Are YOU A Good Sales Person? (Take this simple test to find out)
It’s really not hard to win bids (and get the client) when you’re selling against local lawn and landscape competitors. Why? They are just like you. Busy – busy – busy.
The problem is, rarely are you competing with just the landscape guy down the road. Nope.
You’re competing with anyone that could command the attention of the prospective client including: the plumber, the electrician, the interior designer, the flooring specialist, the roofer, the insulation guy, the architect, the engineer, the inspectors, the banker and so on… anyone who might be involved in home improvement, home repair or property maintenance. But that’s not all!
Today you are competing with the time consuming distractions (or attractions) of social media, text messages, email overload, political controversy, macroeconomic worries, phone calls, voice mails and an endless barrage of emerging viral infections… while you (and sometimes your prospect) are getting the kids to their next event! Busy – busy – busy.
Now, intertwine the energy and urgency of the Spring season. OK? Now you’re super-busy. Something must be ignored, skipped or moved down the priority list to make time for … being busy.
But the fact is your financial future – busy or not – is tied directly to your ability to SELL YOUR SERVICES even when you’re NOT the LOW BIDDER…or the only thing on your prospect’s mind.
So there’s a little test I’ll challenge you to sit down and figure out the answer. It’s a test most contractors ignore, especially during the busy Spring selling season.
This test is more important than your next April 15 tax deadline! However, your accountant never asks for this number because the IRS doesn’t require you to report it on your tax return.
Unfortunately, your banker never asks you about this test either. Even though he cares greatly about your financial reports and a healthy cash flow, he will never request the answer…not even on the personal financial statement required when you borrow money. But believe me, the answer to this test is so powerful, so motivating, you definitely want to figure it out.
In fact, I’ll say this simple test is more important than going on your next sales call! Because the score you’ll discover from this simple test will empower you to judge your success (or lack thereof) in the ultimate wealth producing skill… selling.
So what is this test and test score that reveals soooo much? It’s your close ratio. Simple math. Here’s the formula.
# of jobs sold / total # of estimates written = close ratio
This sounds like a simple test right? Surely you could dig through a few files, retrace your steps over the past month, season or year and figure out how many jobs you actually sold. And…if you’re anything like most of my clients, you could scratch around and find out how many estimates you’ve written that were never accepted. Just so we’re clear:
total # of estimates written = # of jobs sold + # of estimates written but not sold
I know you can do the math. That’s not the hard part. And I know that by telling you this information is soooo very important, you may sit down, dig thru your data and calculate this powerful number right now. This would be a very good use of your time. So do it right now!
And here’s the hardest part of taking this test. You must complete the test over and over to chart your progress. Which means, long after this article has been read, you’ll still need the answer to this simple equation to determine if you’re a good sales person.
You see one number is never enough. Numbers tell stories when they are compared to other numbers. So your close ratio this month, this season or this year is not necessarily good or bad.
So please. Stop being busy and complete this test. Don’t do it for your banker, the IRS or your accountant. Do it for you and your family!
The change of your close ratio from month to month could indicate you’re improving as a sales person. This information could be powerfully motivating. Nothing builds confidence like knowing your numbers!
The change of your close ratio year to year could indicate that you’re not keeping up with techniques others are using to break through today’s busyness. This information could inspire you to get some education. Stop being busy – busy – busy and prevent premature burnout with this math exercise.
Here’s the best test of all. Raise your prices 10% on every bid/proposal for the next 30 days and take the test again. See how your close ratio changes. Until you take THIS test, you really don’t know if you’re an average sales person, a good sales person or an exceptional sales person.
Will you accept my challenge? Will you raise your prices 10% and retake the test in 30 days? Or, would you prefer to LOWER your prices by 10% for the next 30 days and retake the test? Using the science based technique of testing one variable in the sales process at a time and comparing the answer to your first score will explain the ultimate question in professional selling.
Are you a good sales person today OR are you getting better over time? I look forward to hearing of your test results.
Tony Bass @TonyBassSLT has been helping landscape industry business owners add more to their bottom line since 1998. You can learn more about how to improve your close ratio in his six-step sales warrior training program at .