Sales Success Triangle

Professional musicians, those in the top 2% of their field, have internalized these three factors that have become a way of life:

#1) Practice – done alone; to focus on the rough spots and perfect technique.

#2) Rehearse – done with a group; to use what they have practiced in cooperation with others.

#3) Perform – solely for the audience. The intention is only to contact and connect, and convey their musical message to the public.

If they haven’t practiced for perfection, rehearsed for coordination and confidence, weaknesses show up in the rehearsal and the performance will definitely suffer.

The same is true in selling.

To reach the top in the sales profession, you have to do three things very well. These three elements are called the Sales Success Triangle.

It is made up of three corners, each of equal importance:

1. Practice

2. Drilling

3. Presentation

Practice and individual study is done alone until perfected. Drilling and group training is done by interaction with others to work out the bugs and get used to handling yourself under pressure. Presentation is for the audience exclusively.

PRACTICE – Practice in selling, means, to prepare by repeatedly going over your presentation by yourself, again and again, and not just working on what you already do well, but working on your rough spots until perfected.

I have found this quote to be a welcome reminder from Sir William Osler, The Father of Modern Medicine: “By practice alone you can become expert.”

Need to increase your confidence? The key is found in focused, disciplined practice. Then practice more and more again. Ideally, to get your presentation down perfectly, you have to do it at least 1,000 times – and do it correctly until it becomes part of your DNA, totally your own, natural and effortless.

And if you need further motivation to practice, here is something from Arnold Palmer, world famous golf immortal and highly successful business executive. “It’s a funny thing, the more I practice, the luckier I get.

DRILLING– Sales training or drilling is like rehearsing for a performance. You go over your presentation with one or several others and you’re exposed to pressures that you don’t have with practicing alone. You have to act and react to unexpected situations presented by the people you’re drilling the presentation with.

Rehearsals provide a life-like situation but with a chance to stop and work on anything that needs work or correction so you can get your skills up to professional standards.

Sales training, drilling and rehearsing will expose the weak spots that you need to work on. Welcome them! Because if you don’t smooth them out now, they WILL show up in front of the client eventually. Remember that every time you get better at something, you also learn a way to make it even better.

Any time you run into a seemingly insurmountable challenge (and you will run into them), remember this quote by American poet, Robert Frost: “The best way out is always through.”

PRESENTATION – This is the real deal. You’re on your own in front of the public. It’s easy if you’ve done your homework with individual practice and group rehearsals. This is how you work your way up to true professional competence.

You will see your weak points and your strengths instantly as the client, prospect or group you’re talking to will let you know when you’re off the mark. The seasoned veteran professional has done this over 10,000 times.

Confidence in your presentation is built on practicing to perfection – and that comes from practice!

My experience shows that the drilling to presentation ratio is about 60:1.

This breaks down to one hour of preparation for each minute of presentation time. And in my experience, this is true!

Yes, this adds up to 60 hours of your disciplined attention to perfection in drilling your skills in communication, handling objection, unexpected situations and more, until they are thoroughly internalized.

Of course, once you have your basic fundamentals down cold, it takes far less time to give yourself a “tune-up” to be at the top of your game.

Your presentation reflects your company and your product or service as much as it does you alone, for better or worse. All of your practice and rehearsal training should be so well known that it is second nature by this time. Your attention must be on the audience, not your power point slide show.

The presentation is for the audience after all.  Your focus has to be on getting your message across to the people in front of you. If your practice and preparation have been done perfectly, you chances of pulling off a success are greatly increased!

Note that any increase or decrease in one of the three corners of the sales success triangle will affect the other two in the same way. If you increase your practice, your group training exercises will generally improve thus increasing the ease of your performance.

More time in front of the public, performing will show you what you need to practice or drill even more.

This quote, by Jim Rohn, American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker, summarizes my opinions on the subject:

“Take advantage of every opportunity to practice your communication skills so that when important occasions arise, you will have the gift, the style, the sharpness, the clarity, and the emotions to affect other people.”

Remember that you are the one in control of the outcome of your presentations and performances. It is the neophyte, the amateur, who blames a failure on his tools, the equipment, the audience, the location or anything else.

You are the one who can determine the outcome for better or for worse. Once you make this idea fully your own, things go much easier.

Using the sales success triangle will help you take the mystery out of mastering the art the salesmanship.

 This will enable you to successfully contact, connect, and convey your message to your customers.

daniel w. jacobs
© 2007-2030, all rights reserved


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