Controlling Your Sales Destiny – Tip #6: Work Smarter

This is the sixth in a series of posts about taking control of your sales destiny and  achieving sales success.

Tip #6: Work Smarter

As much as working harder (Tip #5) is a good idea, I have seen hard workers fail.  Working hard can translate into flailing about and working hard on the wrong things.  Temper working harder with working smarter.  Working smarter means doing the right things to help you achieve your sales destiny.  Here are three action items you can implement.

Action #1: Implement these Smart Tip Ideas

  • Actively cross sell – find appropriate products and mention them to clients and prospects to increase the average value of a sale
  • Actively up sell – where appropriate, increase the value of the sale by up selling on quantity or recommending an upgrade on the quality of a product
  • Actively ask for referrals – please do this! You’ll sell more at a higher rate in less time.
  • Actively attempt to reactivate inactive accounts – it’s usually easier and faster than cold calling
  • Send thank you cards to existing clients
  • Call clients earlier in the morning when the odds of reaching them are greater

Action #2: Get Back to Basics

Over time, even the very best of sales reps experiences the ‘whittle effect.’  This is the tendency to cut, trim and slices away standards skills and techniques.  For example, your consultative opening statements get whittled to a quick 18-second pitch, or you begin to cut back on your qualifying questions until they no longer exist, or you stop asking for the sale and assume the prospect will say yes.

Vince Lombardi, the famous Green Bay Packer coach, used to begin training season practice sessions by raising a football in his hands and say, “Gentlemen, this is a football.”  He used this to get back basics: tackling and blocking.  He did this because he knew how easy it was to cut corners.

Review you skills and techniques.  Record and listen to your calls. Ask your manager to review your approach. Determine if you’ve whittled anything away.  Fix it.

Action #3: Learn More

Over the last couple of years I have been surveying telephone reps and asking them how many had bought a book on selling.  To date, of the 486 reps surveyed, 9 have purchased a book on selling. There’s no typo here.  Nine. That’s less than 2%. And while the majority of those asked said they did subscribe to selling e-newsletters less than 15% said they actually read them.

How can you control your sales destiny if you do not develop and nurture your selling mind?  A third (more or less) of your day is spent selling.  Should you not devote a little time to developing that which will make you more successful, more effective?

(Obviously, if you are reading this, you are one of the few who take your sales destiny seriously. Congratulations)


Start working smarter.  It’s not that hard to do and it pays dividends to your sales, your income and your career

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