July 17, 2018

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Focus First on Your Contribution

Today I interviewed a sales rep who will be selling my speaking and training services. When I told her about the core competency of a sales rep, I explained the concept of getting a ten-fold return on her time for every unit of her time that is expended in the pursuit of a sale. In other words, her core competency as a sales rep will be to book one engagement with the intention of booking ten. After I speak at an event, I look for other ways to turn that single engagement into ten gigs, through spin-offs, repeat business, and referrals. Itís because of my intention of making a huge impact that I develop advocates who want to help build my business. When you intend to make a contribution, you win people to your side and develop advocates and partners who will help spread the word about you.

When you sell your services, donít take your perspective off the long-term horizon. Think not in terms of making the sale, but in making a difference. Make a difference in the life of your prospect so that he or she will eagerly help you to expand your business. When you learn to articulate the value and contribution in ways that benefit people on the personal level, you are finally selling in a whole new league.

Donít focus on the commission. Instead, focus on the contribution.

Six months ago I was invited to a time share presentation. After ninety minutes of having the sales rep slobber all over me about how great his point matrix was, I was lucky that I didnít ask anyone to just put me out of my misery because I couldnít take it anymore. Close, close, close. Every stupid and obvious trick in the book. The one thing he didnít have any intention of providing to me was a contribution. So when he finally closed his mouth for a brief second I said, "Bob. Do you want me to just give you a check?"

"You mean for the whole amount of the time share, Mr. Love?"

"No, Bob. For your commission. Iím getting the feeling thatís the only thing you are concerned with, so I was wondering if we could just get on with it and I can give you your commission so I can go home now."

Awkward silence. But he got the point.

Donít be like the smarmy unctuous sales rep who oozes self-centeredness. People only do what is in their own personal best interest, so find out how they will personally benefit from your product or service and learn to articulate the value to them in that way. And once you do, you will develop an eager cadre of supporters, advocates, and evangelists about you and your product or service.

Copyright © 2004 Scott Love

Scott Love improves sales performance in a way that is fun and easy. He is a syndicated columnist, management consultant, and sales trainer. To book him for your next event, call him today at 1-800-930-3425.