Skip Weisman of Weisman Success Resources Inc., recently paid me the great compliment of writing the following post in his Champion Organizations blog, writes Robert Clay of Marketing Wizdom. It was inspired, he says, by a post I had previously written: Why 8% of sales people get 80% of the sales.
I read it, liked it and agree with what he says, so asked him if I could reproduce it here in it’s entirety. He kindly agreed, so here it is:
Skip Weisman: “A couple of years ago I hired a new business coach to help me restructure my business and move it in a new direction. The first question out of his mouth before agreeing to take me on as a client was, “what is your business model?”
I’m embarrassed to say as business coach and consultant having been in the business for four years to that point, I couldn’t answer the question, at least not succinctly enough for his liking. He agreed to take me on anyway and that is where we started.
It’s been a huge transformation for me as I now have a systematic process for creating what he calls “marketing gravity,” which is having business prospects gravitate towards me instead of me always reaching out trying to attract them.
It’s been a great transformation, yet even with that approach some prospects who come into sphere of influence become clients quicker than others, and some never do. One case in point is that last January I met a business owner who attended my “End Procrastination NOW!” workshop and inside of 60-days we negotiated a six-month consulting project.
However, another who has been on my prospect list since 2003 and whom we have discussed various potential projects with which I could help him has yet to bring me onboard, that’s six-years.
The point of this post is that as marketing and sales professionals who are the “rainmakers” for our businesses it is vital that we, a) know our business model, and b) follow it consistently.
I recently read an excellent blog post by Robert Clay titled, “Why 8% of Sales People Get 80% of the Sales” in which he makes note of a various research sources that have consistently shown that 44% of sales professionals give up after just one “NO,” another 22% give up after the second “NO,” 14% more after the third “NO” and another 12% after the fourth “NO.”
The only “NO” I accept as permanent is the one in which the individual tells me to never contact them again and asks to be taken off my mailing list.
Other than that, all prospects once in my marketing reservoir are always considered prospects because you never know when they will need what I have. One former mentor who helped me get started in my own business always encouraged me to ask the question, “is that ‘no’, forever, or just ‘no’, right now?” Few people ever say “no” forever and allow me to keep in touch with them and send them marketing materials for my latest product or workshop or pieces of value like articles I’ve written that is pertinent to their business success.
My philosophy is the more value I can provide in my correspondance with the prospect it will gradually move them closer to seeing me as the expert they can turn to when they have a need.
In Robert Clay’s article he noted that only 2% of sales occur when parties meet for the first time. In my business I don’t believe I’ve ever closed a deal on first meeting. I have closed business in two meetings, however, and that is what I shoot for. And, I do it now with a systematic process where I know exactly what my purpose is at each stage of the interaction with my prospect.
Depending on where the prospects come to me through my marketing gravity system is how I determine the purpose of in the intial and each successive meeting. You must pre-determine in your mind what the next step in your business model is to move towards closing the business. Many times it will not be closing the business but just closing on a next meeting with a higher purpose that moves the process forward.
What’s your business/sales model look like and how patient are you in following it so that you don’t get ahead of yourself, and how persistent are you in making sure you consistently follow up”
I hope you’ve enjoyed the post as much as I have. Skip Weisman is based in Poughkeepsie, NY. Thank you Skip!
Please share your thoughts and add your questions to the comments below. I’ll try to provide as many answers as possible in my future online videos, seminars, workshops, masterclasses and blog posts.
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