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A Smile as Small as Mine . . .

Selling is a cycle, not a single activity. Give it time to mature.

Selling is a cycle, not a single activity. Give it time to mature.

One of the most difficult things to accept about sales is that it’s a numbers game. It can make us feel insignificant and faceless to think that it’s not who we are or what we have to offer, but only how many times we call on people that determines our success.

But that’s not what it’s really about. When I (or any sales educator) says, “Sales is a numbers game,” here’s what we mean:

  • Information Overload: We are inundated with advertising, promotion, and demands for our attention nearly everywhere we turn – from our televisions to our computers and out on the street through SMS and billboards – we receive way more input than we can possibly digest or  recall.
  • The Numbers Game: If you can expect 3 out of every 100 prospects to respond, then won’t you feel better with 800 prospects in play, where you have the potential to hit 24?

To be successful in today’s market – consumer direct or business-to-business  - you have to become visible, then become memorable, before you can achieve meaningful contact. This takes time and therefore patience. If you increase the number of prospects with whom you are communicating, you will shorten the time, but the dynamics are still the same.

Here’s a child’s poem that I love to share that expresses the essence of this practice. I have no idea who wrote it. It’s something that I remember from my own childhood.

“They may not need me but they might.
I’ll keep my hands just in sight.
A smile as small as mine might be
precisely their necessity.”

When sales don’t happen, it’s tempting to lose confidence and let negative ideas take hold. Don’t let that happen to you! Just recite this poem and keep on working. If you want to  change something, take a look at how many prospects you have in play, and how often you engage them. Chances are, your shortcomings aren’t related to what you have to offer or how people perceive you as a person or company. Most likely you’re not “just in sight” for enough potential prospects.

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2 Responses to A Smile as Small as Mine . . .

  1. calla Gold says:

    Andrea,
    It’s nice to be reminded that the amount of prospects in play is as valuable as your current sales stat. When you are very busy in the moment and stop promoting, networking and keeping up with your outreach, it will spell slumps in sales later.
    Nice poem. Being a salesperson going through a low period can make you feel like a child who can create little in the way of respect or creation of a good effect.
    Keep doing those networking and marketing action when your sales are high or low!
    Good post!

  2. Andrea says:

    Thanks Calla! And you’re right about keeping the networking and marketing actions high at all times!

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