4 Reasons Why Sales Is A Numbers Game
You often hear the truism “sales is not easy – but it’s simple.”
Sales is not rocket science. It’s something anyone – or any “type” – can learn.
Sure, natural talent helps.
But even those who don’t see themselves as natural born salespeople can succeed at it.
One important thing to keep in mind as we learn sales is that it is ultimately a numbers game.
The more effort we put in – the more prospects we approach, the more sales meetings we hold – the closer we’ll come to the next customer.
Of course, we want to focus on learning the people and communication skills that help us to be more effective at each step of the Sales Cycle.
But in the meantime, we can at least take confidence in the fact that the more numbers we put into our sales game, the better results we’ll see.
4 Reasons Why Sales Is A Numbers Game
Here are 4 reasons why sales is ultimately a numbers game:
1. Sales is about Controlling the Controllables
So much in sales is not directly controllable by us – the prospect’s attitude toward us, whether someone returns an email, and of course, whether or not someone buys from us.
We can only show up, do our best, and let the cards fall where they may.
That said, this doesn’t mean our sales outcomes are out of our control.
There are in fact several things we can control in sales. To name a few:
- Our attitude
- Our effort at each sales call
- The number of prospects we contact
We can’t force prospects to buy. We should respond by focusing on what we can control, and doing our best at that. The number of emails we send, calls we make, and prospects we approach are all within our control.
We feel helpless and lack confidence when we feel out of control or controlled by external forces.
When we feel in control, we are more likely to feel optimistic, energized, and positive about the future. Even if we’re not making as many sales as we’d like at that moment.
2. Sales is a treasure hunt – find the buyers (and avoid wasting energy on non-buyers)
You can think of sales as a treasure hunt of sorts. In every pool of prospects, there are buyers and non-buyers.
Buyers are those prospects who have a need, are aware of it, have the finances to fund it, and are ready to buy now.
Our task is simply to get to these people as quickly as possible.
On the other end of the spectrum are the non-buyers.
These are companies or individuals, who, no matter what we do, will never buy from us.
Maybe they have company policy against doing business with our type of company.
Maybe they just never buy from salespeople, as a rule.
We don’t know.
But our job is to figure out as quickly as possible if we’re dealing with a non-buyer. We can do this in different ways including by the questions we ask when qualifying the prospect.**
We don’t want to burn a lot of time and energy trying to convince a non-buyer to magically* become a buyer.
Rather, we want to use that same energy to expose our offer* to more prospects, giving us a greater chance of finding someone who is an easier fit.
It’s a more positive way to approach sales, and another reason that sales is a numbers game*.
3. A numbers focus helps you create natural Buying Atmosphere
Consider this scenario:
Salesman Bob has 2 prospects scheduled to meet this month.
Salesman Larry has set up 15 meetings with potential buyers.
Bob and Larry each go to their respective sales meetings with the first prospect on the list.
Which of the two will be more relaxed, confident, and less likely to be communicating pressure (knowingly or unwittingly) to the prospect?
If you answered “Larry”, you are correct. But why*?
Larry has more confidence and less need to exert pressure, because he’s done the work to set up a lot more prospect meetings than Bob.
He knows that if he doesn’t succeed/find a need/etc* at his first sales meeting, he’s got 14 more cracks at the egg this month.
Bob, on the other hand, has already used up 50% of his sales meetings this month the moment he sits down with his first prospect.
He can’t help but feel more pressure, and in turn, convey that pressure to the potential client. Whether he intends to or not.
Buying atmosphere is the term for a low- (or no-) pressure sales environment. We create this in a number of ways including by what we say as well as by subtle unconscious cues like our body language, eye contact* and demeanor.
When we create a good buying atmosphere, the prospect is more likely to buy, simply because he feels less pressure – and people love to buy, but hate to be “sold.” It’s a cardinal rule of sales.
Having more sales meetings set up* helps us naturally create an effective buying atmosphere with our sales prospects.
4. More numbers = more practice = improved skills
There’s one more quite logical benefit to treating sales like a numbers game. Quite simply, the more sales actions we take, the more practice we get as salespeople, and the better chance we give ourselves to develop our skills.
You can read sales books or web articles like this one all day long. But like any other active skill, if you’re not actually out practicing sales, you’re not really getting any better.
Having a numbers focus in sales allows us to get the practice we need to gradually become better and better at this art.
Want to know more?
Feel like you’re struggling at the sales game, and want to see what changes you can make to get better?**
While putting in the effort is a big part of it, we also need to take active steps to learn and improve at each step of the sales process.
Want to learn how we can help? Click here to set up a 15-minute Skype call with Erik, Simon or Livia.