Thursday, October 11, 2012

Sales Fails Ahead If You're Not A Juggernaut

A juggernaut is a sustained massive unstoppable force, campaign, movement, or object that crushes whatever is in its path. (Side note: If you want to learn more about the origin of the term "juggernaut," just click here. It's not pretty.)

Here's how being a juggernaut applies to sales: Think about pushing a Humvee with your bare hands. You have to push it hard to get started, and, at first push, it barely moves. You keep pushing and each time it moves a little more. Eventually, it's rolling on its own and can't be stopped. But, if you stopped pushing before it rolled on its own, the Humvee wouldn't have traveled much distance at all.

Sales reps must be a juggernaut in order to achieve their goals and initiatives. You must be consistent in your desire for continual self-improvement, continued satisfaction from your customers, and continued new customer acquisition. If you stop being a juggernaut in these areas, you will:
1. Have to start all over again with intense, time-consuming effort and
2. Create damage that you're not aware of while the juggernaut has stopped. Most likely, you'll become aware that the juggernaut has stopped when you're blindsided by the problem recurring. (e.g. customers leave you, you miss your sales goal, your income declines)

Let's say you've been unable to set an appointment with a prospect who you strongly believe is an excellent fit for your products and services. You've made a half-dozen phone calls to no avail. An ordinary sales rep could quit, but you know a juggernaut would apply a consistent (and creative) effort to win the customer. So you find out some personal information about the Decision Maker (DM) at the prospect company -- he loves jellybeans. So you drop off a gift of jellybeans with a personal note that you'd like to meet with him and provide products and services that are even better than jellybeans. When you finally get the appointment, it will be difficult to convince the DM to leave his current supplier. But, knowing consistent effort can win the day, you seek to understand the key metrics the DM cares about and prepare a detailed comparison of your products/services vs. those of the competition. Long story short, when you finally get the business, it will require consistent effort to set up the customer but in time you will be earning commission with less then the Herculean effort than was initially required. If at any point along the way you would have stopped acting like a juggernaut, you wouldn't be enjoying your current success.

The Erie Sales Club is a joint effort of four leading local businesses: Jameson Publishing, Marsha Marsh Real Estate Services, VertMarkets, and Howland Peterson Consulting.