Ursula predicted that in the near future, sales professionals will become consultants—subject-matter experts who know something before implementing it successfully for their clients. She contrasted the new degree program in sales at St. Catherine’s University with the common perception that all sales people are like pushy used-car salespeople.
One of Ursula’s early remarks caught our attention. She stated: “When salespeople are fearless, they make calls.” Naturally we wondered how we could be fearless, a question reinforced by Ursula’s asking us to consider who we would call if we didn’t have any fear. She encouraged us to, “Get clear about what you want” followed by, “You will get it!”
Ursula grew up doing chores on a farm near Le Center, Minnesota, before earning a B.A. in psychology and communication from St. Olaf College. After working in retail sales for $6.25/hour, she took a position making “100 cold calls a day” selling technical training. She read books such as The Power of Intention by Wayne Dyer and The Sales Bible by Jeff Gitmer as well as books by Tom Hopkins, Brian Tracy, and Zig Zigler. Ursula admires Brian Tracy, trainer for personal and business goals, from whom she learned to write down 50 ideas to find one good one.
Through reading The Power of Intention, Ursula learned to set an intention for each interaction with a prospect, to set the appointment, and to close the sale before the end of the meeting. Her sales acumen led to Ursula becoming the president of a $20 million, California-based company when she was just 27.
Among the many things Ursula learned from her experiences and reading was to identify “Seven Sales Blocks That Keep Us in Scarcity,” obstacles she readily shared with us.
- Unworthy Sales Goal
Ursula proclaimed that most people have a “chicken” sales goal. She urged us to define our “stretch” sales goal and go after it. Each of us calculated the average value of a sale along with comparing our closing ratio to the number of calls we’re making. We then identified the number of calls we need to make per month to reach our stretch sales goal. Many of us discovered—to our delight—that fewer calls than we anticipated were needed to reach our goal.
- Perception of Being “Pushy”
Although Ursula didn’t mention this obstacle first, she said it’s the “number-one limiting belief.” Our worrying about being perceived as pushy or desperate is wasted energy. Ursula assured us that the prospect is not thinking of us! On the other hand, if we don’t think of ourselves as a sales person, we stop ourselves from making calls. Ursula asked: “What is the number-one belief that’s stopping you from being successful?” Understanding this type of self-defeating behavior led Ursula to earn a master’s degree in counseling psychology and coaching certification in neuro-linguistic programming.
- Can’t Afford Help
Many salespeople and business owners and believe they can’t afford to hire a consultant. Ursula maintains it’s possible that they can’t afford not to hire someone to identify and correct the behavior that’s keeping them in a belief system related to scarcity.
- A Limiting Financial Set Point
We are limited by believing “I’m a $100,000 earner” (for example.) Ursula suggested we “implement the Power of 15.” By the 15th day of the 20 working days each month, we have all of our appointments lined up.
- The Wrong Clients
Find clients who have our value system. Choose to work with our top 20% of prospects and clients. They pay in a timely manner and they refer us to other suitable clients.
- Lack of Appointments and Follow-Up
Open 13 appointments – or however many you need to reach your sales goal – in the first 15 days of the month. When we call a prospect, tell them on which days we’re available, then ask them which day is better for them. Our appointment-setting goal must match our sales goal.
- We Don’t Ask for the Money
“Selling isn’t telling; selling is asking.” Ursula urged us to ask questions to determine whether our products or services are the right fit for the prospect. We can then guide the prospect into a situation in which they convince themselves that we are the right fit for them.
Bonus block: Lack of Marketing
Ursula encouraged us to participate in networking events and roundtable discussions “because they give a ton of value.” We need to “market with intention” and to ask ourselves what marketing ideas or activities will fill our sales funnel?
Ursula admires Brian Tracy, author and trainer for personal and business goals, from whom she learned to write down 50 ideas to find one good one.
- The power of 15
- Ask for the money
- Pay attention to the top-20% of our clients
- Don’t worry about being pushy
- Put a due date by our goals
- When making calls, focus on solutions, not sales
- Be aware of working with the wrong clients
Summary by Sue Filbin, PSA media coordinator