We have all heard the notion that sales is a numbers game. But, is it?
A Sales Formula of the Past
In the past, the formula for sales went like this: You called 100 people and of those 100 people, 20 of them agreed to talk to you. Of those 20, 10 agreed to have a meeting with you. From those 10, you might have five that are really good, qualified opportunities. Of those five, most likely you can convert two into actual clients.
This theory says, if you want to sell more, increase that top-line number, and hope it trickles down to the end.
But, this equation is faulty from the beginning. Making more of the wrong calls is not going to get you anywhere.
A Broken Formula
There are two main problems I see with this formula.
The first is that you are not focused on the problems you are good at solving. When you choose to blindly sell to companies that are a certain size, have a specific revenue, or a specific number of employees, you are potentially missing out on other great opportunities where the client needs the solution you are offering.
The second reason is that you are wasting your time contacting people who are not a good fit for what you have to offer. Not only does this cause you to lose time and money, but it also damages your reputation.
Now it’s time to change our focus. We need to ask ourselves, “Could whatever I’m offering be seen as a great asset or value to this client?” or “Who would stand to gain the most by using the solution or product I’m offering.”
Rather than focusing on a certain number and client profile, pivot your positioning around the problems that you’re really good at solving. This way, instead of trying to attract as many human beings as possible, focus on attracting the people for whom you can have the greatest impact.
For example, if I was someone who was selling human resources and benefits services, I could just contact every company with more than a certain number of employees and say, “I would love to talk to you about our company and our products and services.” Almost nobody would care.
What if instead, I thought about what our clients need?
In this example, I might realize that our best clients come to us because they are having trouble with the retention and recruitment of key personnel. We also know that many of them are losing or unable to recruit valuable employees because their benefits are not competitive and they don’t have enough insight into employee engagement.
With this in mind, instead of just contacting everyone out there, I might start creating content. The content could be focused on what leads to poor retention and recruitment of key personnel. It could include videos, articles, social media posts, and emails to my subscribers. I could demonstrate my knowledge and build credibility as a subject matter expert in this area.
Who is going to read that content? Only people who care about retention and recruitment of key personnel and those who are already looking for the solution to the problem I’m good at solving.
Now, when someone reaches out for information, I’m less worried about the specifics of the company because I now know that there is somebody on the other end of that conversation who cares about the same things I do.
They will also be more willing to talk to me because they know that I care about moving the needle for retention and recruitment of key personnel. I won’t appear to be a salesperson who is only interested in selling services. Because I have established myself as a subject matter expert, they will be excited about coming to me for advice and we will be able to create a mutually beneficial relationship.
Time Is Money
The other reason to change your sales formula is that it saves you a lot of wasted time.
In the previous example, we saw how 100 people narrowed down to two new clients. But, think of all the time that was spent contacting the other 98 clients who don’t have the problem that we are good at solving.
Not only that, but we also have made a bad impression on 98 people. We won’t be able to go back to those opportunities later. Effort wasted on the wrong prospect is always expensive. Not only does it cost you time and money, but it changes the way you are perceived. When you are chasing the wrong leads, it creates a lack of trust or confidence in your abilities or products.
What if, instead of calling everyone with a specific client profile, you marketed your content?
Say, from that content, you attract 20 people who actually want to solve the problem for which you have a solution? From that twenty, the number narrows down to 10 clients who are interested in having a meaningful conversation with you. Then, by asking the right questions, we can easily qualify those clients who are a good fit.
Even if you still convert two people into clients, you still saved yourself valuable time by only talking to those prospects who are looking for the solution you have. More than likely, you will convert more clients because you will have built a relationship with them through your content.
When you show up to solve, not sell, your clients will trust you. They will believe that you have their best interests in mind and that you are the expert they are looking for the help solve their problem.
It all boils down to this: think smarter about targeting. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Who are the people you can help the most?
- What kind of problems are those people trying to solve?
- Who are the people you are best suited to help?
When you find the answers to these questions and focus your processes around them, sales can be a numbers game. It will be a game where your numbers go straight up.
If you have more questions, visit me at Same Side Selling Academy to learn more.