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The 'secret' to doing a lot more business
By Bruce King | 13 September 2022
What I am about to share with you applies to everyone, no matter what they do in their careers, businesses and even their private lives, and no matter how old you are. I am just using sales as an example
Chris Haycock was right when he said we were 'old'. (NOT very old).My first full-time 'job' in sales was in 1976 as a commission only salesperson in the financial services industry.
BUT what I am about to share with you applies to everyone, no matter what they do in their careers, businesses and even their private lives, and no matter how old you are. I am just using sales as an example. Back in 1976 and for several years thereafter, there was no internet, no computers, and no mobile telephones. Calculators and fax machines had only just been invented and were very expensive and hard to come by. And as for CRM systems - no way! My card box was my prime tracking tool. When it came to typing letters, one had to be totally focused, know precisely what one wanted to say and be extremely careful not to make any mistakes when typing. There was no backspace or erase on a typewriter. If one made a mistake, one had to start all over again. Using Tippex and sending anything with a mistake in it was unforgivable. (Anyone remember Tippex?) As for calculating costs and preparing quotations, one had to be really good at mathematics and it took an awful lot longer than a few taps of the finger on a calculator. When it came to prospecting for new business and selling, there were basically only four methods available to me: Â· Cold calling on the telephone Â· Typing and sending a letter followed by a telephone call several days later Â· Cold calling in person - commonly known as 'door knocking' Â· Obtaining referrals from others, which still involved the above to contact the referral. As for learning new or improved ways of selling, there were very few seminars, no you tube or other sources of videos, not that many books or cassette tapes (no DVD's, Podcasts etc.) on selling techniques, and very little personal development material. And as for home entertainment, we had only the radio, and if I remember correctly, only two or three TV channels. Yet despite the seemingly restricted ways of doing business, I was just as productive back then as I am today, AND IN FACT MORE SO!
In those days the 80/20 rule applied in sales. 80% of sales came from 20% of the sales team, the reason being that the top 20% worked diligently and the 80% were somewhat lazy or lacked skills, were not coachable or had no one to coach them. So much has changed since 1976, but in spite of the many additional tools we have at our disposal, what's really interesting is that in some companies nowadays the 90/10 rule now applies. 90% of sales come from just 10% of the sales team. Why the heck is this? Why isn't EVERYONE selling so much more? (An aside: Back in those days our sales office was either busy with salespeople on the telephone to prospects or customers, or out of the office face to face with them. Or at home in bed.) Now when I go into a sales office, quite often salespeople are just staring at a computer screen and doing I'm not sure what! There are of course many reasons for this challenge. Increased competition, internet savvy buyers etc., etc., all of which can be relatively easy to overcome with smart work, study and diligence. But I believe there are two other fundamental reasons: LACK OF FOCUS and TOO MANY DISTRACTIONS. I just had four things to FOCUS on: Â· Composing and typing excellent letters Â· Making telephone calls to prospects and customers Â· Cold calling face to face. I walked miles around factory estates and office blocks knocking on doors and asking to see a DM. Â· And I always asked for referrals, whether I sold to a prospect or not. I had no other DISTRACTIONS, no emails, no social media reminders, no etc., etc., so could stay totally focused on sales, or be like the 80% of the salespeople in our team, and just laze around and do little. But I needed and wanted the money, and the prestige of being recognised as 'the best'.
So the 'secret' is …
If you want to be the very best you can be, aside from investing some time every day in The Rainmakers club, sure use all the tools you have available to you to help you do more business, but STAY FOCUSED AND AVOID DISTRACTIONS. It's really not that difficult with just a little, or maybe a lot of self-discipline.
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