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Selling: the odds are against you

Liz Wendling //September 28, 2010//

Selling: the odds are against you

Liz Wendling //September 28, 2010//

You’ve probably heard someone, somewhere, say that selling is a numbers game. Well, it’s not a numbers game – it’s a performance game and it’s a value game.

The “numbers game” myth was probably started by salespeople with amateur sales skills who could not close a sale on value if their lives depended in it. People who used numbers and luck to close the sale instead of skill and discipline. They probably thought that if they talked to enough breathing prospects, one would eventually say “yes.”

But why would anyone want to deal with hundreds or even thousands of prospects who may not even want what you have to offer? That’s a waste of time, money and energy, and it’s a game I don’t want to play.

Sales shouldn’t be a numbers game and that type of thinking gets many companies in serious trouble. The any sale will do mentality can spell disaster. Instead of churning through lots of low-profit, high- maintenance, poor-fit clients that come and go based on “the lowest price,” you need to build a loyal base of clients who are raving fans. When you do, you trade in quantity for quality.

In this economy, salespeople need to focus on the most valuable prospects and target their selling efforts on people who have an interest and can make a buying decision. All prospects are not created equal. It’s only when you focus on selling to great prospects, that you will see great numbers. That’s not a game. That’s what I call a great sales strategy.

The old school, worn out, obsolete sales techniques that were once successful have completely lost their effectiveness in this economy. Many salespeople think that if they cast a wide enough net and try to sell to anyone in that net, they’re bound to find someone. That may work in some cases but this sort of needle in a haystack approach is not a strategy, it’s just bad business.
Salespeople need to focus on their unique value and target clients that have the greatest impact on their business. Instead of playing “the numbers game,” identify where to focus your efforts to maximize your sales potential. When you change your focus, you change your results.

People want to do business with someone who cares about them and has their best interests in mind, not someone who is just playing the numbers and is only in it for themselves. Hone your skills and approach the sale like no one else and the only numbers you will have to worry about will be the large numbers on your paycheck.

If you are a business owner or salesperson and you still believe that selling is a numbers game, then you are saying that your lack the skills to control the outcome. So, selling might be a game but the real game is a game of skill, not of chance.

Actually, here’s a new numbers game that some are trying–the harder you work, the more money you make! Now that’s a game I can play. How about you?
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