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Conor Kenny on increasing your sales revenue

Selling has not become harder; most sales people today are simply ill equipped, out of shape and in the wrong job. Harsh words, but true: I meet them every working day.

The starting point for successful selling is being in the right job! Ask a sales person what they do for a living and I bet they answer "marketing". Why? Because, for many, sales is not something they really want to do.


The first step is to recruit people who want to sell by testing their track record and ability. To succeed in selling you have to be highly agile, mobile and articulate. Passion is fundamental to success because it drives persistence. In other words, passion ensures that failure is not an option.

Next, you have to know who you want to talk to and why. The fatal conversation opener, "how are you today Mr. Kenny?" may quickly elicit a sarcastic, "thank you my friend, I'm in a very dark place but I'm so glad you care." ... Just get to the point because I know you're selling and that's ok. Wasting my time is not.

The cardinal sin tends to occur at this point: there is no immediate engagement or benefit for the customer – you must benefit me first, yourself second. Crack that and you are half way to making sales.

Recently, I was asked by the GM of a very fine hotel to develop a detailed strategy for them. I refused. He was shocked and asked why. Earlier that week I was in the bunker sales office where four attractive 30-somethings were sitting amidst pink balloons celebrating a birthday. It was 3pm on a Tuesday. I was back again the following week and the same four were pouring over a newspaper cutting with their photo in it.

I turned to the GM and said, "here's your one month, high performance, turbo charged strategy. Are you ready? Those four people out, every day for the next week. Three calls in the morning to lapsed customers, one in the afternoon to an existing customer and two to potential customers. That's 30 calls per person, per week, times four people is 120 meetings, or 6,000 per annum."

He got it. They did it. They had a record year.


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