This post is the second in a series of eight blog posts on the creation of the Successful Business Mindset. You can see the introduction to these eight posts, by clicking here. You can click on each section of the Successful Business Mindset by clicking on the names below. Each one will become live as I complete the blog post.
Each discussion will be broken down into MECHANICS and MINDSET. Mechanics will discuss the practical tasks and areas that you need to be doing well; and Mindset will discuss different approaches to the Mechanics.
This blog post will discuss the SALES area of The Successful Business Mindset.
Sales is the act of converting an interested prospect into a high-paying client. Many people combine marketing with sales; and they are really two different things. When they get combined or confused, the business owner is likely to fail at both. In order to sell well, you first need to value sales. This is a struggle for most new business owners who have never been put in a position of selling. They have a poor opinion of sales people and selling because they have had some bad experiences with bad sales people that have created the wrong impression of what selling involves.
As a business leader, there are four”mechanical” areas of sales that need to be considered:
- Sales Process: What is your step-by-step process to convert a lead into a customer?
- Sales Personality: How well are the people you have selling suited to sell?
- Sales Management: How do you track sales activity and coach sales people?
- Sales Compensation: How well is payment connected to sales performance?
The way you can tell if sales is working in your company is the percentage of converted leads into customers. If you are converting 100%, you’re sales team is doing an awesome job. If you are converting 50%, you’re close to average; and if you are converting less than 20%, you can quickly improve company revenues by working on your sales efforts.
I do an exercise I call “climbing the ladder”. In this exercise, I will go through seven different approaches to Sales based on the seven different energy levels. These energy levels characterize how you are THINKING about Sales. If you don’t know what I mean by Energy Levels, you can refer back to the introductory post on the Successful Business Mindset.
- Level 1: Your sales team or you feel like there is nothing you can do to convince a person to buy your stuff. You feel awkward in a buying conversation; and feel like you are trying to get someone to buy something they don’t need or want.
- Level 2: You are highly engaged in competitive sales. You feel you need to convince a prospective customer that the features offered by your company are superior to your competitors. If you lose a sale, you will feel emotionally distraught… like you’re a loser.
- Level 3: While you go through the motions of trying to be a great sales person, you have resigned yourself to the idea that “you’ll win some; and you’ll lose some”. It’s okay as long as you do your best.
- Level 4: Will place you on the customer’s side of the table. You will have a great sense of empathy for what the customer wants and needs. Your challenge here will be clearly seeing the company’s side of the negotiation.
- Level 5: Sales people at Level 5 will be amazing at seeing new opportunities as they create innovative deals for their customers and their company. Level 5 sales people understand how to structure deals so that all win. They are great in solution based or custom sales opportunities.
- Level 6: Not only will your sales staff consider selling your products, but will be adept at bundling sales opportunities with others… including competitors. They will be able to leverage complex relationships for the good of the deal.
- Level 7: Sales people will be able to quickly recognize which level will be most beneficial to their prospective client; and quickly adapt to create deals that best suit the situation.
I’m guessing that you can identify certain people in your organization who function at each different level of energy. Most of us will shift from one level to the next depending on circumstances.
I’ve listed four areas of the mechanics of Sales along with seven levels of energy.
- If you DO the right things in your business, but operate at lower energy levels, you will become burned out; and most likely less successful than you could have been.
- If you tend to FEEL good about your company, but fail to DO the right things, your company will flounder and fail.
As you can probably guess, one will lead to the other. What us humans fail to grasp is that energy precedes action. In other words, you will typically be thinking of opportunity (Level 5) before you discover opportunity in your company. Likewise, you will feel like a victim (Level 1) before you act in a way that will close the doors to your company.
I use both lists of mechanics and mindset to help my business owner clients set goals; and then work toward those goals. While it’s usually easy for my clients to see the mechanical goals, it is more difficult to see the mindset goals. Once they understand the energy levels, they are able to move to the level that best suits their company. Once they have both mindset and mechanics figured out, they quickly move forward.
If you’d like to see where you are with your business and create an ACTION PLAN, sign up for my Successful Business Mindset tool below.
As a long-time small business owner, I know how hard it is to create the business of your dreams while struggling with the financial realities of attracting prospects, converting those prospects into high-paying customers, and making money for you and your family. The biggest mistake in my past was not seeking the advice of wise counsel sooner than I did. I don’t want you to make the same mistake. I help my clients see exactly what they need to work on in their business by doing the Business Wheel exercise. If you’d like to try it out, sign up to the right. It’s completely FREE.