14th May 2020
5Ps to Increase Your Sales
If you are in sales, this article may have caught your attention. I have been frequently asked by fellow industry peers (Financial Consultants) questions relating to sales approach. They come to me and seek advice on how to increase their sales production. Many of them are stressed by the low numbers, they are worried yet oblivious to the real causes.
The purpose of writing this article is to help more people in the sales industry, opening up your mind, getting you exposed to the possibilities and eventually helping you to identify your issue first. After all this is the first step of problem solving.
Though I am in the insurance sales industry, I believe the 5 Ps would apply generally to all:
-Prospecting. This should be the first and most important of the 5Ps. Sales is a number game. The more prospects we have, the higher the sales production.
Are you currently meeting enough prospects on a monthly, weekly or even daily basis? Everybody has a different sales target. You need to understand your closing ratio and reverse engineer the number of prospects you need to meet on a monthly, weekly and daily basis.
For example, if you have a sales target of $20,000 per month, and with a closing ratio of 20% (1 in 5), and each average sale is $2000 per client.
You would need to convert 10 prospects into clients ($20,000 / $2000) = 10 Clients.
You would need to meet 10 clients X 5 = 50 Prospects in a Month. Which means you need to meet minimum 12 prospects a week or 2 clients a day.
The math would apply to any kind of production targets. This underpins the importance of Goal Setting and KPI tracking. Just know where you want to land and work backwards to determine the number of prospects you need to meet in a month. But if you do not even know where you want to land, how do you even know where to start and find that desired route to success?
Products. How many products do you know out of your entire Company’s product suites? The more products you know, the well-versed you know, the higher the sales production.
Assuming the Company has a suite of 30 products. How many do you know? 3 or 10 or all 30 of them?
For me, I do not claim to know all 30 products but I mastered the key 15 flagship products of my Company.
In our industry, we do comprehensive life planning which spans from health insurance to wealth protection, wealth accumulation and eventually wealth transfer as a legacy to our loved ones. All our clients are at their own life stages and milestones. We need to be their ONE-STOP solution to recommend them the most appropriate products for their varying needs.
I have been approached several times by different salespersons asking me how to increase their sales. And many times, I realised the issue was not on pitching but rather the number of products they sell is extremely limited. In sales, we need to have in our pockets the entire armoury of products, instead of the limited few that we know of.
For example I met a fellow Financial Consultant (3 to 4 years in the industry) who only sells the basic health insurance, personal accident and a single type of endowment plan. That is when I shared with her upfront:
In Singapore, many of us would already have the basic health insurance. That means one of your products would be crossed out. Next is the personal accident plan, which some would prefer to take it up, some don’t. The only product you are left with would be this type of endowment plan which may meet objections like it’s a fixed long term and returns might not be that attractive. So essentially you have nothing else left in your sleeves. That’s simply product selling because you are not planning in your clients’ best interests. In fact, you are short-changing your clients because of your limited product types.
-Powerful Opening. The introduction prior to the meeting is extremely important to establish your credibility.
If you are a new salesperson, you can choose to focus on your Company’s brand reputation and reliability instead of your personal accreditations. For experienced sales professionals, you can choose to connect with your prospects via social media platforms which feature earlier outstanding performance or positive testimonials given by your clients. By doing this, you will be able to allay some of their fear or anxiety about meeting you for the first time. Of course this is built on the premise that you already have an existing active social media account that have great content such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram or Wechat.
This is what I deemed as powerful opening. For example, I have adopted LinkedIn as my main platform to connect with prospects which is less intrusive and more appropriate for my own selected target audience.
-Pitching. If you have overcome the first two Ps which I deem to be the most challenging, Pitching would be relatively easy. Ever heard of this saying “Practice makes perfect”?
Pitching is simply a matter of PRACTICE, PRACTICE and more PRACTICE.
Learn from the best. When I say the best, you need to first know and seek out the best in your industry, your Company or even fellow peers who are doing better than you. Ask them openly how they do it. Within our Company, we would sometimes get to learn from the Top Performers on how they pitch a particular product. This was exactly how I started my early days in this career; to attend as many trainings and classes as possible.
Within our Company, we get to attend not only sales products refresher courses, we also get to sit in with the Top Practitioners who are so selfless to share their knowledge. That was how I gradually mastered the key flagship products. Be humble about learning. The more humble we are, the more we receive.
Once you have found your own pitching style, the next best way to acquire and crystallise your knowledge would be through interactive role plays. It is always better to prepare adequately in your safe environment (through role plays) than to make fatal mistakes at the actual sales process.
Ask your partner to give you the most truthful feedback. Truth sometimes hurt a lot, but trust me the hurt will be exacerbated further when the prospect which you took pains to secure an appointment with eventually walks away due to our lousy sales pitch.
-Positive Vibes. Positivity is the epitome of any successful sales professional. Nobody likes to talk to or hang around with negative toxic people.
All of us would have our bad days. It is important to keep tab of our own emotions and remind ourselves that we need to remain positive at all times, regardless whether it is a prospect, client or even a stranger. People are simply attracted happy and positive things.
Positivity can be exhibited through a genuine smile, how you naturally lean forward to listen attentively whilst maintaining a good eye contact.
Hope that this 5Ps is able to create the breakthrough you are seeking for in your own sales environment. If you think this article has been helpful, please feel free to share with your respective friends or within your community. Or even better you can share your successful stories with me. I would be ecstatic to hear from you!
14th May 2020