When I was in fourth grade, I spent every Sunday afternoon at Starlite Skating Rink. There was a kid named Duane from another school that was usually there also. He was about as good of a skater as I was – not bad, but not very good either. We both rented skates (an unofficial demarcation of the good and bad skaters), and we usually hung out together the whole time.
Once baseball season started, I stopped skating and didn’t see Duane again for several months. During the next fall, at the beginning of fifth grade, one of my friends invited me to a birthday party they were having at Starlite on a Sunday afternoon. Shortly after we arrived, I saw Duane. He looked the same, but he was an amazing skater. The kid was flawless and fast on the rink. When I asked him how he had gotten so good, his answer was simple and direct: “I’ve been skating every week. You would be just as good as me if you kept at it.”
Perhaps the most brilliance per pound of any human in history. Every single Sunday for over a year – more than 10% of his life – he was skating. Of course he was going to improve!
The Importance of Repetition
No matter what skill or objective one is trying to accomplish, I believe the most important ingredient to success is repetition. And no matter how much the buying process has changed in recent years, I believe that repetition is still the secret to selling success in the security industry.
Here are four thoughts I have about repetition and its impact on sales success:
1. There is a compound effect that will make your life easier every month. One plus one equals three in the world of sales. If you consistently perform the proper sales activities on a weekly basis, your success ratios in every area are going to increase, creating a compounding improvement in overall performance. For example, if your success ratios in prospecting, presenting, and closing each improve by 20%, then your overall sales success ratio will improve by 73%. This is what happens with repetition – the parts of the process may improve linearly, but the overall success increases exponentially.
2. Customers want to give you a chance. People want to help others who put in a lot of effort. If you show up consistently, even the most distant and rude customer will still want to give you an opportunity to win their business. A friend of mine who spent many years managing salespeople used to tell his team: “If someone who doesn’t buy from you does not feel guilty about it, then you are not doing your job.”
3. You will appear to be a subject matter expert. There is a little caveat to this one – you must deliver intelligent information in repetition. If you do, then after several attempts of trying to earn someone’s business, they will believe that you are a subject matter expert. Showing up one time to present the most intelligent presentation is not nearly as powerful as repetitiously helping educate your customers and prospects.
4. Create repetitive exercises to stay on top of your selling skills. Many sales activities are difficult to conduct repetitively, creating the need for you to create opportunities to perform them. For example, the chance to deliver a company overview to an audience may not happen more than a few times per year, but these opportunities are likely very important to your success. To become great at delivering the company overview, you have to practice.
In today’s hectic world, no one is likely to make you practice, so schedule this time on your calendar. If you want to succeed, create a process and follow it week after week.
Chris Peterson is the founder and president of Vector Firm (www.vectorfirm.com), a sales consulting and training company built specifically for the security industry. To request more info about the company, visit www.securityinfowatch.com/12361573.