Sunday, January 24, 2016

Selling In the Semi-Retired State

The balance between retirement and 'semi' (meaning the amount of time I still work) has been a work in progress. But after the exploration and rejection of full retirement after our fall travels, I have been much more at peace with the chosen path. This has led to a refocus (within acceptable limits) on the disciplines necessary to get business.

So it was with interest that I read daughter #3's recent post on the selling environment of her soon to former employer and her new employer and I reflected on how certain sales management and sales process fundamentals are the same whether you have a sales staff of thousands or you are the sales staff. Among those fundamentals are that sales is a process, you have to do the work (make the calls, have the meetings), you have to measure what you're doing, you have to analyze what you measure, and you have to be accountable.

Last year as I was going though the transition, I was a bit sloppy with many of these fundamentals. Fortunately I had enough momentum from past years that with what I did do enough came in for me to produce more than what I had hoped. I did keep the most important metrics however and I was able to the kind of analysis I've done for many years. It was very encouraging in that the basic relationship between developing leads, prospects, proposals, and sales had remained constant even with the lower total activity. So I've been able to set some targets for my basic sales variable - networking meetings - with a good degree of confidence.

What is most evident since November is how I conduct my meetings. For one thing I am definitely lighter (meaning my attitude and spirits). I just have confidence that my system works and I don't have to have this to survive so I don't feel so intense about things. Therefore, most of my meetings are about the person I'm with (though I must admit a lot of people I meet with are curious about how I manage the semi-retirement mode successfully). Bu ant I always close my meetings, the last 10 minutes or s, with my pitch...this is what I'm looking for and these are the conditions that will tell you when you should bring me in. And I am very unabashed about doing it...something that was not always the case earlier on in my career.

It also helps that I am much more selective about the work I want to do which makes it much easier to explain, and as I don't need the income I needed when working full-time I can be much more flexible in structuring a service and payment scheme that people will buy.


Renee Michelle Goertzen said...

It's so interesting to me to read about you and AinA talking about selling. That's not something I do very much in my job, so I like learning about it. (I almost said that I do no selling, but there is an element, however small, in any job, of convincing people that doing what you suggest will help them. I assume that's part of selling, and I do that."

alexis said...

better late than never! But it was really good this weekend to talk about it and remind myself too of the basics. The new place is really focused on that sort of measuring and discipline and I'm looking forward to that kind of environment. I wonder if it has become something of a rarity these days!