play games of chance for money; bet.
take risky action in the hope of a desired result.
Sounds silly, doesn’t it? Yet, many of us approach their sales prospects in this way. Here are some signs and symptoms that might help you tell whether you have a predilection for sales gambling:
- Writing your promotional material in a way that leaves doubt as to what you are offering, or how your prospects will benefit from it or from choosing you to give it to them
- Waiting for the phone to ring, instead of taking action to stimulate lead generation
- Not knowing your product or service forwards and backwards
- Not following a process to handle a first enquiry over the phone
- Not following a process to handle an initial appointment in person
- Leaving your presentation preparations to the very last minute
- Not having a commitment objective
- Being hopelessly unprepared, or unwilling, to handle objections when (not if) they arise.
So how do you stop gambling with your sales?
- a series of actions or steps taken to meet a particular end.
- a series of mechanical or chemical operations on (something) in order to change or preserve it.
There is little that makes people more anxious than being shoved into a situation they are unprepared to deal with. Why do that to them? Why do that to yourself?
Every task that has a series of steps that ends in a predictable result must have a process.
If you’re going to do anything more than once, if you’re going to ever want anyone else to do it as well as you do, if you don’t want to spend your life repeating yourself, you must, must, must have a process for what you do.
Determine the desired timeframe. Define who is going to do it. Write down the background. Break it into steps. Be clear on what a completed step looks like. Include references to every resource that might be needed to complete the task. Then post this standard operating procedure (SOP) in a place where it can be shared, referenced, and updated in only one place.
Here at LiveseySolar, we’ve proceduralised nearly every aspect of our business. When we task someone with something, that task refers them to the SOP that explains how to do it. If one doesn’t exist, they’re expected to document their steps, and create an SOP, before completing the task. The sales arena isn’t, and shouldn’t be, any different from all the other more “important” procedures that guide the work you do.
Life is complicated and unpredictable enough. Why work so hard to bring a product to market, improve it and perfect it, only to squander your chances of selling it because you are gambling on the sales end?
So let’s begin. This doesn’t have to be an epic amount of work. To start, take 15 minutes today and sketch out the rough outlines of what you have right now, so you know where you stand. And then commit to fleshing out your rough framework over the next 5 days in 15 minute increments. Your bottom line will thank you.