In Sales, A+B=R
There’s a simple sales formula that goes like this: When A or B go up, so does R. Conversely, when A or B goes down, R drops as well.
In this case R stands for Results. Everyone wants to see better results, but to get better results, you must change the factors – A and B – in the equation.
In sales, the two biggest factors that affect results are A and B — the attitude and behavior of the people who are face-to-face with customers. Other factors, such as weather, traffic and economy, can play a role, but those aren’t within your control. Too many times, weather, traffic and economy are seen as the reason (excuse) for the result. Let’s focus on what you can control.
You could wake up in the morning with a million-dollar attitude and lose it somewhere between your bed and the front door. A little disagreement with a loved one could stick with you all day and have a big impact on your sales results.
You could make it out the door with your great attitude intact and lose it on the way to the store. A flat tire, accident or road-rage experience could follow you to work and put you no mood to talk to a customer.
You could survive all these potential attitude traps and arrive at the store eager to sell, but a negative co-worker or unhappy customer could unload on you and bring you down fast.
The good news is you can deflect all these attitude torpedoes with some simple positive self-talk. And should you encounter someone who wants to share his troubles, remember this: “An unwelcome visitor soon departs.” Simply say, “I’m sorry you are having this problem, but it’s important to me that I remain positive and focused on selling today.”
This all amounts to building a protective wall around your attitude and not letting anything or anyone break through. When someone uses the “S word” (“slow”) with me, I say, “Then speed it up.” I will often add, “How many great customers do you need to have a great day?” Inevitably the answer will be, “One.”
Behavior is triggered by feelings or judgments. Since your feelings can change from one moment to the next, so can your behavior. Most people do much better when feeling good. Exceptional people provide outstanding customer service when feeling down. Customers should not bear the brunt of a salesperson’s feelings.
Systems override feelings and judgments. The key to providing ideal service, despite your feelings or judgments, is following a system that offers the best possible service. When you develop habits that lead to customer success, your own success is easier and easier.
Any new behavior is Awkward at first, but when done Anyway, it becomes Automatic. When considering judgments, ask yourself, “Who is not guilty of taking a quick look at a customer and forming an opinion?” The good customers are the ones who come into your store. They don’t always look or act like good customers. Treat every customer as though he or she is the best customer and you’ll get some wonderful surprises.
Two things people tend to resist even more than death and taxes are change and accountability. Ironically, both are essential for ongoing improvement. The most crucial areas of accountability are establishing and attaining goals.
Goals only work if they’re set well, taken seriously and tracked. Goals that are too high or low don’t work. In too many cases, goals are thought of as the same as budgets.
The best way to achieve “need to do” budgets is by setting “can do” goals with incentives to exceed them.
To make something important, measure it. To increase its importance, measure it more often. Your accountants will tell you at the end of the month how well you did, but that’s too late. In sports, everyone can see where you are at all times. In sales, a visible scoreboard is just as important. When any part of the month has gone by, you should be that far toward your goal.