Daily Steps to Success in Sales

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Prospecting. Qualifying. Building rapport. Designing a solution. Crafting a proposal. Delivering presentations. Sales meetings, Forecasts. Networking. The list of things that a sales professional does in a typical day is enormous and very dynamic. If one day finds a sales rep focused to prospecting, the next will probably find her attending customer meetings and designing proposals.

With so many things that need to be done in the course of a business day, it is no wonder why sales professionals get caught up in the daily grind, lose their focus, lose sales and deliver sub-par results.

The truly successful sales professionals know that every day is an opportunity to improve their business, increase their skills and to earn more customers. With this in mind, they've learned to limit their focus to 3 things. Just 3 things that they commit to every day.

If you are overwhelmed with the many tasks that you are expected to complete in a business day, realizing that accomplishing these 3 will find you accomplishing everything else that you need to do to earn success.

Start a New Sales Cycle

Every day, if you could start a new sales cycle, through prospecting, networking, attending conferences or asking for referrals, you will have a full pipeline of potential sales and will never need to scramble to close a deal when the end of the month arrives. Having a full pipeline prevents being over-aggressive when dealing with the prospects you do have and affords you greater peace of mind and a better overall attitude.

Advance a Sales Cycle

One of the most common issues that both rookie and experienced sales professionals create for themselves is leaving sales opportunities alone to die a slow death. Usually out of fear, sales reps do all the steps to start a sales cycle but are reluctant to move the sales opportunity to the next step.

Very few sales opportunities will advance themselves but will instead remain in the sales step that the sales professional left them in. Your daily task is to identify at least 1 sales opportunity that you have that has not been moved to the next level and focus on moving it to the next step.

Often, the only thing needed to advance a sales cycle is a simple phone call to the prospect. The danger is if you call only to ask "how is everything going?" and do not bring something new to inspire the customer to move forward. People are simply too busy to take calls from sales professionals who call just to say "hi." Decide what you think the customer needs to move to the next step and deliver that when you call. In other words, don't call just hoping that the customer has magically decided to move forward and has been waiting by the phone for your call.

It doesn't happen like that in the real world of professional sales.

Close a Sale

The first 2 daily tasks are relatively easy to do and shouldn't cause too much stress. The final step, Close a Sale, takes a bit more intestinal fortitude. That is if you haven't done a good job with the first 2 steps and haven't done them consistently.

The reason that closing a sale is stressful for most sales professionals is that they feel the "have" to close the sale because they don't have enough potential sales in their pipelines. Each of their closing opportunities is too important to risk losing and, if lost; they won't hit their sales quota.

Not having a full pipeline of potential sales puts you at a severe disadvantage and causes you to show up for the closing meeting less than at your best. You will be nervous, afraid to take risks, be less resourceful and less effective. All things that put your sale in jeopardy.

There are hundreds of closing techniques that salespeople learn, but none is as effective as the Assumptive Sale. The Assumptive Sale, as the name implies, finds the sales professional assuming the sale based on the fact that he has done all the work needed, answered all the objections, designed the perfect solution and has earned the right to ask for the customer's business.

Assuming that a sale is made before asking for the sale demands that you've earned the sale and puts you in a position of positive strength. Your focus is on a "win-win" with which both you and the customer gets what is expected and deserve.

The final thing to do every day is to close a sale; This could mean either closing the deal and earning a customer of losing a sale. Some sales will be lost, and some customers will simply never buy from you. But, if you have enough sales cycles in your pipeline, a lost sale will lose much of its sting and will allow you to focus more on more realistic sales opportunities.

So go out and close a sale today and, while you're at it, you might as well lose a couple as well.