Ken Norton broke Muhammad Ali’s jaw.
He was one of five fighters to have ever beaten Ali, arguably, one of the greatest athletes in the last decade.
Norton attributed his success to Napoleon Hill’s motivational book “Think and Grow Rich”, a book he claimed to have read over 100 times. And the lesson he learned was that if he wanted something, he had to focus his entire mind to it.
By focusing his efforts, he was able to beat Ali, something many thought unimaginable.
Unlike Norton, many of us can’t focus when we are prospecting for new business.
Most of us are constantly interrupted throughout the day
If it isn’t fulfilling requests by colleagues, then it’s creating group sales reports, replying to a hundred plus emails, returning phone calls etc.
In fact, according to an an article in Time Magazine by Wendy Cole, we are interrupted 56 times from what we are doing each day! And what do we do when we are interrupted?
We lose focus
And before we know it, the day has gone by and not a sales call has been made. And yet, that is what we are paid to do on a daily basis. Rather than let distraction get in the way, we need to start blocking out time to make sales calls.
Instead of getting sidetracked with other things, we need to isolate ourselves from these distractions and the only way to do that is to set aside a dedicated amount of time every day to prospecting. The kind of time where your sole focus is to make more sales. Where your energy is focused on making calls to new clients or strengthening relationships with old ones.
Ideally, two hours a day is what you want to use to prospect
It does not have to be straight. Try breaking it up into two separate one hour sessions. Use the morning session for actual sales calls when you are fresh and use the afternoon one to follow up on previous sales calls, build relationships with past group leaders, and for researching groups to call the next day.
Doing so will break up your day and will allow you to focus on making the sales calls that are so necessary to the success of the hotel.
Blocking out this kind of time has two big advantages
The first is that you will actually make the calls that you need to make. And your sales will soar. You’ll end up calling (and following up with) dozens of prospects that you would not have called otherwise, and your sales will improve significantly.
The second advantage of blocking out time is that it will make you a much better salesperson. This kind of focused attention to one task will let you hone your skill set, making you better every time you practice it. And that deep practice will make you faster and better at selling to prospects. Over time, you’ll find a greater percentage of your calls will lead to sales.
But neither of these advantages will come to fruition if we let ourselves get distracted
During the time we have dedicated to prospecting, let’s close our email, social networks, and even our office doors. Silence our phones (cell phone too), and post a sign at the door saying “calling new customer, are you sure what you want is more important?”
Once we are in a vacuum of sorts, then we are ready to start calling.
Initially, you’ll notice that two hours might be too much time
After all, none of us has that long a list of people to call every day. But over time, you’ll find that the two hours will fly by rather quickly. As you call more people every day, your list of follow up calls will get longer. As you add new sources of research, you’ll find more and more prospects that need to be called.
And finally, as you get better at engaging prospects, you’ll find your conversations will get longer. Before you know it, your two hours will be up. And you’ll dread having to go back to filling out reports or some other mundane task that is part of the job.
But what if you don’t have two hours a day to prospect
With the recent economic strife, we have all seen cutbacks, even in the sales department. And that has left many of us to do far more than we used to have to do before, leaving little time for serious prospecting. But we need to find the time nonetheless.
Sales is the lifeblood of the hotel. Every year, we’re losing 25% of our groups to competitors, different cities etc. And we need to find a way to replace that business before our numbers start to decline.
In summary, we should avoid making sales calls when we can
Instead, we should put aside a dedicated amount of time every day. Make this time non-negotiable and let colleagues know it too. Doing so will remove the distractions that get in the way of making sales calls, allowing you to focus. And that kind of focus will allow you win lots of group business.
And a fight or two in the ring too.
What should you do next?
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