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Sales Training - Organization

By Steven J. Schmidt

Organization in sales is a major attribute to great success. In addition to that, being prepared and organized will help you gain more sales than you could have ever imagined.

Let's use the example of a pharmaceutical rep and what it takes for them to be prepared and organized. A pharmaceutical sales rep must first make sure they have all of the supplies they need before they pitch their product to a doctor. However, before we even get into the supplies, they need to know what area or territory they're working in.

You want to make sure that you take the time to understand the territory that you will be working. I used to drive to my territory once I would receive it and just scope it out a little bit - get a feel of the neighborhood and see what kind of demographics it was I'd be working with.

You want to find out if you're are working in a lower, middle or upper class. That will dictate how much money the people may have to spend. In this scenario, if you're working in a lower-class area, you might not be able to sell a cutting-edge drug to the doctor because the people may not be able to afford it. You might have to push something that's not as cutting edge and new, but maybe something that's proven and generic.

If you're working in a middle-class area, you'll have the option to save the doctor money for his patients, or sell him the new stuff on the market and push the value of it because you know that the people can afford it, as long as they understand the value they are getting.

You also want to have a map at all times when you're going into a new territory so that you know where you are at all times. I once ran territory for one of my sales reps, who said to me, "I don't know where it is and I don't know how to get there." I told him, "You're a salesperson, you have to be kidding me - every salesperson has to have a map with him."

A map is a great source to also plan your entire day, week and even month, as far as where you are going to work. Many salespeople have different styles on how they work. One way to work is to do every street in the geographical area. That means that you are simply working up and down of every street, trying to reach every business or house as possible, going north on one street, and then coming down south on the same exact street, hitting every business or house.

Another way of working is doing four sides of a block and then moving north, south, west or east. Whichever way you choose, you should stay consistent so that you don't work over yourself. Don't get me wrong - you want to work over yourself and hit the people who weren't home or told you to come back, but you don't want to work over yourself where you talk to the same people who weren't interested the first time around. This can happen if you're not organized, so you really need to study your territory, and use a map or notepad to mark off each street you've hit.

You should also have folders for every sale or potential sale. Once you make a sale, you should mark the folder as "complete." Let's say you're working business to business for a phone company. In this scenario, you would be going by what was installed for the customer, which would fall under complete or pending. You want to stay on top of every pending sale because you'll need to make sure that you tell each customer to make sure they aren't out before someone from your technical department comes in for installation.

I used to call my customers the night before, or even an hour or two before the technician would come in to install. Some reps even come into the business the day before installation was scheduled just to remind the customer to be there.

If you walk away from an incomplete sale, you'll want to mark those folders as such. You need to make sure that you call these customers as much as possible in order to seal the deal. Don't forget that these customers are money, and it's your job to stay on top of those potential sales. You'll have to treat those incomplete sales as leads. Someone I worked with used those leads for slow days (i.e. if you're going door to door and it's pouring outside). A great way to organize these leads is to build a database in Microsoft Excel where you can store information, such as phone numbers and addresses.

There's nothing wrong with having a nice binder or clipboard when you make your pitches. Appearance is a major contributor to being organized to look good for your potential customers, so if you have your technique down and look very professional, potential customers will eat off of your hands and buy whatever you want to sell to them.

More entries from our Sales Training section:

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