Sales Training Tips: Double Your Prospect Pipeline in Hartford CT
How Commission Only Hartford Sales Reps Doubled Their Prospect Pipeline
Prior to starting each of our sales training programs, we interview several reps from the firm to uncover problems and create specific solutions for the reps. During a sales training for a Hartford, CT real estate sales team and a New Haven Insurance Agency’s sales team, we uncovered a similar problem. Both sales teams were primarily commission-only and the sales reps worked independently from home in many cases. Since the sales people were essentially commission-only, both sales managers felt they had minimal leverage over the sales team.
Sales Training Tips: Get More Prospects in Hartford CT
How Simple Sales Technique Motivated Reps to Get More Prospects
Sales Problem: Despite the sales managers having each rep set personal sales goals and defining what attaining those goals would do for the personal lives, the reps still didn’t push to fill their pipelines with new prospects. In the case of the real estate firm, each rep knew to call on expired listings, call on for sale by owner listings, and attend various functions to increase their network of people.
Sales Solution: In the sales training, the breakthrough was created by getting the sales reps to understand why they were not calling on the prospects and taking the required actions, rather than spending more time teaching them what to do and say when calling on the listing opportunity.
After we taught the reps what to say, the surface issue was addressed. It was handling the core issue of still not calling that was hurting both the reps and the agency.
How We Helped the Reps Make More Calls
The key issue we uncovered was how the reps used their time. Each week, the reps planned on calling a very manageable number of prospects, as well as attend a manageable number of functions, community meetings, or events but continually fell short. Many of the reps had excuses as to why they did not call and others simply weren’t sure why they didn’t call. Ultimately it came down to time and controlling how it was spent.
Making Time to Prospect
1. First, each rep formally scheduled when dials would be made and events attended. This time was put into their schedule and could not be moved for other things that came up. This was treated the same way as appointments were to show a listing to a prospective buyer.
2. Next, not showing up or not dialing was made more painful than taking on the fear of calling or working a room. Each rep was instructed to list at least one thing they were very much looking forward to and was not allowed to do it until the week’s sale action commitments were met.
For example one rep was looking forward to attending their child’s pee wee football game on Saturday morning. Another rep was looking forward to playing cards with their friends on Thursday evening. Another was looking forward to going bowling and another wanted to schedule a massage. All pleasure but could not be done until they took their sales actions. Basically no dessert until you finish your dinner, or No TV or computer time until you finish your homework.
3. For the truly committed reps we raised the stakes even higher. In addition to taking away something fun they had to list something they found distasteful to spend their time or money on. We made the pain sort of fun by making a joke of it. Items that were committed to were going antiquing instead of playing golf on weekend, or instead of inviting friend over it was the in-laws. In another case it was making a donation to the candidate they very much disliked.
In each case, the rep lost out on pleasure and experienced pain by not moving toward their goals. If they did not honor their commitment, they were out of integrity with themselves, which was also pain and truly showed they had excuses.
4. Overcoming the issue of time. Some of the reps wanted to claim they didn’t have time, but that was an excuse, too. If they had the time for the fun stuff they had the time for the calls too. More importantly, they had the time for everything.
Better Time Management: How the reps realized they had plenty of time
The reps had to track in their planner how they spent each half hour from 7AM to 7PM. Hours went to time-wasters, feel-good activities and as well as justifiable “important things”.
Since the reps were commission-only they worked independently, often from home and had lots of unstructured time. They suddenly saw they spent time being distracted by non-urgent email, fun quick responses to e-chat, social media, etc. Other reps just did a few quick runs to the store. Others met friends for lunch, read “important business news” or ran over to Starbucks twice a day. Other found they asked a “quick question” of co-workers that took 20 minutes each time. Some said “the calls will only take 30 minutes, so I’ll do it after the Dr. Phil show” and then suddenly couldn’t because something else “came up” after the show that needed attention. Every rep had at least 90 minutes of wasted time and in most cases significantly more.
Once they honestly saw where their time went they realized they had plenty of time to call and attend the meeting.
Sales training tip: Take the Time Tracking Challenge
A. Track each half hour of your 7AM to 7PM day
B. Honestly notice how much fluff time is there
C. Get clear on if your goals are more important to attain or if the fluff is more important
The answer is defined by the actions you choose to take not by what you say. Enjoy attaining your goals and spending your time creating what is important to you.
Mark Anthony has been creating sales training for teams in Hartford, New Haven and throughout CT for over 25 years. For custom sales and team building programs please call (203) 987-3570 or e-mail us at Info@ConnecticutSalesTraining.com