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The Sales Buzz Issue 152 -3 Sales actions to convert more of your prospect list
February 20, 2012

3 sales actions, sales tips, and a sprinkling of NLP and suggestions, all to help you to increase sales but not in the way you at first think.

If you read this newsletter read it all the way to the bottom or you miss the real message and the real technique.

Even then some people will not get it!

3 Sales Actions to Convert More of Your Prospect List Into Paying Customers

A young salesman went through his prospect list with his sales manager looking for how he was going to achieve his target for the month. He needed to come up with a plan and choose the right sales actions to convert more prospects into paying customers.

He gave his manager background and up to date information on each prospect on the list.

As he did so a pattern started to form, the majority of the prospects had not been brought to a conclusion. There was no definite yes we have a sale, or no we didn’t get that one.

For many of the sales prospects the seller couldn’t tell his manager what the obstacle to the sale was.

When the sales manager pushed for details on what was stopping the sale and what the objections were when he tried to close the deal, the answers were woolly and nonspecific.

In many cases the salesman did not know why he hadn’t won the sale or what he had to do to close it.

The sales manager then took control of the meeting.

The sales manager gave him good feedback on the total revenue of his monthly pipeline, it was 3 times his sales target and so if he could convert just 1 in 3 of his prospects he would achieve the sales target. Then he asked him, ‘So what are you going to do to hit your target?’

Forming a Target Hitting Plan

The salesman was now choosing the right actions to achieve his target and he took a few moments to think.

He looked at his pipeline, his list of prospects, and what he saw, from his perspective, was a list that needed more prospects adding to it. He identified the few prospects that he knew he could win if he could overcome their objections and, in his internal pictures of the world, he saw that he needed to add enough new prospects to that list to hit target.

The sales manager saw a different picture and pointed out that if the salesman went out and did more prospecting he would just have a bigger list of prospects.

If he used the same sales skills he had used to build his existing list the result would be the same but bigger.

The sales manager explained that choosing the right sales actions often meant breaking the existing cycle of actions that had led to the current results.

Instead of doing more of the same and getting more of the same results, he needed to bring the existing prospects to a conclusion. He gave him these 3 actions:

Contact each prospect and get to a point where you can come back and tell me exactly what we have to do win the sale, what the objection or obstacle is that we need to overcome.

Do not worry about losing the sale. If you never get to a point where we push for an answer you will never close the sale anyway and that’s the same result as if you lost it.

If there is a follow up action make sure it is you that initiates it. You contact the prospect do not leave it to them and expect them to phone you, it won’t happen.

Choose The Right Actions

When I coach sales people I often see patterns of behaviour repeating.

When sellers look at their own performance data they tend to come up with a list of actions that are focused on what they are good at or what they enjoy.

In the real example above the salesman enjoyed prospecting and didn’t like being assertive and pressing the prospect to find out specific details of what was preventing the sale. When asked for his action plan he subconsciously framed his internal pictures, and read his own self talk of the situation, and came to the viewpoint that he needed more and better prospects.

It is very rare that sales people come up with an action plan that includes the actions that they don’t like. If they enjoy closing sales or the presentation stage of the sales process, but hate cold calling and door knocking, they will tell you that they need to focus more on presenting and closing.

Even when all the evidence, from the sales manager’s perspective, points to a real need to knock on more doors and make more cold calls their action plan will be mainly based on what they like doing.

Try this quick exercise :

Very quickly list 3 sales actions that will increase your sales.

Now look at the 3 actions and see how many of them are parts of the sales process that you absolutely hate doing.

How many are parts that you really enjoy or feel good at.

Then take a logical look at your sales situation and results and list the sales actions that the evidence says that you should take. If the answer to this action is the same as the 3 you came up with in the first exercise,

...And no cheating, be honest with yourself...

If the answers are the same and the 3 sales actions include things you don’t like doing, then congratulate yourself. You are able to coach yourself and create effective action plans, and there a very few sales people that can do that.

If not, then congratulations, you will have learned a lesson here that will increase your sales.

If you have just congratulated yourself take a look at more sales training at Selling tip to increase sales...

I'm Stephen Craine from the website

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