It’s hard to look under the hood when things are going well
For the last four years, we’ve seen one of the best economies in the history of our country. Growth has been exponential, sales have come as fast as you could write them up—and all kinds of bad habits were covered up. When things are going well, there is little sense of urgency to look under the hood and give the engine a tune-up.
But now the market is starting to cool down, and that means that we have to pay attention to the little things.
For the last four years, you could get by with:
- Not calling your customers back on time (because you had more business than you could handle)
- Letting people walk out the door without any method of follow up (because you were sure they would be back)
- Forgetting to keep track of what opportunities you had out there (why bother when business had been closing so easily?)
A good market hides a lot of sins, but the beauty of where we are headed is that, as things cool off, those bad habits will be exposed while the cream rises to the top.
In a booming market, we see a lot of “order-takers” disguised as good salespeople—and it’s easy to look past that in our own business because things are going so well. But if we are honest, there are a lot of habits that we get lacks on when things are good. These habits are the simple, boring, mundane behaviors that sales is built on since, at the end of the day, sales isn’t a game of charisma—it’s a game of organization and arithmetic.
My plan for 2019 is simple, we are going to grow by attacking four basic behaviors with everything in us. This isn’t rocket science or proprietary intel that will set the world on fire—it’s simple behaviors (that we control), that will move the needle in our business.
Here they are:
- Quote 80% of the retail customers that come into our business
- Keep track of all our opportunities in one place
- Follow up with every prime opportunity seven times
- Win the review game as we take care of our customers
Like I said, this is the boring, simple work that I know will grow us in 2019. I’m sure there are basic things in your business that will move the needle if you go all in on them. But first, you have to have the courage to look under the hood and start tinkering.