The definition of a hunter is a predator that hunts game; it is also the definition of a successful salesperson that hunts for deals. Unfortunately, 80 percent of all salespeople fail to hunt successfully while a mere 20 percent of salespeople hunt for most of the deals available each year. I describe this 80 percent of unsuccessful salespeople as being haunted – they are afraid of the hunt like someone who is afraid of ghosts.
The fear starts off with a simple phone call. It’s almost as if the phone has some sort of disease on it – salespeople are afraid to pick it up and use it! Next, the offices of potential clients surely must be haunted because salespeople are afraid to go into them for fear of who knows what. Fear of networking events seems to happen because something must be wrong with the people that are there, for whatever reason. Finally, creating an email campaign or a web site or a mailing program to generate new business also produces fear within the salesperson; causing them to run the other way instead of doing the very thing they need to do in order to be successful.
Great salespeople, even the ones with the fear inside them, do all of the above to be successful – no matter what. Successful salespeople know that they must have a number of pillars of business going at all times to keep deal flow coming in. The rest of salespeople, ranging from weak to mediocre, somehow find ways to make a few deals in order to survive but still fail to live up to their true potential.
Years ago one of my agents told me that the worst thing that could happen to a salesperson was to live off of only the ‘occasional deal’. Business will find salespeople without them needing to work too hard at it, sometimes it is possible to fall into business and survive off of what I call the ‘low hung fruit’ deals that are out there. These kinds of deals will feed a person, but only a little. A salesperson must be willing to climb the tree in order to get to the better fruit to stay healthy, strong and successful.
I am often asked if it is possible to be a truly successful salesperson without cold calling or soliciting business everyday. Some of the most successful salespeople in my business avoid day-to-day cold calling in favor of strategically working to develop business through existing relationships and ultimately ‘warm calls’. In my opinion, these same great salespeople are also missing out on being even better. I don’t care how good someone is, by working everyday and developing new business though cold calling, a great salesperson will become a better salesperson.
The simplest way to change business development strategy is to calendar new business developments each day. Treat that calendared time as a real appointment: stick to it, make your calls, visit new clients or work on a marketing campaign. Give yourself the opportunity to be a better salesperson than you already are. – TCN Worldwide Affiliate, Hans Hansson-Starboard Commercial