I recently had the pleasure of speaking with a top regional manager in the US for one of the major life insurance companies. Unlike the usual 100-calls-a-day routine imposed upon insurance salespeople by most managers, this individual has a very different policy.
Any salespeople in his organization who are still cold calling after 3 months are automatically fired!
Interesting. Especially when you consider the fact that he’s the top manager nationwide for a huge insurance company.
When I asked why he does this, the answer was simple. He sees two major problems with any salesperson who is still cold calling after 3 months. First, that person isn’t using his or her time effectively. Second, anyone who still needs to cold call after 3 months has failed to build an effective system of generating leads.
This manager is so on target that I’d quickly be out of business if his ideas were adopted by all other managers! And salespeople would be a lot better off both in terms of happiness and financial success! In fact, I wouldn’t mind being out of business under those circumstances. I really enjoyed selling in those few positions where I had a sensible manager who could actually think for himself.
This person obviously understands some basic principles that I’d now like to explain.
I’m not the biggest fan of literal “time management.” I think most time management systems are overly complicated, and, ironically, people waste too much time managing their “time management.” Time really is our most precious asset and the one most often wasted, so I always tell people to just get to work and stop killing time putting tasks into an endless maze of categories, priorities, and so on.
The study and mastery of time management needs to go far beyond the organizational skills usually taught in time management books and courses. Let me explain what I’m talking about. Here is how the average salesperson’s time is spent:
Those of you who read that mailbag with the letter from the insurance agent should remember my statement that selling is not prospecting and prospecting is not selling.
The fallacy in spending 80% of your time prospecting and only 20% of your time selling is that you’re only paid to make a sale. You are not paid to prospect. You are not paid to cold call. You are not paid for time in your car. You are not paid to network and go to lead groups and mixers.
You are only paid to make a sale.
In other words, 80% of the time, you’re working for free.
What would your results be if you could reverse those numbers and spend 80% of your time selling? That would quadruple your sales. Let’s say you fared poorly at increasing your time management and efficiency and only managed to double your sales. If you doubled your sales, wouldn’t you be able to, say, hire a telemarketing agency to do your prospecting for you? Or put some money into other forms of marketing?
Of course you would.
From there your sales would begin to multiply exponentially. Which brings me to Lesson #2 in this newsletter.
Metcalf’s Law states that the power of a network is equal to the total number of its components squared. In other words, if there’s one component, the square of one is one, so the power of the network is 1. If there are 2 components, then the power is 4. 3, and the power becomes 9. And on and on.
For our purposes, let’s apply Metcalf’s Law to selling. If you and you alone are doing all of your own prospecting, your power is 1. If you implement one lead-generation system to work on your behalf while you continue to prospect on your own, you have two elements at work, and your power is now 4. Enter a third lead-generator and your power is 9. Four, and your power goes to 16. And on and on.
This is why it’s so important to forget the idea that you must be self-sufficient and do it on your own. It’s much better to put systems to work for you. That way you’ll increase your power exponentially and begin to enjoy the fantastic power of leverage.
The biggest mistake most salespeople make is failing to use the power of leverage to their advantage.
This goes back to the mentality of doing everything on your own, or of being self-sufficient. Companies are guilty of this sort of antiquated thinking when they expect salespeople to be self-sufficient and find all of their own leads instead of providing marketing support to generate qualified leads for the sales reps.
A salesperson, or company for that matter, that is using the power of leverage gets ahead exponentially. A few simple systems that cost little or nothing to get started are at work, contacting prospects in a variety of ways. It’s like having three or four people out there prospecting for you. But because all of your time is now free to spend on selling to qualified prospects, rather than waste your time cold calling and chasing unqualified prospects, your power goes up exponentially rather than incrementally.
It really makes no sense at all to have the mentality that you’re going to be the classic rugged individualist and try to go out there and do it all yourself.
Successful managers and owners build teams.
Successful salespeople build lead-generation systems.
If you’re not attaining the sales results you desire, it’s probably because you’re not using systems and the power of leverage and Metcalf’s Law. Stop trying to do it all yourself, and begin building and using systems to do it for you. Then, and only then, can you reverse the 80/20 rule in your favor.
Many of us have read “Walk Like A Giant, Sell Like A Madman” by Ralph Roberts. Ralph devotes most of that book to the effective use of systems. Those of you who have read it will remember that he eventually built his systems to the point where all he does now is close. His systems take care of all the preceding steps. Read that book if you’d like to learn more about the concept of using systems in a sales position.
Speaking of books, in my Never Cold Call Again system, I first lay out all of my various lead-generation strategies that work without cold calling. Then I show you how to put them together into an organized system in order to exponentially increase the leverage of your lead-generation efforts.
You’ll see just how and why the people who are already using it are selling more and working less. You’ll also learn about several different systems that you can begin using right away to generate leads. To get your copy right now, please visit:
Thanks again for reading, and feel free to pass this on to a friend.
Good luck and happy selling!
PS: Here’s the original article on LinkedIn:
New York Times best-selling author Frank Rumbauskas is the author of the Never Cold Call Again® System and has won numerous accolades, such as Readers Choice for Business Book of the Year from 800-CEO-READ, and has been named one of Fast Company’s top 30 most influential people online. To learn more, and to download a free 37-page PDF preview of his Never Cold Call Again lead-generation system, visit NeverColdCall.com