A lot of sales people and business owners spend a lot of time and energy on closing sales. They set targets, they brag to their friends and peers and jobs are sometimes lost over how few sales are closed in a set amount of time.
Closing a sale is of course very important;
without doing so you are not going to turnover any money. We all know that. But
I like to think a little differently.
To me, the amount of people at the start of your sales process, or at the top of your sales funnel some will call it, is far more important than what happens at the end of that process.
Allow me to explain my reasoning via a parable.
A farmer buys a new plot of land. This land is big enough to plant 1000 pieces of corn. The farmer goes out and starts to plant the seeds. Before long, the farmer has planted all 1000 seeds and lets nature take its course. As the plants grow the farmer goes out and nurtures the young plants. He waters them, feeds them, takes out the dead or weak plants and stops any weeds from growing in between. In no time at all 500 of the plants are ready to be harvested. Unfortunately, as this parable is set in the olden days he has to do it by hand. He sets out to collect the 500 pieces of corn and remove the now unneeded plants. As he does so, the land becomes bare once again with many empty spaces. A month later, the rest of the corn is ready, and the farmer once again goes out to collect his corn. Now, the field is empty and bare.
The next day he speaks with his farmer neighbour and boasts about how after general wastage, he was able to gather 800 pieces of corn. The neighbour laughs.
“Just 800 pieces?” He asks. “I managed to take in 1800 pieces. And my land is smaller than yours”
“But how did you manage that?” Asks the farmer.
“Well, you need to learn; once space appears in your field you need to lay down new seed and make the most of the season. The more seeds you sow, the more corn you can harvest at the end of the growing cycle.”
I am no farming expert and please don’t critisise me for not understanding fully how corn grows. However, the point I am trying to make here is this; if you focus so much on your customers whom are at the end of your sales cycle, and those that you are trying to close, then you will soon forget to start talking to new prospects. If you are not out there planting seeds and filling up your sales pipeline then you eventually get to a point where you are drying up and you have no one to close.
Try to think about this when you are out and about being a super sales person. Sure, closing sales is vital, and is certainly something to do. But do not ever focus on closing sales that you forget to prospect and to plant new seeds.