Your September Sales Behaviour Sets the Tone

By Jeremy Blake on September 24, 2019

A cautionary tale and how you can use this true story to make your teams more profitable straight away.

Retaining customers or winning new ones requires skills that some firms are investing in, while others are waiting for Brexit, or for the weather to cool. Meanwhile sales have gone off the boil.

Whether your market is financial, consumer service, tech, FMCG, industrial, or a form of business service, it is important to get September sales flowing and resist the temptation to make lots of low profit sales to get your confidence up after a period of your customers being away.

Be warned though, the behaviour that your customer service or salespeople engage in now will shape their future habits and the results of your department in the lead up to the end of this year and into 2020.

A Cautionary Tale

It’s September 1999 and as I returned to work after my summer holiday in my telesales role for a major publisher, my team and I were told some news by our Sales Manager.

 “I have news that some of you will find challenging and others less so. The smallest advert we offer is being discontinued. Research shows it has the lowest renewal rate and, as it is ineffective in letting customers advertise their business in such a small space you will no longer be able to offer it. And that is from today.”

Grumbles rang out from the high volume/low profit margin sellers in the team, whereas those that rarely sold the mini ad weren’t bothered.

In price terms the lowest cost to advertise with us had risen instantly from £155 to £310.

Off we went and hit the phones for our roles in outbound sales.

Just before 5pm, our smiling Sales Manager came bounding down the corridor and surveyed the fifteen of us in his patch. He waited fifteen minutes till the last of us completed our calls and told us this news.

“What a day you have had team. You have sold collectively at the highest revenue you have ever sold in a single day. In fact, you have sold just shy of what it usually takes you two days to sell.” 

We began smiling and looking around at each other with self-congratulatory grins. 

He went on, “what I told you this morning was a big fib. A whopper, a load of cods and I’m not sorry I did. We aren’t getting rid of the smallest ad we offer. I just wanted to prove to you that you are better than you think you are. How about we decide as a team to offer that ad sparingly and not sell at the lowest common denominator?”

A few people were shocked, others loved it. I sat there enjoying the lesson he’d taught us. I hope you've learned something too.

Sales Tactics

1. Habits - Remind people that the habits they engage in now will put them in good stead for the next quarter and beyond.

2. Profitable - Talk about profitability versus volume and get the team buying into ‘revenue responsibility.’

3. Beware! - Share my cautionary tale and get a debate going about what they feel about what the Sales Manager did and what they believe the team should collectively agree to.

4. Check - What are the milestone dates that you will all agree to, to see how you are performing as a team.

5. Collaborate - What else can the team collaborate on to help everyone have a stronger sales performance?

To talk to me about your challenges and how Reality Training can help you overcome them - email