If you’re not hitting the sales and profit goals set by either you or your employer, that’s a problem. In this podcast, business growth expert David Blaise explains why.
If you’re just starting out in promotional products sales and you’re not yet hitting your sales and profit goals, maybe you’re lucky. Maybe it’s just a timing thing and eventually you will.
But if you’ve been in the industry for any length of time and you’re STILL not hitting your desired levels of sales and profit, that indicates a real problem. In fact, it indicates a problem that time is unlikely to fix. Because as the saying goes, if you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.
Let’s look at the reasons we set sales goals in the first place. Very often, businesses set at least minimal goals for their salespeople because they know how much the salesperson needs to bring in just to pay for himself or herself before becoming profitable to the company. Some companies are more patient than others, but let’s face it, when salespeople can’t do the one thing their hired to do — sell — it’s unlikely they’re going to remain employed in that capacity.
“You had one job!”
The fact of the matter is that in most businesses, everyone’s job ultimately depends on the company’s ability to sell it’s products and services. Because if nothing is being sold, no one is getting paid. At least not for very long.
But beyond company goals — the goals required to simply remain employed — as individuals we also tend to set personal goals. These are the sales goals that will actually allow us to achieve our own desires and objectives. “If I generate x dollars in sales, I’ll earn y dollars in commissions which after taxes will allow me to pay my bills, live in the home I want, drive the car I want, pay for college for my kids and provide for myself and my family in the style to which we’d like to become accustomed.”
When it happens, it’s great! But in our industry, even those salespeople who manage to hit their company goals often fail to hit their personal sales goals again and again, year in and year out. They continue to put in more time and more effort, but they still can’t hit the numbers they want. They sacrifice their time, their energy, their health and their quality of living and they still fail to hit their numbers.
It’s a tremendous source of frustration and it’s confusing because so many of us have been taught that it’s hard work that leads to success. But if you’ve been targeting a level of sales for yourself that has continued to eluded you year after year, please don’t delude yourself into thinking that time is going to fix it. It won’t.
My business partner, Rick Drake, was talking to a distributor who was frustrated with her sales volume. She was telling him how hard she’d been working — putting in eight to ten hour days five or six days a week for years without achieving the level of success she was looking for. When he asked her sales volume, she said she was doing $20,000 a year in gross sales. He was shocked. He blurted out “What can you POSSIBLY be doing for ten hours a day, five or six days a week to only generate $20,000 in sales?”
It was a blunt response, but it’s a great question, and it was absolutely the best possible question he could ask her.
Really, what WAS she doing with those hours? And what are you doing with yours?
It doesn’t matter if the number is $20,000, $200,000 or $2 million. The chronic inability to hit your own desired sales goals indicates a serious problem that time alone will not fix.
Naturally, I’m not talking about people who set sales goals, achieve them and then set new ones. All of us should be constantly striving to exceed our previous successes and shooting for new heights. But frustration, stagnation and lack of achievement require different actions.
In sales, our biggest problems often come from misconceptions. We think we have a better grasp of things than we really do. We think we know everything necessary to attract, qualify and convert prospects into clients, and for some reason they’re just not doing it. We think we know what it takes to build and sustain a client base. We think that we should be able to obtain a higher level of success with our existing level of knowledge and ability. But it just doesn’t work that way.
When we’re not achieving the level of sales, profit and commission we want to achieve, it means there are specific things we either don’t know or are failing to practice.
Are There Really Things You Don’t Know About Getting Clients?
If you’re not hitting your desired numbers, then yes.
Over the past fifteen plus years, I’ve spent a lot of time talking with salespeople, and I come away from that with one overriding observation: The people who consistently do best in this industry are those who remain open to learning and who have a systematized process for getting clients.
Answer these questions for yourself: What is the biggest bottleneck in your current sales process? Is it driving that steady stream of qualified leads to your door? Is it fully penetrating your existing accounts? Is it your ability to get through to decision makers? Is it overcoming price objections? Is it staying focused, motivated and in the game?
If you do nothing else for yourself this week, do this: Take just a few moments to ask yourself, “What is your sales process? What have you learned lately? Do you have a system in place for attracting, qualifying and converting clients?” If so, “how is that process working out for you?” And if not, how can you ever achieve the level of success you’re shooting for?
When we take the right actions, we get the results we’re looking for and our self-confidence soars.
When we’re not getting the results we want, It’s a screaming signal we’re not taking the right actions!
If you’re not hitting your desired volume of sales and profit, there’s a reason for that.