The best sales Leaders and sales professionals understand clearly that the number one reason for failure in sales is not experience, skill, talent, desire, training, market…
conditions, product knowledge, or even the company you work for.
Failure in sales can almost always be tied back to inadequate sales activity. Lack of activity has led to the demise of salespeople in every industry. It has even taken out some of the most talented sales people I’ve ever known. Why? Because in sales talent doesn’t matter if your pipeline is empty.
And it is when pipelines are empty that salespeople find themselves face to face with the Universal Law of Need.
The Universal Law of Need simply states that the more you need something, the less likely it is that you will get it. This law comes into play, in sales, when lack of activity has left the pipeline depleted. When all of your hope for survival rests on one, two or even a handful of accounts the probability of failure increases exponentially.
Here is an example: Sales Representative Janice failed at consistent daily activity. Now she has only a handful of opportunities in her pipeline. Several of the deals she was counting on have pushed off decisions or have signed with a competitor. Now, with the end of the quarter looming, and only a couple of viable prospects left in her pipeline, Janice is under tremendous pressure. She desperately needs one of these deals to close! And as Janice becomes more desperate to get a sale she comes face to face with a cruel reality: desperation magnifies the impact of the Universal Law of Need and virtually guarantees that she won’t get the sales she must have to survive.
There are several reasons why desperation diminishes the probability that Janice will get the sale she needs. The first is governed by the Law of Attraction which states that what you focus your thoughts on you are most likely to get. When you are desperate you no longer focus our thoughts on what is required for success, instead, you focus your thoughts on what will happen if you don’t get what you need, thereby attracting failure. The next problem with desperate need is that other people can sense your desperation. Through our actions, tone of voice, words and body language you send the message that you are desperate and weak. Prospects and customers naturally repel salespeople who are needy and desperate, gravitating instead to Sales Professionals who are confident and exude success. Finally, when you are desperate you become emotional, illogical and make poor decisions. These poor decisions exacerbate and already bad situation leaving us stressed, miserable and deeper in your hole.
Now consider another Sales Professional, Sandra, who is consistently prospecting, networking, getting referrals, and systematically moving her accounts through her pipeline. Her hard work has resulted in more than thirty opportunities in her funnel. Will they all close? Not likely, but Sandra feels little pressure. She is consistently replacing the prospects that fall out her pipeline and as a result her sales have been regular and on target. She knows exactly what she will close tomorrow, next week, and next month. Under little pressure she gets a huge boost this quarter when several of the accounts that were long shots suddenly go her way. She blows away her quota and earns a huge bonus. She didn’t need these extra sales, yet because she was disciplined in her activity, they were delivered right into her lap
Three Tips for Recovering from an Empty Pipeline
1) Take Responsibility: Sooner or later we will all let down our guard and find ourselves in desperate need of a sale. Our poor decisions, procrastination, fears, lack of focus, and even laziness have added up and suddenly we are desperately scrambling to survive. There is hope though and you can recover but first you must acknowledge where the blame for your predicament lies. You see, often when we find ourselves in desperate situations we fall on human nature and blame everything and everyone for our plight except, of course ourselves. The Universal Law of Need doesn’t punish others though; it punishes you for your failures in executing the daily disciplines required for success. Once you look in the mirror and accept your responsibility you have a chance.
2) Relax: The next step to recovery is to relax and get back to the basics. Don’t spend a moment in thought about what might happen to you if you don’t get what you need. Worry won’t change the future. And like wise, don’t get mired down in regret over what you have failed to do. Your future does not lie in your past. Instead put all of your energy, emotion, and effort into actions that you control. Success in sales is a simple equation of daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual activity. In other words, you are in complete control of your future. Even in a desperate situation if you go back to the basics and focus on the right activity soon the results will come.
3) Take Action Now to Keep Your Pipeline Full: Success in sales and life is paid for in advance with hard work. When you have a clear understanding and plan for your activities and you develop the self-discipline to do a little bit of the work every day you feel no desperation, you prosper, and you create abundance in your life and career.
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