The traffic in the office had been non-existent since earlier that morning. Bill and the other three salespeople had even given up talking with each other and just sat staring out the window. Not having anything else to do, Bill got up and walked to the door leading out. The other salespeople, alert to this sudden movement, quickly saw that no prospect was in the offing. Then, from out of nowhere, Bill saw someone headed toward the door. Timing is everything, thought Bill.
Bill held the door open, and Jack walked in.
“Must be pretty slow, “ Jack said, walking through the door, “if you’re standing here holding the door open.”
“Let me tell you, “ said Bill and then proceeded to spend ten minutes explaining just how slow it was. As he was talking, the other salespeople came over and added their comments.
Without realizing it, the four salespeople had taken twenty minutes to explain just how bad it was.
“So,” Bill finally said, “now that we have told you our sad tale, what can I do for you?”
Jack glanced at his watch.
“Actually I came in looking for something for my wife, but I’ve got to get going. I’ve run out of time.”
“Well,” said Bill, “we’re open until eight tonight.”
“If I can, I’ll try to stop back tonight,” responded Jack as he headed out the door.
The prospect came in to buy, got a conversation about slow business from four salespeople and left. The salespeople were focused on their needs, not the prospect’s needs.
Have you ever noticed that the top performing salespeople are always doing something, and that it’s a rare day, if ever, when they just sit and do nothing? Why do you suppose that is the case?
One answer is that they are constantly busy taking care of their customers. Usually this statement is paired with, “and when I have a lot of customers, I’ll be busy all the time, too.” But as he speaks, the salesperson sits down and stares at the door, waiting for something to happen.
The top performing salespeople did not get to the top and stay there by just dreaming. They did things to get those customers and are continually doing the same things to get more.
The major difference between the top performing salespeople and everyone else is that they are always attending to details. Nothing escapes their attention. They are constantly on the move mentally and in many instances, physically.
There is no such thing as a slow day in sales. In the story, if folks are not coming through the door, how about calling some folks who did come through the door in the past and asking them for warm referrals? Not difficult to do.
The best approach to take, assuming the top performing salesperson will allow it, is to tag along with him for a week. Note about every fifteen minutes what the person is doing. After one week, assuming you made the notes, you will have a wealth of things you also should be doing.
If you are not focused on keeping the customers you have and gaining more, then you will never succeed in sales to the level you thought possible.