Do you think big?
I still run into salespeople and business leaders who continue to believe their market is a very tight geographical area or a very targeted list of customers.
Sorry, but that ship sailed a long time ago!
Understanding your customer base and targeting your sales efforts is essential. I believe in that sales principle 100%, but we have to at the same time keep our eyes open for bigger opportunities.
We must take on a broad perspective when it comes to sales prospecting.
The main reason we have to keep our eyes open is it’s too easy to become focused on just a couple of customers and then believe everything is good.
The problem is just about the time you think everything is good — poof, something happens to one of your big customers and you’re scrambling to find business.
Every salesperson and every company must have a sales prospecting process in place that allows for the on-going exploration of new opportunities. The time allotted should be in the area of 10-20%, with the focus being on working on opening up new sales opportunities that can over time create significant new areas for growth.
This could be a geographic area, a specific industry, or something else.
The beauty is it doesn’t dictate a structural change in the company. The reason I like this approach is it’s about finding opportunities and prospecting that build on the strengths of your existing sales process and company.
For many salespeople this means getting outside of their comfort zone. By pushing people outside their comfort zone, I’ve found they wind up becoming stronger and more effective when they return to their comfort zone.
An example I use is in my own business when I get to work with salespeople and companies from Europe or Asia or anywhere outside the United States. What I find is the knowledge I learn from being outside the U.S. helps me be more effective in the U.S. Conversely, by spending time outside the U.S., I become more adept at opening up new markets for my business.
Challenge yourself to push beyond your comfort zone and the niche of customers you tend to work with.
Since I’m talking about being outside one’s niche let, me take a moment to highlight two events I’ll be speaking at in October and November:
Sales Excellence and Leadership Summit in Vienna, Austria
Speakers Mark Hunter and Kenneth Le Meunier-FitzHugh
Sales Leadership Strategies, Innovation and Growth
This conference is aimed at equipping sales managers and salespeople in meeting sales challenges and overcoming them! Senior level sales leaders will find the conference particularly motivating.
Sales Leadership Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
At this conference, I will dig deep into the specifics of sales leadership and how any salesperson, no matter their position, can strengthen their leadership skills. As I always say, “Sales is leadership; Leadership is sales.”
Are you a big sales thinker? I hope so!
Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.