Proposals are not darts!

This past week two prospects shared that 'selling is a numbers game.' I asked them what numbers they referred to. One replied 'if our sellers have four appointments per day, they will write 4-5 proposals per week'. The other replied 'for every twenty proposals we write, we close 5-7 orders.'

When I asked each how many of the 15-16 other prospects; or 13-15 proposals that didn't close would later turn into business, they both said they weren't sure. Their response made it clear that little pre-qualifying was being done.

Here's where the dart playing analogy comes in. The above mentality is much like approaching a dartboard without understanding the rules of play, just knowing that it's fun to see how close you get to the outer or inner bull's eye. If you throw often enough you'll eventually hit it. But, you'll tire from having to pick up off the floor the many darts that missed the mark. Pro darters refer to this as 'amateur play'.

That's because the game of darts is played with exacting measurements and rules For example, the toe line is drawn on the floor 7'9-1/4" from the front edge of the dartboard. The bull's eye is hung exactly

5'-8" off the floor. Pro darters rely on this precision for two reasons, 1) their eye-to-hand coordination can naturally kick in; and 2) it allows them to focus on improving their throwing technique to master the game. For them the glory and win lie in placing fewer darts with greater accuracy.

So, which will yield better results, having each seller make 20 appointments per week with prospects of varying levels of interest? Or, having your team make 5-10 appointments per week with highly qualified ideal prospects with immediate or near-term reasons to purchase? I wish that were rhetorical. Maybe one day.

Your pipeline is not an amateur's dartboard. So stop throwing proposals into it with the thinking that getting some to stick is good enough. It isn't. You can do much better and with less ill-placed activity.

Get your team selling at the pro level. Your prospects and clients will reward and appreciate you for it.

Attention entrepreneurs interested in professional development:

Register now for the upcoming Clemson Spiro Sessions - they start on August 9th; I'm scheduled to speak on November 1 and would love to meet you.

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