While the idea may sound ridiculous, I began to compare what the sales cycle and Ferris Wheel have in common as I sat on the pier at National Harbor, Maryland. In either case, we experience highs and lows. The anticipation of the highs has everyone excited. But it is how we deal with the lows that differentiate us from the rest in our profession.
My Sales Career
A soon to be first sale had me excited and on a high. The anticipation of finally securing a sale and delivering the good news to the office was exhilarating. It was as if I were on top of the Ferris Wheel. But, the high only lasted a short while. Once the sale finalized, I realized the need to start over again from the bottom.
The exhilarating high is only a tiny percentage of the entire sales cycle from beginning to end.
Counting on a sale and then starting anew soon gets old.
It was after three experiences of highs and lows that I realized there is a better way to approach sales. Trying something new is always on my agenda. Instead of strictly focusing on prospective clients I believed would purchase, I began widening my scope. A relentless pursuit of all types of companies from one-person shops to giant corporations came on my radar. It was a test to see where the better fit might be and which I most enjoyed.
Instead of the forever Ferris Wheel cycle, I reviewed what was missing from my plan. The sales funnel close to empty. I began building a steady stream of business. I came to recognize my new approach is known as the pipeline of opportunity. The only way we can succeed with any career or project is in continually building our pipeline of possibilities.
Seeing to it that the pipeline is always full eliminates the feeling of riding the Ferris Wheel. We thrive knowing that we have a steady stream of business and are adding new possibilities every day. The stark contrast of highs and lows disappears — the joy of a sale and our inner fulfillment increase.
Should you feel as if you are on a Ferris Wheel, take time to consider where adjustments will assist your future moves.
Spend too much time on a select few prospective clients
Waste time by not advancing the conversations
Withdraw from follow-up believing it’s of no use
Shy away from getting help
Overlook development of a returning and referring clientele
Excuses for poor results are easy to come by, but they aren’t helpful. Continue experimenting with what may or may not work. In either case, the outcomes are good. If a trial doesn’t work out well, you know to drop it and not waste time. When a test works out well, you know to continue with the strategy. Leverage the better plan for additional opportunities.
Although attention will not be yours every day, deep down, you will know you found your way. Satisfaction becomes a varying type of high that lasts into the future.
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