“Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance is a reminder that preparation is essential to success.” – Meshell Baker in today’s Tip 1537
Are you prepared?
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today Meshell Baker, the Sales Confidence Igniter, is back with the next installment of her multi-part series. Here she is:
Meshell Baker: Hello and welcome to the ABCs of Sales. Today’s letter is P for Preparation. Preparation is defined as the action, the activity, or the process of making ready or being made ready for an event or an undertaking. What reminds me of one of my early on sales managers, he had a 5P Rule, and his 5Ps were Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance, or said another way, Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance is a reminder that preparation is essential to success.
Ben Franklin said, By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. Or as Abraham Lincoln said, Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax. So is your sword sharpened when it comes to your sales calls?
I highly encourage you to create a checklist. Here are five principles to include on your checklist. And I said principles because these are steps that you can expand or contract as you deem necessary for whatever you are selling.
Principle 1. Define your goals. What is it you’re out to accomplish? Are you out to accomplish selling that one buyer, or are you looking to create a process so that with whomever buyer or whatever buyer you speak with, you are able to create and demand success. So look at your specific targets, the questions, are they relevant to a certain audience, your clients, the industries, the pain points. Look at what your goals are for what your outcomes are on the calls that you are making.
Once you get that clear, then structure the call. An itinerary, how is the call going to go? Are you going to contact the person? Are you making lists? And then you’re entering after each call? Are you entering at the end of the day? Are you ensuring that you are asking them certain specific questions and their concerns? Are you evaluating what was said on the last call? How is that call structured for the optimal and the most success? Again, you can expand or contract as necessary for the steps to your process.
Principle number 3. Know the value of what you offer. This is extremely important. When you are not clear on the value of what you offer and who you are, you will become nervous as soon as you are met with an objection. As soon as you’re met with a question you’re not prepared for, and remember, we cannot be 100 % prepared for what someone else will ask because you’re not in their head and you can’t read their mind. However, knowing your value of what you offer and who you are will have you take a stand in confidence and be able to answer that question, even if it’s simply to say, I do not have the answer to that. I can get back to you. How soon do you need to know that? How important to that is that to this process right now? You’ll be able to answer confidently and intelligently.
Principle number 4. Do your research. Before every single sales call, be prepared to know as much as you can about the individual, the individuals, if it’s multiple people, their company. Go look at LinkedIn, their streams, their website, look about the news on them. Be present to previous conversations that someone else in your company has had or your competitors have had if they’ve done work with other people, find out as much as you can so you are prepared to intelligently communicate with them about them.
And principle number 5 is visualize and practice and prepare for success. I want you to think about Olympic athletes or athletes in general, how they spend so much time practice, practice, practice. So when it’s time to take the gang-winning shot, when it’s time to throw the gang-winning touchdown or catch it, they are ready because they’ve done it so many times in their head that they are able to maintain their level of breathing, they’re able to deal with any nervousness, and they’re able to deliver success.
I’ll close with a quote by Simone Biles, US gymnast, and Olympic athlete legend: I don’t really think about the degree of difficulty or the possibility of making a mistake. I just try to relax and let my preparation and training take over. Remember, be prepared and have incredible day selling.