There’s no doubt that most sales professionals would like their businesses to be more consistent and stable. Then why is it that a large majority of salespeople still squeak by in a maze of inconsistencies? One of the biggest reasons is because they fail to plan for sales success.
In over fifty thousand interviews conducted by my company, less than 2 percent of salespeople admit to having a business plan that they use as a daily guide. And only 10 percent follow a disciplined selling process to ensure a higher probability of establishing trust with customers. What do you think happens when you combine an undisciplined sales process with no plan? For starters, you have neither consistency nor stability in your career. Closing sales becomes a betting game, a roll of the dice. And earning the trust of customers becomes a “right place, right time” kind of thing. Needless to say, you will never build a highly profitable business on that sort of notion.
“The fact is that if you don’t have an effective, efficient plan for selling, any business you get is accidental.”
What about you? Do you have an efficient selling plan in place? The fact is that if you don’t have an effective, efficient plan for selling, any business you get is accidental. The trust you receive from customers will be as temporary as their business. When it comes to selling, hope is not a strategy. Sales consistency is not about consistently being in the right place at the right time with the right attitude. It’s about being consistent. It’s about having integrity. That’s where the Law of the Ladder comes in.
The Peaks and Valleys of Selling
The Law of the Ladder says that the success you achieve is directly related to the steps you conceive. In other words, to achieve lasting, consistent success in your sales career—to avoid the peaks and valleys—you must first conceive a successful plan. You must first determine what steps are necessary to earn and keep the trust of a customer. Even if you’ve had momentary highs in your sales career, the truth is that without a plan you are still trying to build your business accidentally, and you will certainly never reach your sales potential that way.
Seeing Your Success
The key is to have a plan that generates the right kind of sales—from the right kind of accounts, backed by the right sales process—that produces the maximum revenue for your time. That’s the essence of the Law of the Ladder. Let me show you how to follow it in your sales career.
At the head of every successful business plan is a vision for an ideal future, both in business and in life. A business plan will not increase your quality of living or selling unless it’s in conjunction with your greater sense of purpose. Ultimately, your vision is the filter through which you sift every business decision, from how to make sales to whom to makes sales to. Therefore, to not have a vision for the future you desire is to invite indecision, instability, and inconsistency into your career. Establishing a greater business vision is the first step to following the Law of the Ladder.
“When you begin to develop clarity in your future, you become more productive in your present.”
Can you see your sales career at peak performance? Take a moment to envision what that looks like. How are you spending your days? What do your client relationships look like? What legacy are you leaving with your clients? Describe your financial state. How much are you making at peak performance? What are you doing with the excess? Describe your life. What are you doing with your increased time off? What does your family look like now that you’re selling at a peak level? What legacy are you leaving in the lives of your spouse and children? How do your closest friends and family describe you? What about your life is most fulfilling? Describe your retirement years. What are you doing with the bounty of your sales career? With whom are you spending your days? In whom or what are you investing your money? How will others remember you when you’re gone?
This is vision stuff. And it’s vital to your sales success. You must be clear on what your future looks like if you’re ever to make clear choices in your present. In fact, if you’re not clear on what your future looks like now, you need to have a summit meeting with yourself. During that time, you should answer the questions asked of you in the preceding paragraph.
Trust me on this: When you begin to develop clarity in your future, you become more productive in your present. It doesn’t work the other way around.