The “Real World” Numbers Game

By Jacques Werth, President
High Probability® Selling

“Sales is a numbers game” is something most salespeople are taught from Day One on the job. The general concept is true.  Almost no one, however, asks what those “numbers” really are based upon.

In the insurance industry, most new agents are taught the “Standard Sales Formula – 100/10/3”. That is, contact 100 people, get 10 appointments, and sell 3 policies.  The salespeople who still believe in this will coincidentally report having a 30 percent closing ratio.  Sounds good so far?

In reality, less than 1 percent of the million plus insurance agents in the USA can consistently produce those results. It turns out that this “Standard Sales Formula’ is nothing more than a commonly held assumption.  Other industries have their own “Standard” bogus formulas.

Bogus numbers lead to bogus sales goals and unreal expectations.  These unreal expectations inevitably result in disappointment and discouragement.  On the other hand, ‘real-world’ numbers, based on ‘real-world’ sales activity in the field, can guide you through the sales process and lead to increasingly encouraging results.  The best salespeople *really* know their numbers.

Most salespeople, however, diligently and accurately track their numbers, hoping that the standard formula will hold true for them.  When they find that reality falls short of their industry’s commonly held assumptions, most of them stop measuring what is really happening.

Because they are no longer measuring, they don’t change very much of what they’re doing, with the exception of working on a few sales techniques, based on their current view of what’s not working. They expect their results to change dramatically, and immediately.  That’s not how the world works!

One of the three primary fundamentals of the High Probability Selling process is to meticulously track all sales activity, at every step of the sales process, from initial contact through to the signing of the contract.  By monitoring and measuring the results of each discrete step of the selling process, you can constantly refine your selling skills. The result is steady, gradual improvement, until you are producing optimal results and have become a Top Producer.

If you don’t monitor and measure your sales activity, you are typical of 98% of the thousands of salespeople we’ve observed over the years. Most of those salespeople struggle with their jobs every day. Without knowing exactly what you are doing, and how much you are doing it, the probability of improving your sales performance is extremely low.

Yes, sales is a numbers game, but only ‘real-world’ numbers apply. Keep statistics on EVERYTHING that you do- it’s easy, once you get into the habit. Now is the best time to start keeping sales performance records.

Your statistics will enable you to understand, tweak, and improve your selling skills. The result?

Some initial discomfort…and a dramatic improvement in your sales success.

Note added later:  here is an example of a prospecting-activity-record-2009-06-22


If you want to learn the process and mindset of top producing salespeople, you want to learn more about High Probability Selling.

Until Next Time…Sell Well

Jacques Werth

Copyright 2007.


Tags: How+to+sell, The+secret+to+selling, Selling+and+Persuasion

Author: Carl Ingalls

Administrator for High Probability Selling Blog

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