Today I want to provide one of the most valuable sales tips in terms of your earning potential as a sales professional. This addresses an area of great weakness in sales professionals. Although I am NOT a proponent of focusing on your weaknesses, you Do need to manage your weaknesses to keep them out of your way. In an effort to learn many different things and satisfy curiosity (which is a good thing), sales people too often set a pattern of poor focus. To grow your career and make money, you must be able to focus.
Recently I read a very helpful book entitled The Twelve Week Year. The author’s premise is that we can accomplish more by planning and setting goals for shorter time spans, such as three months, rather than an entire year. Work to focus your attention on a shorter segment of time and short-term goals for your life and career. Think ahead and talk about the plan you have in place for the next three to six months. Decide your primary focus during that time. Set your mental focus.
I have frequently heard the statement that sales people are impatient. However, I don’t agree with that as a general assessment. In my opinion, most sales people are too patient! They don’t push very hard. Sales professionals don’t necessarily need patience to make sales; they need focus. The ambition and drive which causes someone to be impatient in closing deals can be good. However, the sales person should be disciplined enough to focus all that energy and ambition in the following three areas.
- Focus on one company. Recently I added a new link on my website called “find a processor.” The years of consulting and making connections in our industry have given me some insight in this area. I always enjoy connecting with people who are listening to my content. If you are not satisfied with your current processor, click on that link on my website to request a 10-15 minute conversation with me. I can either confirm you are already with a good company or recommend someone better suited to your needs.
In my content I have mentioned using this approach when in the field, “Hi, my name is James Shepherd. I’m somewhat of a broker in the payments industry. I work with many different companies to make sure I find you the best deal.” Although that is a true statement, I have always had my one primary company to which I send probably 85% of my business. To be familiar with multiple processors is necessary in the industry. In situations such as a high-risk merchant, an Ecommerce merchant, or a very large volume merchant there might be the necessity of referring to other processors to achieve a better fit. To focus on one primary processor will afford more time and energy as you become familiar with the paperwork and have connections. Sending them ten or fifteen deals a month will ensure they are very happy with you and will be glad to bend over backwards to help. Focus on one company for three to six months.
- Focus on one type of service. Although there are times when you may focus on selling Poynt while the prospect needs Clover or wants a free terminal, you should still focus on a primary service or product. Of course, be ready to fulfill the need of every prospect. But you want to put 80% of your time into one company which sells the one value proposition.
- Focus on one prospect type. One prospect type can still offer a broad spectrum of prospects. For instance, individually owned, physical location, retail, restaurant businesses is broad. That would be a good prospect type for the Poynt terminal. Perhaps you would sell the Lavu POS system which is more for restaurants. I recommend infousa.com as a good choice to find prospects. (I plan to offer a CRM early in 2018 which will be helpful, also.) Focusing on one prospect type for three to six months will allow you to be incredibly good at selling that group.
In summary, don’t give in to the biggest weakness of sales people. Rather than jumping from one company to another or one product/service to another, focus 80% of your time, energy, and resources on…
- Selling for one company
- Selling one value proposition
- Selling to one type of prospect
For three to six months.
My name is James Shepherd. Thanks for reading!
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