what do horse races and olympic swimmers have in common? apparently both make good analogies when educating students interested in learning techniques that will help boost sales figures. so says edward prichard, the national sales trainer brought in by the denver metro small business development center, to speak with participants in a business training seminar called "how to double your sales in 12 months."
some of the lessons we learned in the seminar seem rather elementary, but prichard says that sometimes its the simple things that 1) are often overlooked and 2) are rarely done by whoever you define as your competition. ideals like maintaining a positive mental attitude toward whatever your current object of desire and the importance of goal-setting are simple ways to keep a clear perspective on what it is you want to achieve. he says the national average of people who actually write their goals down on paper is a paltry three percent.
"it doesn't matter where you are," prichard says, "it's where you're going that's important." word.
the concept of time management is also high up on prichard's totem of top sales characteristics, noting that our time is clearly the most valuable commodity we as creative entrepreneurs possess. the quote-happy presenter says our income (as a sales force, i presume) is directly proportionate to the amount of minutes we spend in front of qualified customers. ensure you know up front if your potential customers 1) have money; 2) actually want what you're selling; 3) have the authority to make a purchase, and 4) have any urgency to execute a buy. (and, if they don't, it's our duty to CREATE some - whether real or perceived.)
prichard is a pleasant speaker and does a commendable job in getting people to feel comfortable in his presence and identify with the lessons he's laying down. one of the more-valuable nugs i took from his seminar was this concept of turning your car into a university on wheels. many of us spend an inhumane amount of time in our vehicles during commutes, traffic jams and in between soccer practices. make sure you're stocking your audio choices full of quality, educational material during these periods stuck behind the wheel.
prichard talked about the super-practical clover technique to increase referrals: visit three neighboring businesses in each direction of your current meeting/client/customer. he discussed something dubbed the third base theory to help conceptualize how much business is actually out there for the taking: if 1/3 of the business is yours and 1/3 is your competitors', there's still a remaining 1/3 waiting for someone. and he emphasized the importance of building credibility through authenticity and positive first impressions.
one sure-fire way to help yourself increase contacts and referrals, prichard maintains, is by relentless networking and forcing ourselves into situations we wouldn't normally on our own. that being said, i'm off to my first colorado film and actors meet-up group tonight being held in conjunction with the launch party for the film festival of colorado. however, before i go i'll leave you with a couple final gems from our 'double your sales' seminar today.
remember people's names for cryin' out loud. you say you're bad at it - but that's really just a poor excuse for self-absorption (my words, not his). don't be afraid to ASK for a sale - this isn't about your fragile sensibilities, it's about the product and making a buck in the process (a mixture of both our words). and finally, overcome your obstacles: you may not be the low-cost solution, but you are the low-risk provider (his words). and good ones.
as always, thanks for reading and share freely.