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True Sales Tales: Hitting that Sales Target

In sales, we all have targets or objects we’re aiming for or trying to exceed. Here I’ll share the very biggest target challenge I ever faced up to–and met–in my 20 years as a sales trainer and 50-plus years in sales.

In Dubai several years ago, I met with the CEO of a major land development company. They were seeking my help in getting them back on target. It was late September, and their year-end target (December) was US$ 5.7 billion (yes, that’s billion, with a “b”). Their sales at that point in the year were at $ 2.4 billion, which meant they hadn’t even made 50 percent of their target.

I asked them what they wanted specifically from me, and they replied, “A day or two of sales team training to get them back on target.”

I replied, “Why don’t you just give me $ 25,000 and we will call it quits?”

The CEO didn’t understand my meaning.

I explained that they would be wasting their money. A day or two of training would not change anyone. To change attitudes, behaviors and competencies, sales training has to be continuous or an ongoing process with management coaching.

I stayed to conduct two days of training—on the condition that the CEO follow up with the participants in the following two weeks, as they needed to decide on continuing the sales training or not. If the feedback was positive and they wanted to continue, I would provide him with a draft proposal for an annual ongoing sales training program.

Two weeks later he requested a proposal that became a 30- to 50-day agreement with some very rewarding terms— a story on how to engage buyers on price and terms I’ll reserve for another time.

In November, they invited me back to Dubai where I committed to work with them on a 30-50 day annual plan to train their sales teams on the “Buyer Focused” Velocity Selling System and to create a “Winning Sales Culture” within the organization.

The challenge: I had less than 60 days to help them more than double their $ US$ 2.6 billion sales to US$ 5.7 billion.

I learned that a large sale was considered selling a whole floor of a building.

Early in week two, I sat down with the CEO and suggested selling buildings instead of floors. Their immediate response was that it would be impossible—a word I like hearing, as it motivates me to prove them wrong, for I believe nothing is impossible.

Six buildings were quickly identified, priced, and six reps selected. Together, we analyzed the database and identified all high-end (A) buyers, matching buyers up by country, language and other criteria to each sales rep.

Each sales rep also became an expert in one building and a strong team with clear direction was created. At the end of the second week, I left them to implement that plan while being an e-mail or telephone call away.

In less than six weeks, before year-end, the team exceeded the sales target of $ 5.7 billion. The rest was history!

I facilitated it and they did it! That is what bottom line results is all about.

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