"Keep your antenna up and unconditionally commit to success" is a mantra I learned from a mentor a long time ago. As we enter the fourth quarter of 2018, it's time to recognize that, to achieve a yearly sales goal or simply finish the year in a strong fashion, salespeople cannot miss any opportunity to make a sale. This requires a powerful "sales antenna" that is always tuned for maximum reception.
There was a time, before cable delivery of TV programming became the norm for watching television, when each rooftop had a TV antenna perched upon its highest point. In my house, we performed the weekend ritual of fine-tuning the antenna before the "big game" so the reception was as clear as it could possibly be. This meant getting out a ladder, climbing up to the antenna and turning it to various compass points to improve the picture. The person on the roof, me, would receive a series of shouted directions from the person in front of the television, my father. Eventually, the picture would improve, and we could enjoy the game without viewing it through a storm of static.
If I compare television reception with "sales opportunity reception," two critical elements, self-awareness (the sales antenna) and an unconditional commitment to success separate high performing sales professionals from mediocre ones. With the same ritual as the one I used to tune my antenna, I'm going to "shout" some directions to you, so you can fine-tune your sales antenna and raise your awareness about the real hidden opportunities that exist to grow your business in the 4th quarter. I recommend using the acronym KARE to focus your selling energy at the close of 2018:
1. KEEP: Show your current customers that you want to continue working with them by determining other areas of their business where you may be of further service to them.
2. ATTAIN: Focus on prospecting for new clients by spending 65 percent of each week prospecting for new opportunities. Set a goal to a goal to close a specific number of new clients by the end of 2018.
3. RECAPTURE: Call on former clients who have moved on and stopped using your services as they are ideal prospects. By the way, you have already built a relationship with the decision-makers.
4. EXPAND: Find new avenues for sales and service within your current top 25 clients. Analyze their business and look for additional products and services that could purchase. Conduct customer appreciation meetings with their executive team and build a strategic plan to tie your services to their strategic initiatives.
Focusing on KARE addresses the sales antenna but as far as unconditional commitment to success is concerned, that's up to you. No one can force another human to be successful. I learned a very hard lesson in this regard many years ago. After many of my training sessions, I would be disappointed if everyone weren't demonstrating the desire to succeed that I felt they should. My wife, Gayle, gave me a piece of advice that stuck with me to this day: "Just focus on touching one life at each session," which became the emphasis for all future training sessions. By the way, I usually never know what life I have touched so, as an overachiever, I still try to touch them all! Adjust your sales antenna and your commitment to success and you will finish the year like a champion. Go conquer your worlds.
• Bill Bartlett owns Corporate Strategies, A Sandler Training Center. firstname.lastname@example.org. Text "salestip" to 35893 to receive Bill's biweekly newsletter.