Selling is Not an Accident: 4 Keys to Plan for Success

The problem with most sales books is that they focus solely on what to say once you are in front of the prospect. That’s not half as important as what goes on before you even set up the meeting.  Planning is probably just as important,  if not more, because there’s a way to set yourself up for success.

Relationships are key for your business success. You have to put yourself in front of the right people at the right time, with the right message so there is shared value in the relationship. There has to be mutual benefit if you want to create a lasting, long term connection with a prospect.

When I work with business professionals in a coaching capacity, I ask my clients to define what it is they want, using these four key concepts, and they also work well for planning a sales process:

  • Clarity: Have a clear definition of the clients you want to do business with. How are you positioned in the marketplace? How are you positioned in the minds of your clients? If you’re not sure, ask some of your current clients. It’s up to you to position yourself, to narrow your focus, to pick your target.
  • Focus: What is your level of effort in going after your clearly defined market? How focused are you on getting business on board? Remember that distractions often start out as opportunities, but they are often only masquerading. Clarity will help keep you focused so you don’t get distracted.
  • Attention: Are you scanning your environment and paying attention to opportunities that fall clearly within your defined market?
  • Intention: What are your goals? Do you have a way to measure your progress? Are you working intentionally, monitoring those activities that achieve results? How are you intentionally creating the relationships you have planned?

So the first steps in organizing a sales process for yourself has to do with sitting down, and clearly defining who you’re going to do business with, how you’re going to be in the right place at the right time with the right people, and clearly defining your positioning and expertise. Clarity, focus, attention and intention will be the foundation to your sales process.

Beside this, there are three areas of expertise you carry with you into the sales planning process:

  1. You are an expert in your business
  2. You have acquired some expertise in your clients’ businesses (A continuous learning process)
  3. You are also becoming an expert in selling through deliberate practice (A work in progress!)

There are three elements important to the sales planning stage. They are proper positioning, paying attention and planning the call, for which I use a very effective system anyone can use called the Five by Five Program for effective meetings.

I’ll save that for another post, since I know you’re busy and time is a-flyin’. Be sure to subscribe to this blog to get emailed updates so you don’t miss! See ya…

For more about smart selling, check out Masterminds Unleashed: Selling for Geniuses.

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