Plot your course for success
For example, when presenting an incentive travel program to a prospect, John thought he had everything in order for his presentation of Hawaii as the destination. Because he thought of options for the prospect, he also had a London trip and a Caribbean trip in his hip pocket and knew them both well. However, when he stood up to present the first of the three programs, the president of the company threw him to the wolves by asking, “Why are we doing this? Who says we want to take a trip anywhere?” John had been brought in by the marketing manager who was also surprised when the president vetoed the incentive plan altogether. Had John done his research, he would have been able to answer why an incentive travel program would work well for that particular company. He might have been able to save the day.
Crossing an ocean in a small boat requires research, painstaking planning, and enormous tenacity. One must study the winds, currents, tides, and try to predict through this research what will affect the voyage. There’s equipment to install, learn about, and repair and these studies never end. The setbacks that come from weather, equipment failures, and the emotional highs and lows of spending day after day at sea are enough to take the wind out of most people’s sails—and keeps most sailors close to their home port.
Similarly, unless you’re in a retail environment where sales are made on the spot, the longer-term sale is made with inquiry, patience, and perseverance. Insurance sales can take months to close the deal, incentive travel has an average of nine months closing time, and your industry might not be far behind. You are responsible for studying and knowing your prospect and calculating how your product can help them toward their goals and objectives.
Patience is a virtue, especially in selling. It might take hundreds of contacts before finding even one prospect that needs your services, and then it could be months before you even get an appointment. Consider it a passage across an ocean and persevere.
It is the tenacious salesperson that usually wins out in the end.
When selling, keep your final goal in mind and know the processes you are using to achieve it. If a change throws you off of your plans, if a competitor undercuts you in price, or the prospect postpones the purchase, stick with it. Come back to the course that you plotted in the first place and persevere. Try again. In the words of Winston Churchill, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue on that counts.”
Larry Jacobson is a speaker, executive coach and author of the award-winning best seller, The Boy Behind the Gate, based on his experiences while achieving his lifelong goal of circumnavigating the globe by sailboat. He is a speaker on sales skills and leadership development. For more information please visit http://www.larryjacobson.com/, email Larry at Larry@LarryJacobson.com or call 510-500-4566.