For many salespeople, there is an inverse relationship between the size of their pending file (filled with opportunities they are pursuing) and the size of their commission checks. The bigger the pending file, the smaller the amount of the commission checks.
Once an opportunity is identified, activities should be directed to the objective of either closing the sale or closing the file. Anything in between those two outcomes is likely to be a time-waster even though, on the surface, it appears as if you’re working.
What are some of these time-wasters?
- Arranging meetings with prospects without a clear-cut, mutually acceptable agenda established for the meeting
- Sending literature or letters to prospects to avoid making prospecting phone calls
- Busy work that keeps you occupied, but doesn’t put sales on the books or commission in your pocket, e.g., updating your contact management software, or putting the finishing touch on your pre-approach prospecting letter
- “Following up” with prospects when no clear-cut business opportunity has been established
- Creating and delivering presentations to prospects who have not been thoroughly qualified and/or have not made a commitment to give a decision
- “Keeping in touch” with prospects who said “no” rather than investing the time to contact prospects who may be able to say “yes.”
So, close the sale or close the file. Anything in between is a game and you may be the only one playing.
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