As a young salesperson, I fell victim to it. And as a budding sales professional, you probably did too. In fact, you may still be victim to what is perhaps the most common mistake in the sales profession: trying to meet the needs of everyone while failing to secure the loyalty of anyone.
How many clients have been with you for more than five years? How about ten years? Think about it, because the answers to those questions are very significant when it comes to high trust selling success. The bottom line is that if you’re spread too thin to do what is necessary to earn a client’s loyalty for life, you’re selling yourself short, no pun intended. The Law of the Scale says that if you invest yourself wholly in a few key clients, you will do more business in the long run than if you try to manage the whims of every potential customer. That’s because loyal clients reap more revenue and more referrals than one-time customers ever will—even if the numbers are unbalanced.
True victory in the sales profession comes as a result of not only giving people a reason to buy from you, but also making sure they never forget you.
Contrary to what you might think or what you’ve been taught, it’s not enough to just do good business leading up to the sales transaction. Victory is not just in convincing a customer to do business with you once. Yes, a good impression and presentation are essential to sales success. But even if you’re the most respectable, most knowledgeable, most helpful sales professional leading up to the sale, and you fail to invest in a person after the sale, that customer will forget you more than half of the time. That’s a fact.
True victory in the sales profession comes as a result of not only giving people a reason to buy from you, but also making sure they never forget you. It’s doing more for them after the sale than you did to get the sale. It’s the essence of the Law of the Scale.
THE SALES SCALE
Imagine an old-fashioned beam scale, with its brass base and neck, iron beam balanced across the top, and two matching pans hanging off each end of the beam. Imagine that on one side of the scale are two items:
The monetary value of a sale
The endorsement value of a sale, which includes any future business from a sale—repeat or referral.
On the other side of the scale are two items that counter the weight of your sales:
Financial obligations (personal and professional)
Negative sales experiences, which include any customer interaction that results in a loss of future business.
Now, let’s say that the weight of a financial obligation is basically the same as the weight of a monetary value of a sale. In other words, if you invest as much money as you make on a sale, the two items balance each other out. With the scale balanced, your success is mediocre at best. You make sales, but your returns are counterbalanced by your investments.
Therefore, to be a successful sales professional is to keep the scale tipped in your favor. It is the know-how and ability to continually add more “weight” to the positive side of the scale—to earn more revenue from sales than you invest in getting sales and to acquire more allies than adversaries from sales experiences. Unfortunately, that’s often not the case.
If nothing sets you apart from your competition, your clients will always remain someone else’s prospects.
How does your sales business measure up? If you weighed your current business on the sales scale, which way would it tip? Are your earnings outweighing your financial obligations, or is it an even measurement each month? Are your clients’ endorsements adding significant weight to the scale, tipping it consistently in your favor, or do you have as many good sales experiences as bad? If you’ve never weighed your sales success, do it now.
And while our imaginary scale may not provide a precise measurement, it does prove an important point. If you’re investing your resources in juggling all the sales you can handle, the scale may or may not tip in your favor—most often not. But when you primarily invest your resources in retaining the high trust and support of your best clients, your actions will eventually tip the scale in your favor for good.