As we all know, successful sales is a numbers game. However, there is a significant difference between “smart metrics” and “busywork numbers.” While there are many sales professionals who would aspire to defend the successes associated with “busywork numbers” the harsh reality is there is a difference between being hard work productive and intelligently successful. Over the course of my career I have discovered that “busywork” calculations are driven by a series of laws of averages; and, relative to the law of averages, persistence will eventually deliver the result you desire. Quite frankly, I have no time or energy for “eventually“.
My ability to be successful is dependent upon a process that works now. And, the best way for me to be productive is to have great conversations that drive me to meet with more people and have more valuable conversations. My prospecting time is precious. I do not have the desire or the time to constantly hammer people to meet with me when I can spend my prospecting time in front of those same people through great conversations, and getting warm, personal introductions to more people just like them. In my world, I don’waste my time prospecting — I invest my time talking, meeting, learning, and growing. And, I measure this activity by two very simple and concise metrics — New Relationships and Impactful Conversations.
These two metrics are the only yardstick by which I need to measure the productivity of my business and relationship development activities. And, I measure these metrics through “The Three’s“. Here is an explanation of my metric and how “The Three’s” apply:
New Relationships: A new relationship is someone that I have had an extended conversation with and have exchanged business cards with. In the course of conversation, I discover that this is someone who I believe will be instrumental in assisting me with my growth objectives and they are — a strategic partner, a connector, or a potential client. I have made a commitment to myself that I am going to actively develop a co-operative relationship with this person and have either scheduled a follow-up meeting or attempted to. If a person does not meet all these criteria, they are not a new relationship. I am committed to discovering and developing THREE (3) new relationships per week.
Impactful Conversations: An impactful conversation is a phone call or meeting that I have had that helped push the relationship or the sales process with a contact, client or prospect forward. In order for the conversation to meet the standard of “impactful”, the outcome of that meeting requires me to take a subsequent and measureable action, i.e., mail info, schedule a planning meeting, make another call, send out a follow-up e-mail. If there is no measureable follow-up activity required, it was just a conversation — not an impactful one. I am committed to conducting THREE (3) impactful conversations every day.
Imagine the simplicity of measuring your activities relating to meeting with people, having powerful learning conversations, and engaging in a productive sales and relationship development process. It can be done through these fundamental metrics: New Relationships and Impactful Conversations to the Power of Three. I track all my metrics on a simple one page spreadsheet which, at the end of the week, clearly illustrates my results relating to my commitments.
Next time, instead of interrupting people with cold calls, meetings to pitch your products, and sales reports filled with busy numbers — spend a month working “The Three’s” and tell me which is more productive.
Dave Cooke recently shared a report entitled “Don’t Waste Your Time Prospecting” which focuses on the strategy, process, and behaviors necessary for effective prospecting in this current economic environment. To obtain your copy of this report, simply email Dave Cooke to request your complimentary copy.