The 100 Exercise, or How to Get Sales Going

By: vdupuy
Whatever the industry, the market or the product is, sales is always a big part of the success of an organization. You might have the best solution, the best portfolio, but if you don't have the skills to sell it, you will fail.

In the online business, it's pretty much the same story. Online Entrepreneurs tend to think that because they are on the web, they will start selling tons of products to thousands of people they don't know. The truth is, there are millions of others out there doing (and thinking) the same thing. You can't solely rely on the web and the search engines to bring you valuable leads and ultimately sales.

The way to get started is the 100 exercise.

If you want to succeed in sales, this approach will help you get going in most situations. First, think of anyone you know and write their name on a piece of paper or in your favorite word processor. I use Excel, which helps for sorting/classifying the names. Anyone goes, just write their name. Family, friends, colleagues, the butcher, the florist, anyone. You need to get to at least 100 names. More is always better, but 100 is a good goal to start.

Then, you need to grade each name in terms of how good a prospect you think it is for the product or service you are trying to sell. I use 1 for hot prospects, 2 for medium, 3 for not so good and 4 if I'm not sure. Finally, indicate beside each name what you think the best method to communicate with them is, whether it's by phone, email, regular mail or in person. Only write one method, the one you are the most comfortable with for that person.

Now it's time to get busy. Sort your names by the prospect quality, and then by method of communication. Look at your top prospects list (the one tagged #1 in my case), and work out an action plan. Make appointments with the ones you prefer to meet, call the ones you like to call, etc. Work your way down the list, and by the time you get to the not-so-good prospects, you will have a better idea of what works best, and you'll probably be able to close a few sales you didn't expect.

If you believe in yourself and your product, you will succeed. These people know you and trust you. You know and believe in your offer. It's a win-win situation, and you will have a great close rate.
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