A Cool Half-Million (or More)…

Quick, multiply 10,000 by your cost-per-point.

Is it a quarter million dollars? Half a million? A million or more?

That’s the low-end of what a simple change can bring to your sales team per salesperson.

Certainly, some of you have stopped reading by now, out of disbelief. for those that remaIn, the payout is very real and is already happening.

The Plus+1 Challenge is not a new concept, nor is it rocket science. But its time is way overdue. It goes something like this: Get in front of one more destination business owner a week. That’s it. The math takes care of itself. If you look at what established destination businesses spend on television (the low end is 800-1000 points), and look at a very tenable close ratio of 20-25%, the payout is enormous.

What is a destination business? An auto dealer, furniture store, HVAC shop, window & siding installer, credit union, legal firm, home builder elective healthcare practice, mattress store, and so on. They are the businesses that buy television because they know it works.

Even more of you have stopped reading by now, maybe out of fear or complacency. For those that remain, the math is right there for us.

One more decision maker (i.e. business owner) a week equals 52 more meaningful meetings a year. Those 52 qualified prospects a year represent 10-12 more clients at a modest close ratio. Those 10-12 clients translate into 8,000 – 12,000 more points moved each year. On the low end. So, again, for those of you with cost-per-points around $50 … does a half-million sound worth it? If not, multiply that by the number of people on your sales team. A mid-market station could stand to gain a lot of ground in a very short time. Any station could.

We’re well aware that not everyone is still reading this. For those that remain, you must have objections to this “plan”.

Wait, it’s not easy to get in front of one more decision maker each week, is it? Maybe “easy” is the wrong word. If it were easy, it’d be done by now, and we’d all be millionaires. But just for the record, we posed this same challenge to a group of relatively “unseasoned” broadcast television salespeople. Actually, we recommend they talk to three decision makers a day. Makes one a week look like child’s play. That’s a tall order, huh? This “unseasoned” group of AEs responded by getting in front of one more decision maker each day (let alone each week), which led to more clients, which lead to more points moved, which … well, you know how the story ends.

I hesitate in using the word “unseasoned”. They had the ability to do this all along. And if they were unseasoned, their seasoning happened so fast it was scary. In a very good way. What we noticed along the way, is that the salespeople who got the most meetings saw their close ratios improve along the way. Some as high as 47%. Oh, by the way, this all transpired in a month’s time. About twenty business days.

We presented this challenge again to a group of veteran salespeople and sales managers and saw a few careers significantly change in trajectory … again, all in a month’s time. The most stunning report was a salesperson who had closed nearly $400K in new business in less than a month.

Okay, here come more objections. “We could never write that much in this market … our market is different.”

Stop with the objections. Your prospects and clients already provide plenty. Why add to the list?

If you’re a salesperson and you’re looking for the next “surefire way to double your sales in short order”, which seems to be printed in boldface on so many dust-jackets of best sellers these days, consider this your plan. It works. Just go one more.

If you’re a sales manager, try it for a month. Be sure to take a check-point every day. That part is absolutely necessary. No meetings required, just a brief conversation to reinforce a positive habit. Here’s the context of that discussion: “Who did you meet yesterday? And who are you meeting today?”

Then let the math work itself out. And after a month, you’ll notice this information will be regularly volunteered. Because by then, it’ll be a learned habit, and it’ll be working quite well.

We’re positive that only a few of you are still reading. We’re also hoping many of you are picking up a phone or walking to the car to meet your next client. If so, congratulations.

Just go one more. It’s your choice.

Dave Eckstein is not the shortstop for the Toronto Bluejays. He is a partner in the firm ESA & Company, based in Red Bank, New Jersesy.

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