As a student of Sales, I have seen many of the pros that I pay attention to talk about making the extra effort, putting in one last sales call per day…going the extra mile. Going the ‘Extra ‘Sales Mile.’
Easy to preach, but is it easy to practice? Depends on what you want. The research on the subject largely supports the “7 No’s to Get a Yes” paradigm, wherein you must be persistent [in a professional, engaging way] and diligent, to become one of the 20% that makes 80% of the Sales in most firms.
In no real order then are some of the things I personally have done along the ‘Extra Sales Mile’ road:
Veering across 3 lanes of a major Interstate freeway, to camp out on the road shoulder for over 20 min’s, as I re-sent a pricing proposal over wireless laptop that had gone out a week prior. This to an Agency that could not find the one I sent…and needed it NOW in order to get it approved. The 18-wheelers blazing past at 70mph, shaking my whole car from less than 2 feet away only added to the “fun.”
Staying at an ad industry Trade event an extra 3 hours on one occasion, upon learning that a very important person I had been trying to access for months, was attending. This ended up securing me THE key meeting I needed to get.
Sleep? Or shall I say, lack thereof? The number of times I’ve either taken ‘redeye’ flights to the East coast to make a morning meeting there…or made the 5.30AM ‘airport run’ to catch an early flight, is uncountable. [Note: I am not a morning person.]
And while we’re on the subject of “5.30AM”, I am reminded of the time when in support of a Sales team I was leading, I had to wake up at 5.30AM…in three different Time Zones…in the same week. That was followed a late Friday night flight back to the West coast…only to fly East again the following week. What does that do to your body clock?!?
Being away from home enough, so that in the various cities you visit your clients/agency teams in, other people ask you directions when you are there. And you can give them. Including to people you later learn actually live in that city.
Tracking down a client or agency at 3.30pm going into a long Holiday weekend, to confirm a key element of their program was in place. [Key detail: Being a Holiday weekend, everybody has closed their offices by 2pm–while its now 3.30–making this challenge far more formidable than it sounds here.]
Think I’m going to leave a detail like this to my Assistant, or Ad Coordinator? Hardly.
Later on, while the rest of the world is on their Holiday weekend [Labor Day, etc], ending up making calls to assure them that a particular program with a tie-in, WAS in fact running, and in good shape. How many Sales pros do that? Few that I’ve seen. And THAT’S the difference.
Last on this last, is one that may be hard to swallow. It is selling programs where, by the nature or structure of the deal, you are required to bring in additional parties that will be part of the deal and you won’t get paid commission on, but without which…you also won’t get any commission period, because the whole deal falls apart. There are too many details to describe here, but suffice it to say that while not optimal by any means, this has gotten me some great deals that I would never have gotten otherwise. That and exposure to some true Sales pros from other firms that I grew to greatly admire [partly because, in reverse, they were willing to also work with me, in the exact opposite way!]
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Is this the list of a hero? Of course not; others have flown more miles, sold bigger deals, gotten less sleep. But it IS a list that has brought the benefit of going the extra sales mile, to me, in a big way.
So the question is: Are you going the ‘extra mile’ in your Sales efforts, or always just coasting? If you are going that extra mile, what is on your ‘Extra Sales Mile’ list? Tell us here~!