Friday, September 16, 2011

Backpack Sales

I’m just returning from my backpacking trip in the Northern Sierra Mountains. I know a perfect vacation involves forgetting about everything in the real world, but I started thinking how much a sales process is like backpacking.

In backpacking, what you can carry is all that you have. You can’t have an unlimited amount of clothes, or food. Everything is carried on your back. If you want more food, lose the jacket, or carry more weight up to the point you can’t move. Sales is the same. You can only carry so many “things” at a time.

Are you cold calling 8 hours a day? No time left for closing calls. Going to trade shows? Hard to prospect. So when is the last time you emptied your sales backpack out on the floor and looked at everything you are carrying on a daily basis?

After every backpacking trip I evaluate what I took with me. Did I use it? Was it helpful? Was it too heavy for its worth? Only by doing this evaluation can I use the items that work, and make way for new items that might work better.

You need to do the same in your sales process. Discover how much you can carry. Discover what items you are carrying actually work. Discover what new items you should be using, and when it is all said and done, take a hike!