The key to a balanced sales plan

Davis Merrey, TeamLogic IT

How do you go about making the sale? What is the best way to prospect for new clients? What is the proper balance of advertising, direct mail, cold calling, networking, referral mining, all those things that you can do. What’s the proper balance?

Of course, it’s different for everyone. And if you have no history to look at, you’ll have to determine it by experimentation.

Keep in mind that you may not be comfortable doing some of the sales activities, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on that particular tactic.

For example, as I was growing my business, I did not find networking to be a natural thing for me. I’m a people person – I like people. But, I don’t feel that comfortable engaging in a conversation about business.

See, when I first started networking, I thought I was supposed to go up and ask for someone’s business. I thought that was what networking was all about, and it wasn’t natural to me. I had to learn how to do it the right way.

So what is your way of prospecting? What’s the mix? You need to constantly be testing and monitoring methods.

It may not be the same for you, but in my experience, networking has been the most productive way of prospecting. If you’re just getting started, I highly recommend Ivan Misner’s book, Networking Like a Pro.

Some of my counterparts in business have said to me before “I went to a networking event once and I didn’t get anything out of that.” Networking and other sales tactics are like anything else: If you don’t practice it and do it repeatedly, you will never learn the right habits.

Arnold Palmer, one of the greatest professional golfers, once said, “The harder I practice the luckier I get.” That’s so true. It’s true of networking, and it’s true of other sales activities as well. A lot of people give up because they don’t practice. They expect to walk up to someone, shake their hand, and take a check. That just doesn’t happen.

From someone that was bad at networking, I can tell you that now, over half of my clients and 70% of my revenue has come from referrals. Not direct mail. Not advertising. Making connections and being helpful always comes back to you.

Again, you’ll have to come up with your own balance of sales activities. But the key to doing it right is to keep practicing, and to not give up.

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