(last edited on August 15, 2014 at 12:17 am)
Today’s product-of-the-day is a refresh of a 2006 form I made, the sales version of the Concrete Goals Tracker (CGT). This embodies the sales process as I’ve come to understand it, based on observation and very occasional practice. The part I suck at in sales is lead generation, probably because I don’t have a service-type product that is easy to offer; “web development” and “graphic design” are specific services that people understand, but what I do isn’t either of them. But I digress. The CGT is the ORIGINAL “Printable CEO”. It focuses only on what moves you forward, cutting out the bullshit that doesn’t contribute meaningfully. However, it does it in a positive manner, without so much swearing, by emphasizing points you get for doing the “right things” from the handy included list. It doesn’t punish with negative points because I believe that focusing on the positive behaviors generates a better atmosphere: a culture of doing, rather than pain avoidance. On a pragmatic level, that helps support the sale on many levels; that’s my theory, anyway.
My approach tends to be more farmer-like, watching them grow organically as I tend to my crops, but I’ve occasionally worked at places where Sales is someone’s full-time job. Sales is difficult, and I’ve rarely seen people who are really good at it. I’ve see a lot of bullshitting too, from people who negotiated a comfortable base from their hopeful employers who find sales mysterious and didn’t know how to deal with it. If anything, these people were good at selling themselves in the interview, upgrading their job title, then knowing how to look busy. The good sales people actually had a process of calling, following up, and getting to know and understand their prospects needs. They were resources and connectors, helpful and maintained a good relationship with their team and the capabilities of the company so they could talk about it knowledgeably and craft a good deal.
In today’s update, I’ve updated the design to my current spec. I’ve also added a new section to help cultivate a sales mentality through principles I believe are more effective in the long run…just add chutzpah! They are a variation of my project scoping prompts, which I use when meeting a first-time prospect, but expanded with sales-specific language. This new section is between the note capture area and the notes area so you see it constantly.
A general note: The CGT is a good way to develop mindfulness to go along with a new mindset (sales, in this case) when you’re doing it for the first time. The gist of the game is “collect as many points as you can for the week”; read the CGT description for more information about the theory behind this. Like all versions of the CGT, this is a weekly sheet that you print-out and keep by your side on your desk to review often, grubbing as many points in as many ways as you can every day. You’ll see the good days and the bad days, and with your notes you’ll remember why so you can think of ways to optimize your work. It’s one of my oldest designs, but still one of the coolest.
Groundhog Day Resolution Posts for 2014
I am challenging myself to create a new product every day for the month of February 2013. The Challenge Page lists all the products in one place. Check it out!