The Key Components of "In Your Face" Sales22 Mar, 2006 By: Marvin Himel imageSource
The Key Components of "In Your Face" Sales
Fitzpatrick was one of the most intense managers I have ever met. When he hired
me at Lanier, the interview lasted 10 hours. After the interview I went home and
collapsed in bed.
He came into town one day unannounced and rode along with me in the field. We
visited five companies and, completely unsolicited by me, the office managers
all said basically the same thing: I was there more than most of their
When I was driving Bob to the airport at the end of the day, he jokingly said,
“Marvin, people don’t buy from you because they like you. They buy from you to
get rid of you.”
In every situation I had continued to add value by having a face-to-face meeting
with each prospect at least once a week. At each meeting I made sure I had a
legitimate reason to be there. It’s an approach that helped me flourish in my
Where prospecting ends, territory management begins. How you manage your
territory, or your base of prospects, will determine how successful you are.
It’s something that salespeople struggle with. They simply cannot keep track of
their potential clients.
This is especially true if the prospects are not going to buy in the near
future. This is why salespeople have a tendency to experience peaks and valleys
when it comes to sales performance.
The Personal Touch
The only effective way to manage your relationships with your prospects is
face-to-face. I understand this can be challenging for salespeople with large
geographic territories. But in order to maintain a greater than 75 percent
closing ratio, you need to maintain face-to-face contact with your prospects
because if you don’t your closing ratio will likely fall to less than 35
Also, every time you meet with a prospect you should add value. Make sure you
never find yourself in a position of calling on a prospect just to see where
they are in their decision making process. Some examples of adding value are:
• Bringing another possible solution to a problem.
• Providing the prospect with additional relevant information such as an
• Introducing an additional resource such as an engineer.
• Giving a prospect an appropriate gift.
An interesting phenomenon occurs when you increase the number of face-to-face
meetings that you have with qualified prospects. Our research has shown that the
closing ratio increases an average of 8 percent per additional face-to-face
Who are your Qualified Prospects?
Who are the prospects that you want to continually spending your time visiting?
There are three matters that will determine if the prospect is worth your
Money: Does the prospect have the necessary budget?
Authority: Are you in contact with the decision maker?
Need: Does the prospect have a need for your product?
If you can answer yes to these questions then you are dealing with “The MAN.”
An Organized System
Keeping tabs on prospects through face-to-face encounters is not enough. To
manage your prospects and your territory you need a system that is simple and
One of the best territory management systems is the funnel. A funnel allows a
salesperson to track prospects and move them forward in the sales process.
A typical sales funnel is set up based on an individual prospect’s status in the
purchasing process. If you meet with a prospect today and they tell you they are
going to buy next week, you need to treat them differently than a prospect that
is going to buy 12 months from now.
How often you see a prospect needs to be determined by when they are going to
buy, not whether you have qualified them. If a prospect is ready to buy right
away then they need to be given more attention than a prospect that will not be
buying for a long time. Assign them priority based on when they are going to
buy. Also, set some minimum standards for prospects such as revenue potential of
the sale. Eliminate prospects that do not meet your minimum standards.
The priority you assign a prospect determines the amount of time, attention and
amount of internal resources you should allocate. Most major purchases in the
United States have a minimum of a 12-week selling cycle. The chart below
outlines how often you should see a qualified prospect:
If you follow these guidelines and standards and establish a regular
face-to-face meeting schedule with qualified prospects then you are virtually
guaranteed a 75 percent closing ratio.
Marvin Himel is the author of “Winning Every Time: Secrets for Sales
Success” and the president of Competitivedge Systems, a sales training,
consulting and marketing company that specializes in the document imaging
industry. To contact Marvin call 904.242.9560, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org,
or visit www.competitivedgesystems.com.