create a foundation for Butler Street’s expertise around client acquisition/retention and talent acquisition/retention.
When all is said and done, we can all agree on how tough being in sales can be. We have many different responsibilities depending on our role, but whether we are a “hunter” or a "farmer,” there is a responsibility to ourselves and our organizations to consistently and sustainably grow our revenue, improve our market presence and represent the brand in a meaningful way.
Sometimes we have to refocus on The Four Cornerstones of Success® – Attitude, Personal Accountability, Perseverance and Habit – to ensure we do all of these things every day. If you’d like to learn how Butler Street continues to help our partners achieve 4x market growth, contact us and let’s have a discussion.