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It’s Just A Numbers Game

by David Brock on August 21st, 2011

I was really busy, my time was filled.

I start each day with my list.

I dialed 100 numbers, 80 were voicemails, 15 hung up on me, 4 listened, 1 said he’d see me.

Excited, I grabbed my brochures to rush to the meeting.

Didn’t know what the customer did, but I’d done 100’s of sales calls before, I figured I could wing it.

I started to present, gave him the brochures, but he asked lot of questions, I didn’t have the answers.  Told him I’d get back to him.

Tried getting another appointment, took 3 weeks.  But my manager knew I had a hot opportunity.

By the time I had the meeting, he was talking to the competition.  He had his answers, he had some new questions.

I asked him to give me a chance.  I told him I’d get right back to him with the answers and a proposal.

Finally saw him three weeks later.  He liked my answers, said he’d gotten two good proposals from my competitors.  He wanted my best pricing.  I told him we were clearly the best, we could give a great price, said I’d email it to him.

I told my manager, we’d get the deal, just had to come up with the right pricing.

I emailed the pricing, then called to follow up.  He wasn’t in, I left a voicemail.

I called to follow up, I left a voicemail.

I called again, starting to worry.

I finally reached him, he said he had selected another supplier, but thanked me for the proposal.

The loss was painful, I really needed that order.  Had to get things going.

I told my manager I was busy, that I could recover and make my numbers.

I reached for the phone and started to dial

I dialed 100 numbers……

It’s just a numbers game!Book CoverFor a free peek at Sales Manager Survival Guide, click the picture or link.  You’ll get the Table of Contents, Foreword, and 2 free Chapters.  Free Sample

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  1. I have so been there. It’s the biggest fallicy in the world. We train our sales people to see it this way too. Great post David even though it made me ill thinking back to my awful moments in selling….

    • Mark, I think, in reality, we have all been there, that’s why it’s so uncomfortably familiar. The shocking thing to me is I’ve gotten some, “so what” comments–as though this is what selling is all about. Maybe I let my odd sense of humor get away with me.

      Always great to see you commenting here. Regards, Dave

  2. David, the only thing I’d add to this recipe for disaster is “Don’t Repeat.” Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. is…

  3. Selling indeed is a numbers game, but if you want the numbers to work in your favor, it would help of you realized that success is a byproduct of proper preparation and execution. There are no shortcuts. The great ones are always prepared and they know how to execute to the Nth degree. Larry Bird used to take two hours of practice shots before every game; his uncanny accuracy was earned, luck had nothing to do with it. You don’t achieve success by throwing a lot of junk against the wall and hope something sticks. Love the way you tell a story, David; the one-sentence paragraphs make for such an easy flow–really enjoyed the piece.

    • Paraphrasing Einstein, “the surest sign of insanity is to continue to repeat the same failed strategies, expecting different results.” Thinking, planning, preparing are critical to driving sales results. Thanks for joining the discussion Robert.

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