It is that time again! This post is for all of those professionals, and sales professionals, who are concerned about their mid-term review. The performance review can be a stressful event, a difficult time for many.
Many of us have been there before, and thus the need for this post. A tough interim or mid-term review is sobering, and if you are in sales it is easy to have a couple of tough quarters. The importance of this is apparent when it gets to writing. Use this post, to prepare for this important upcoming event, or to respond to a difficult mid term that has already happened.
Are you currently on a performance program? Remember, you must be on top of your game, and working all of the time. You might refer to BSJ 4/30/2011, Are You on A Sales Performance Program? Can You Beat it?
Remember, this is the mid-term, and there is some time left to get goals, but you must do something different, or the results will be the same. This post was from last July but applies now as much as any interm period.
Never give up!
If you are with a fairly large organization, you have probably recently experienced an interim or mid-term review. As trite as it sounds, you knew it was coming; yet it is one of the least enjoyable activities for a sales professional. Having someone tell you where you stand in comparison to a goal that you had no choice but agree to.
Historically, that is the nature of sales. Review Black Sales Journal – 1/10 Preparing for the Performance Appraisal that discusses the performance appraisal process and the sales professional. These points are applicable here, yet I am highlighting “what is after the interim appraisal” as a result of the urgency getting on track, meeting goals, and having a successful last 5 months.
You Must Do Something Differently!
This is not an issue if you had a great interim review as you are on track, although you need to remain there. The problem comes when the interim or mid-term was problematic, exposing what even you have to agree are sub-par sales results and as a result low attainment.
When you are in that mode you have reasons to despair and frankly, I can tell you I have been there. It is a place that you don’t want to be as you are up against a clock (actually the calendar) and you know something has got to change, or you won’t be there down the road.
The real deal is that you might not be doing anything wrong, yet you might not be doing enough right. Something new has to be tried, and now is the time to do it. I will propose a few things that may help; yet you cannot stop the normal sales process while you execute them.
Those items are as follows:
- You must increase your prospecting effectiveness. It is a proper activity for even those who are having success. Please to refer to Black Sales Journal 2/10, Prospecting Tips For Black Sales Professionals. Making your prospecting activities most effective will include changing, yet it is still an activity that is basically short-term that will yield dividends.
- Reckon with the numbers game that prospecting represents. There is no doubt that there is a formula that successful prospecting continually requires. See this in Black Sales Journal 2/28, How Many Prospects Do You Really Need? You must know your success formula, and make it happen. The formula is different based on your own effectiveness. I might be able to make my numbers with fewer prospects, based on my own approach and characteristics.
- Continue to work hard. There is no magic in this statement. You can increase your effectiveness and recognize your prospecting formula and the numbers that make it work; yet you still can do more. Here is where you put it into high gear.
Here are some activities that you can do that you might not be doing right now:
- Utilize networking as a prospect source
- Use seminars as a prospecting tool
Networking – can be a very effective prospecting source. It does take work and some planning, yet proper networking will change the prospect base you are exposed to as well as create face-to-face opportunities for prospecting intimacy. I went deep in this topic in Black Sales Journal 2/21, Networking for the Black Sales Professional. Using networking effectively is possible in the short term and can be done while the normal prospecting activities continue.
Seminars – can be extremely effective. Done correctly, this activity can be more effective that networking, yet require more preparation, and potentially some resources. Black Sales Journal 3/24, Finding Prospects Though A Seminar gets deep into this activity that I am partial to. Now to make this activity work, you do need to have a group that has some has some commonality in buying habits, product needs, industry type, or other characteristics just as the 3/24 post describes. Once you pull a group together like this, and deliver a message a message with value, you will potentially have followers, prospects, and some customers that you may never have been exposed to. It would help to be an expert, or regarded as one, yet not necessary. If you are not an expert, you should engage one to speak to your group, and as is described in the post, keep meticulous records and do not let anyone in, or out, without their contact information, especially their email.
These are tactical activities. They do not replace normal prospecting but can supplement that activity. You cannot make it in sales without prospecting and need to face that important issue if you have problems there.
Prospecting is the price of admission to being successful sales professional. Prospecting Tips For Black Sales Professionals were designed specifically for up and coming Black sales professionals in recognition that if you are going to be in this profession, you will need them to smooth out the difficulties of sourcing prospects.
Be effective and prosper.
We welcome your comments. Reach me at Michael.Parker@BlackSalesJournal.com.