This content for this article comes from our friends “across the pond,” The Sales Experts Ltd, in London. See their web site at www.thesalesexperts.com.
The founder and Managing Director, Wyn Nathan Davis, says he has made the science and art of selling his life’s work. Over the last 25 years he has kept a written sales journal of the 23,806 pitches (!) he has made listing the date, client, product/service pitched, value, preparation work and results for each one. An intern compiled the following results into a database:
- He made a direct request, asking for the business 57% of the time
- When he directly asked for the order, he got the business 83% of the time
- When he did not ask directly for the business, he was given the business 3% of the time
- For those 83% when he got the business, in 91% of these sales calls, he went in with a high expectation of getting the business
- For the 43% of the calls when he didn’t explicitly ask for the business, in addition to the 3% that had the business given to him, an additional 12% was closed at the next meeting and 6% was eventually closed. 79% of the time (8,806 sales calls), he did not get the business when he didn’t directly ask for it
By not asking for the business on the other 8,806 sales calls, how many millions of dollars did Wyn leave on the table?
He remembers one pitch in particular for artist painting products. In the countries he represented, he closed 100% of the 374 pitches he made to retailers and distributors. This retail display of artist paints was the right product at the right time and he believed 100% in its value proposition. As a result, he crafted an aggressive and compelling pitch with 3 alternative offers. He had a 100% expectation that every prospect would order and that every retailer needed this product. His expectations were met! His boss was amazed at his 100% market penetration and the next best record after him was only 52%.
So, what happened on Wyn’s 23,806 sales calls?
The salesperson’s expectation of success drove the creation of a winning sales process which included: a compelling message, a powerful pitch and ALWAYS included a request for business.
What can we take away from these results? First, a salesperson needs to be supported with a strong sales process. Then, the salesperson must prepare for the pitch, sell with the complete expectation for success, and finally ask for the business, each and every time.