Sales Strategy - Sales Lessons You Can Learn from A House Move

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My wife and I recently moved to a new house.
As we planned and executed the move, I couldn't help noticing striking similarities between the activities involved in managing a successful move and the activities involved in selling.
Read on for the sales lessons that can be learned from a successful house move.
1.
Planning is Paramount
The last time my wife and I moved we hired a moving company to move all of "the big stuff".
We figured we could handle the small items on our own.
BIG mistake! There is a lot more "small stuff" in a house than there is "big stuff".
Plus, as you fill boxes with small stuff, the boxes can get pretty darned heavy.
We ended up doing a lot more heavy lifting than expected, and it took us a lot longer to complete the move than expected.
So, this time around we paid a moving company to pack up all of our possessions and move everything to the new house.
There were a number of other factors that we needed to consider in our planning, including:
  • Finding a mover who could move us on specific dates
  • Finding specialty movers for a pool table and an aquarium
  • Turning on utilities at the new house
  • Purchasing (and scheduling delivery for) some new furniture
What sales lesson can you extract from these moving-related activities? The primary lesson is you need to really plan your sales activities! Don't just be reactive - think ahead and try to identify anything that could delay a specific sales cycle.
If you are proactive in addressing potential issues, every one of your sales cycles should proceed as smoothly and rapidly as possible.
2.
Purge Outdated Information
Moving is a great time to go through all of your belongings and decide what to keep and what to sell, donate to charity, or discard.
Here are some questions my wife and I considered as we went through our belongings:
  • When was the last time I used this?
  • How frequently do I use it?
  • What is the likelihood I will use it again in the future?
  • What would be the cost to replace it if I get rid of it and discover later on that I need it?
Consider these same questions as you examine the contents of your desk drawers and file cabinets.
If you see anything that is old and outdated or anything that you have outgrown, sell it, donate it, or throw it away.
By getting rid of the old you make room for the new.
You also reduce clutter and make it easier to maintain focus on the just the most CRITICAL information and sales activities.
3.
Make Effective Use of Expert Resources
In years past moving homes involved imposing on friends and buying lots of beer and pizza.
These days our friends (like us) are older, busier, and a whole lot less interested in performing the backbreaking labor involved in moving.
Plus, we have a whole lot more "stuff" to move.
So, we now hire experts to move our belongings for us.
There are many expert resources available to help you sell.
Who are they? You can identify them by answering the following questions:
  • What experts are available from within your own company?
  • What experts are available from suppliers and business partners?
  • How effectively are you leveraging these experts to help you manage sales cycles and win business?
The old saying goes, "time is a salesperson's only inventory.
" If you try to do all of the activities involved in selling all by yourself, you are guaranteed to be less productive than you would be if you outsourced specific tasks to expert resources.
The most successful salespeople focus their time and attention on THE THINGS THAT ONLY THEY CAN DO, and outsource everything else to experts.
This enables them to maximize the use of their time and dramatically boost their sales productivity.
4.
Take Responsibility for Mistakes and Correct Them UNEMOTIONALLY
After all of our belongings were delivered to our new house my wife and I started unpacking.
When we finally quit for the day we were looking forward to a nice, hot shower.
Unfortunately the shower water was only lukewarm.
I turned up the water heater temperature and promised myself a nice, hot shower the next day.
When shower time came the next day the water was colder than it had been the day before! Our water heater is fueled by gas, and I wondered whether the problem was with the water heater or the gas supply.
I tried turning on the burners on our gas stove and nothing happened.
That is when I realized I had forgotten to contact the gas company to schedule turning on the gas! Since the gas company scheduled service appointments a minimum of five business days out, it appeared we were going to be taking cold showers for the entire next week! The following Monday I called the gas company to do a little begging.
By asking nicely I was able to take advantage of a cancellation and get our gas turned on in just a couple of days.
I'm convinced that part of the reason the gas company representative was so helpful was because I was very cordial and pleasant during our conversation.
I didn't demand that they change their policy for scheduling service calls.
Instead I worked with the representative to identify a creative way to improve our gas turn-on date.
What's the sales lesson here? The lesson is that no matter how well you plan your sales activities, mistakes WILL sometimes happen.
You can go ballistic and try to browbeat people into solving the mistakes in unrealistic time frames.
Or, you can take some or all of the responsibility for the mistakes and work calmly and collaboratively with the appropriate resources to expedite correction of the mistakes.
Which approach do YOU think will be more effective? 5.
Buckle Down and Work Hard
The movers packed up our possessions in one day and moved them to our new house the next day.
As soon as the movers finished their work my wife and I started ours.
We pursued our unpacking with a single-minded intensity and finished the job in a little over four days.
Have you ever heard of anyone moving the entire contents of a four-bedroom house and being completely settled in just six days? In sales it is critical that you leverage expert resources whenever you can.
But, there are still things that only YOU can do.
The more of these things you accomplish, the greater your success will be.
There simply is no substitute for working HARD and working SMART! Conclusion If you want to maximize your sales success, apply to your sales activities the strategies my wife and I used to complete our house move in record time: 1.
Plan your work 2.
Purge outdated information 3.
Make effective use of expert resources 4.
Take responsibility for mistakes and correct them unemotionally 5.
Buckle down and work hard If you make a good-faith effort to implement each of these five steps, you should see a dramatic improvement in your sales performance!
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