Closing : Give Yourself a Raise

One of the great things about being in sales is that if you want a raise all you need to do is sell a few more accounts. Most of us are on commission or bonus based on performance. So perform if you want a bump up in take home pay.

Where’s Wally World Record (where you there?)

Where’s Wally World Record (where you there?) (Photo credit: infomatique)

How about the rest of the working world? They are not so lucky. These days companies treat raises like Waldo. You can’t find one. No matter how hard you work, no matter how good you are at your job, most workers are stuck at their pay grade with minimal raises.

Back in the day, I worked for a guy who had a unique approach to the annual review. He was not a big talker. At the appointed hour you would walk into his office. The door closed behind you. The Manager’s desk was swept clear of every scrap of paper. The Exec would lean back in his chair and look at you sleepily over his bifocals. After a couple of minutes of uncomfortable silence, he would slowly lean forward in his chair and lean across the desk towards you. In his right hand was a scrap of folded white paper. He would push the paper over to you and wait. You were expected to pick up the paper and unfold it. Inside was scribbled a number that was your raise. You were expected to acknowledge the raise, mumble some thanks and walk back out the door. No discussion necessary for your annual review. The funny thing was the raise was always a generous one.

Here are three things you can do today that will help you make a sale, bump up your commission and give yourself a raise:

1. Sell more to your existing clients. This is the easiest and quickest way to make another sale. Look at your current clients. Can they use more of what you are currently selling to them? Is there another buyer within the company you should approach? Is there another product your company carries that would be a good fit for your client? Anyone of these questions may uncover an opportunity to grow your business and your commission with your existing clients.

2. Reactivate Old Clients. Check out your list of old clients. Someone’s name should pop out on that list. There will be plenty of old clients that no longer need your product or moved on for a good reason. But I bet there are several old clients on your inactive list that have not ordered because you have asked for the business. Pick up the phone or get in the car. Get in front of these clients and do what you can to get them active again.

3. Sell to new clients that look a lot like your existing clients. Take a look at your current client list. Who are you successfully selling to these days. Big companies or Mom & Pop’s, logistics companies, retailers, the chemical industry, food service? Leverage your success with one industry and start calling on everyone in that business who is in your territory. When you drop a name or two off your current client list to establish your credibility, people within the industry will be impressed.

Take advantage of the opportunity you have with a career in sales. A little more effort, a little more success and you are rewarded for your efforts. Not everyone is so lucky.

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