Sales Techniques – The Tortoise and the Hare

When we evaluate our sales techniques, do we know if we’re a tortoise or a hare? In other words, what’s our sales philosophy?  Do we rush through leads grabbing more and more hoping to get lucky with a few sales? Or, do we take every lead, evaluate it, come up with a plan, and work to sell every lead the best we can?  What sales technique is best?

Let’s take a look at the math. In most sales jobs there is going to be a percentage of customers that will buy regardless of the sales professional or their skills. Let’s call that 10%. There is also a percentage of customers that will not buy no matter how good the sales executive’s presentation or negotiation skills. This accounts for another 10%. We’re left with 80%. This is the group that needs to be “sold” on our product or service.

Sales executives who take the “hare” approach are hunting for quick sales. They want to find the 10% that are going to buy no matter what. While we all want to identify these easy wins, too much focus here causes us to lose out on revenue and commission from the 80% group. It’s the tortoises that are closing sales at a higher rate and driving more revenue because they are taking their time to work every lead. This takes longer, but it does pay.

Some sales techniques argue to work smart, rather than hard. We agree with the smart part, but looking to find just the 10% of easy sales will drastically limit our earning potential. A little extra effort on the 80% (e.g., building value, educating prospects, follow up…etc) goes a long way to increasing our paychecks. Sales professionals, i.e., career sales people know this. They take the disciplined long view. Sure, they’ll pounce on an easy sale – who wouldn’t? The difference with the pros is that they will work their leads systematically knowing that it’s only a matter of time before they capture additional revenue from the largest pool of leads.

The pendulum swings between quality or quantity. The best sales professionals maximize both. What’s your sales strategy?

By DH/Theo

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