Sales is Just a Numbers Game

Sales is a numbers game, and I believe the number one reason salespeople struggle is because they simply aren’t engaging with enough potential buyers. They haven’t found the magic number for their industry.

When I talk about a magic number, I’m actually talking about a magic closing ratio, which on average is 5:1. That means for every five meetings with qualified prospective customers, you should normally close one sale. I’ve asked Chip Reihl to share his many years of experience in this numbers game we’re both familiar with.

In our industry – which encompasses copiers, printers, managed print services, document management and more – you’re pretty successful if you close seven equipment orders each month. Using the 5:1 ratio, you can do the math. That mean’s you’ve got to meet with at least 35 different prospects per month.

Of course, to get qualified prospects, you’ve got to do more math – and lots more calling. It takes about 23 “cold calls” to get one qualified prospect. So, if you need 35 prospects, you need to make a little over 800 calls. That sounds a little scary, right? Thank goodness for division because, over the course of 20 working days per month, that breaks down to only 40 calls per day. That’s a much more manageable number.

Then, if you’re doing well and want to take your game to the next level, simply tighten up the ratio. If you know your territory well, you probably have a good feel of who needs what the soonest. So, set up your calls in that manner. This normally will improve your success rate dramatically and may give you the option of making fewer calls and maintaining your present level or pressing on to a new level of success.

The numbers game is, in my opinion, the best way to work a sales territory and avoid the peaks and valleys of success that sales representatives often see. When you have frequent contact with potential buyers, you come away with four key benefits:

  • You are better at uncovering customers’ pain points.
  • You know how to solve those pain points with your products and services.
  • You improve your phone skills and your closing techniques.
  • You make future sales that much easier for yourself.

All around, I’d call that a win-win formula!

Headquartered in North Canton, Graphic Enterprises is a leading Northeast Ohio supplier of Konica Minolta copiers, printers and service.