[Spotlight On Sales] Capitalize on these ABCs

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Your time is a valuable limited resource, particularly when it comes to sales, says expert Tim Williams. To keep your time fruitful, here’s a rundown of sales fundamentals, from A to Z.

January 28, 2011
Hallie Moreland

At the National Pest Management Association’s PestWorld 2010 convention, Tim Williams of Great American Sales and Marketing led a seminar detailing how to increase sales through better time management. Williams is no stranger to the sales world, working in radio sales from 1984 to 1994 and receiving 2,000 hours of Dale Carnegie sales training, along with 2,000 hours of additional sales training courses.

Following an A-to-Z format, Williams was easily able to break down 26 ways to improve your pest management business through better time management.

A Beginning with the letter "A," you need to "Analyze what your time is worth." If you are making $50,000 a year, that’s equal to .43 cents a minute. And that means if you work 8 hours a day for 244 days a year, wasting one hour a day is equivalent to wasting $6,250 a year. Your time really is worth a lot.

B The letter "B" should remind you that, "Before your day starts…make a list." Making lists of phone calls or projects that need to be done will help you stay on top of your daily workload.

C "C" is for your "Calendar." Keep it full. Two or three appointments in the morning and two or three in the afternoon will lead to more sales.

D When you think of the letter "D," think of "Developing new business." It is important to invest some time every day to gaining new business you didn’t have the day before.

E The letter "E" reminds you that, "Every time you go on a call" you have to look right, look left, and make two more calls. If you follow these steps, you’re sure to increase your sales by 25 to 50 percent.

F "F" is for "Facetime" with someone who will say yes to what you’re selling. According to Williams, it’s "the most important investment in your business."

G The letter "G" reminds you to simply "Go away" from interruptions.

H Take time for the letter "H" and "Hold your calls." Think about whether your phone calls are important or just urgent. Try to
return calls at a time you schedule, so you
can remain in control.

I Technology can potentially save you hundreds of hours, which is why the letter "I" tells you to "Invest in high-tech gear." This means using email, smart phones, iPads and whatever else helps you to keep in touch
and stay up to date with your colleagues in the industry.

J When it comes to the letter "J," you should "Just go make another call." The most important thing you can do to increase your sales is make more calls.

K "K" reminds you to think geographically and "Keep on the same side of town." Schedule all of your appointments based on their location to maximize time.

L The letter "L" tells you to "Learn your craft." As a professional salesman, it is your responsibility to attend seminars, read books, and listen to tapes and CDs. Once you learn more about selling, you will be able to sell more in less time.

M Although it might be a challenge, the letter "M" advises you to "Make yourself touch each piece of paper only one time." There’s no need to waste time picking up the same piece of paper over and over again if you don’t have to.

N "N" is simple: "Never give up." Call on someone eight times if you have to because they will buy 89 percent of the time. If you call more, then you will save time by maximizing your chances for success.

O The letter "O" stands for "Other time-saving tips." Constantly prioritize your To-Do list. When you end one appointment, set up the next one.

Cut down on interruptions by saying "I’m late for a meeting" and try to eat lunch or breakfast with a customer or prospect, instead of another salesman.

Try to make four appointments a day: two in the morning and two in the afternoon. Plan half a day per month to target new accounts, and wait for a customer for a maximum of 10-15 minutes. You should also confirm appointments before you go and always write down phone numbers next to names.

P The letter "P" tells you to "Prospect for new business." Think about the people you interact with on a regular basis, like your dentist, doctor, accountant, even your dry cleaner. There’s no reason why these people shouldn’t consider doing business with you too.

Q The letter "Q" reminds you to "Qualify your prospects." Think about whether or not anyone other than yourself needs to be involved in the decision-making process. Nothing wastes more time than giving
presentations to people who can’t make a final decision.

R "R" is for "Recordkeeping." Keep track of how many calls you made last night or how many phone calls it took to set an appointment. Remember how many appointments it took to make a sale. Knowing these things will save time when you try to figure out how to sell more.

S If someone won’t agree to see you, then they won’t agree to buy, which is why "S," telling you to "Schedule Appointments" is so important. If someone agrees to meet with you then most likely, they will buy from you.

T The letter "T" stresses the importance of "Thank you notes." Not only is it a nice thing to do, but hand-written thank-you notes cut down on the amount of time it takes for the prospect to trust you enough to buy from you.

U The letter "U" urges you to "Understand your industry." Follow trade publications as well as trade newsletters and emails. Attend conventions and industry seminars in order to fully comprehend what your industry is really about.

V Your clients are the reason you’re a successful salesman, which is why "V" reminds you to "Visit your customers." Face-to-face time is important because it keeps you connected. There will always be another salesperson
trying to steal your customers, so it’s your
job to keep the ones you have.

W The letter "W" tells you to "Write more proposals." Pest control and home services are intangible, which is why you need to put specific ideas and proposals in writing.

X With the letter "X," you are simply supposed to "Xpect the best." You need to learn to bounce back quickly from rejection and move on to the next task.

Y Even though it may seem obsolete to many of us, "Y" stands for the "Yellow Pages," which is still one of the best prospecting tools you can find.

Z And finally, the letter "Z" stands for
"Zeal." As a salesperson, you need to do
everything with zeal and enthusiasm. If you have enthusiasm for the work you do, then other people will want to do work with you. It’s as simple as that.


The author is a Cleveland-based writer. She can be reached at hmoreland@giemedia.com.


Goal Setting 101:
A Checklist to Keep You Focused

Marketing guru Tim Williams of Great American Sales and Marketing offers the following tips about how to set and then reach sales and marketing goals.

• Your goals must be written down, or else they’re just a dream.

• Your goals should be specific and

• Your goals should be realistic and

• Your goals should have a time deadline.

• Write goals in first person or present tense as if they’ve already occurred. This makes them specific, measurable, realistic, and

• Decide why the goal is important to you.

• Figure out the obstacles and challenges you might face, as well as how to overcome them.

• Review and update the progress you have made.

• Finally, learn how to better manage your time and you can reach your goals!