By Lloyd Lofton
How do you develop a six-figure income in a reasonable amount of time? You start by breaking it down to a math problem, and then managing the formula.
So what is the formula?
Sales Energy = ½ mass of context times velocity (belief and delivery)
The formula can be broken down to the mass of the content of sales training to which you expose yourself, and both your belief in yourself and the consistent execution of what you learn.
To do this, you need a plan to build a six-figure income and a seven-figure business.
The goal is to create $100,000 in annual income.
This is $8,333 dollars a month ($100,000 divided by 12 months). That’s the goal, right?
That breaks down to $2,000 a week ($8,333 divided by 4.3 weeks in a month). That’s the plan, right?
This means you need to make $400 dollars a day ($2,000 divided by 5 workdays in a week). This is the result of your target activity necessary to accomplish your goal, isn’t it?
So now you need to decide what primary product you can help people buy that will make you $400 dollars a day.
It may be a primary product and an ancillary product. But you must make sure it is the product that 80 percent of your prospects are most likely to buy, not just the product you want to sell or the product you think your prospects should buy.
Now that you have chosen the primary product and ancillary product that you will sell each day, it’s time to put a plan together to ensure you have enough activity to put you in front of enough prospects to hit your daily target.
Here is a sample week’s activity plan.
|What you can’t control||Monday||Tuesday||Wednesday||Thursday||Friday||What you can control|
|Product||Phone||8 a.m.||8 a.m.||8 a.m.||Follow-up||Phone calls|
|Price||all||10 a.m.||10 a.m.||10 a.m.||activity,||Appointments|
|Service||day||1 p.m.||1 p.m.||1 p.m.||sales,||Presentations|
|until||3 p.m.||3 p.m.||3 p.m.||reports||Closes|
|you have||6 p.m.||6 p.m.||6 p.m.|
|15 appointments||5 appointments||5 appointments||5 appointments|
Let’s look first at the list of things you can't control, in the left column of the chart.
Can you control the product the carrier markets, or the product features or how the benefits are paid?
No, of course not! You can choose whether to market a particular product but you have no control over the product.
Can you control the price of the product or how premiums or billed or collected?
No, of course not! You can choose to offer the product to the prospect at the price set by carrier but you have no control over how that price is determined or how the premium is collected.
You have no control over the service you or your customers receive from the carrier. You can control whether you will do business with the carrier, knowing the service you or your customers will receive, but you have no control over the service that is provided.
Now let's look at what you can control.
You can control how many phone calls you make each week to schedule appointments. You have complete control over that entire process, from the leads, list and telemarketers you use to the script, pitch, voice, tone and consistency of your message. You can track your progress in such a way that you develop metrics that tell you that you set one appointment for every eight phone calls or 10 phone calls you make. In fact, the more you do this the more appointments you will set.
You have total control over how many appointments you run by the number of appointments you set and the number of appointments to which you show up. I've heard salespeople complain that they had a "no-show" or they complain about a lead vendor because the prospect was a "no-show,” when the truth is the salesperson just did not have a plan. They did not have enough appointments in the area they were working with fill-in neighborhood prospects (those who said, “I want to think about it,” “Call back later,” “Mail me something”) to make it worth their while to spend time in that area. The salesperson drove all the way to the appointment, banking their income for that day on that appointment turning into a sale. They overlooked the law of large numbers, which says more people say no than say yes. Or they stopped prospecting because they scheduled a phone call at a certain time then didn't get an answer and had nothing else scheduled to cover this time. I have not had a "no-show" in 30 years. I show up every time! I have my prospect, direct mail and neighborhood leads available, so if I'm the only one who shows up for an appointment, I have other places to go - that's just good business.
Then you can control the full presentations you make by having a plan to qualify people at the start of the sales process. You can choose to make a full presentation only to those who meet a predetermined definition of a qualified prospect. You can have a strategy for your presentations and you can improve your presentations by evaluating each one to determine what you can do differently on the next call. You can't go back and redo a presentation but you can improve on the next one.
Three things can happen when you make a presentation. You can show an immediate profit by making a sale. You can show a loss if you did not make a sale. Or you can create a deferred return, which would include getting a referral, being asked to call back or having to come back for a second appointment.
Finally, you control how many closes you make each week by how many presentations you make each week. Even if you close a sale in your first appointment, you have total control over how many closes you have for the week by continuing to stick with your activity plan and complete the 15 presentations as listed in this sample plan for the week. Moreover, the more presentations you make the better you get, the better you get the more closes you will have.
So, if you want to make more – get better!
In this example of a weekly activity plan, you ran 15 appointments for the week and you had a 10 percent closing rate. This resulted in 1½ sales a week, which you divide by your average commission to equal the amount of money you earned this week.
The things you can control are the things you need to focus on.
What are the variables?
- The number of calls you will make. How many calls do you make before you get an appointment? Is it a 10:1 ratio? An 8:1 ratio?
- The number of presentations you will make. How many presentations do you make before you get a sale. Is it a 5:1 ratio? A 3:1 ratio?
Now, let’s say you want to focus on improving just one thing, your closing rate, for example. If you improve to a 20 percent closing rate, then you move from 1 1/2 sales a week to three sales a week.
What will that do to your earning? You will make more money! So if you want to make more – get better!
Focus on the things you can control, develop a weekly activity plan and keep falling forward.
Lloyd Lofton is president of the Senior Insurance Marketing Association. Lloyd can be contacted at [email protected].