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Do You Follow This Sales Rule?

We’ve talked recently about the importance of having the right mindset and skill set in sales, along with how to work your way through the buyer-seller dance. Once you’ve mastered those, it’s important to look at your level of activity.

I’ve sold professional services my entire career. First in banking, then in my coaching practice. Because I’m a life-long learner, I’ve studied sales throughout my career. I’ve had quite a few guides to help me become better. One of them told me one day, “The level of activity you’re willing to adopt will be a limiting factor in your business, Bill.” What he was trying to tell me is that if I adopt a low activity process, I will have low production. But, if I’m willing to adopt a high-level activity, I will have high production. Easy to say, hard to do.   

Let me share a secret with you.   

Having spent over 4 decades in sales, I’ve learned the 10-3-1 rule. For every 10 client meetings I have, I’ll give 3 proposals and for every 3 proposals, I’ll get 1 sale.   

So early on in my career, I looked at my calendar and saw five potential time slots for meetings: 8am (breakfast), 10am, 12pm (lunch), 2pm, and 4 pm. I challenged myself to fill 3 of those 5 slots every day. So, that’s 60 potential client meetings per month, 18 proposals, and 6 sales. If my sales goal was $200,000, then each sale needed to be at least $34,000 ($200,000/6). 

If I’m able to make 4 appointments per day, that’s 80 calls, 24 proposals, and 8 sales. With the same average sale, I make $272,000. If only adopt 2 calls per day, that’s 40 calls per month, 12 proposals, and 4 sales for $136,000. I miss my sales goal by 32%.  

In my past, I was expecting to make a higher income without putting in the activity. That was a mistake. Thanks to those who mentored me along the way, I now know that if I want to make more money, I need to have more meetings and make more proposals. 10-3-1 is like a law of nature. It’s like gravity, it doesn’t change.   

The combination of a mindset of helping people buy, combined with a high activity 10-3-1 process, puts you well on your way to being a top salesperson in your organization. If you’re not hitting your sales numbers, confront your reality, look at your mindset and your process, and make some mid-course corrections. Like me, you’ll be glad you did. 

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