What's your sales universe?

By Robert Van Arlen

Senior Advisory Group

Every salesperson has a sales universe. That universe consists of people and activities; the people that can affect any aspect of the sale, and activities necessary to make and maintain the sale. It all intertwines into a pretty complex model.

Most sales organizations have their sales team focused on finding the sale, building the relationships, being the touch-point in the relationship for growing business, and insuring that if supported by a service organization, this team has all the vital resources they need to support the sale.

Everyone has a comfort zone
As I've worked with teams throughout the country it's been interesting to see how they've answered the question, "what's your comfort zone?" It is something that is easily identifiable. Most salespeople enjoy some aspect of the sale, but when I ask the question, "what is one activity that will take you out of your comfort zone?" the leading response I receive is "networking."

Dynamic networking
Networking today is local, regional, national and global. Some salespeople need to master it all to become more effective. Social media, Skype, Go-to-Meeting and other resources provide a platform to build networks of resources that extend beyond local. Larger companies have platforms within their organizations to encourage internal networking. Social media sites have taught us the power of using our network to network.

On a local stage, this can also be accomplished in two ways. First, find a group that sells to your customer and work with them to identify lead sources you may be unaware of. You also have to be willing to be a resource for your group. Secondly, in every place you frequent — for instance, a restaurant — make sure everyone understands, without a shadow of doubt, what you do and what will help you grow. In other words, get to know everyone in your universe including but not limited to the Starbucks team, favorite restaurant, dry cleaners, church, softball team — I think you get the point.