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For Impact | The Suddes Group

Daily Nuggets: A For Impact Blog

Only 9.1% of Sales Meetings Result in a Sale

And, only 1 out of 250 salespeople exceed their targets! (I think that’s .4%!)

The Harvard Business Review published a tremendous visual of the 8 types of ‘SALESPEOPLE’. Check out how you can become an EXPERT (or at least a CLOSER or CONSULTANT).

How to Run a Sales Meeting Using a Sales Dashboard

Here is a format we use for sales meetings – for example, a weekly review of activities from the sales team.

  1. Update on activity:
    • Number of visits
    • Number of asks
  2. Update on productivity:
    • Number of commits / declines
    • $$ Committed

These metrics provide an objective dashboard that speaks volumes.

  • “What gets measured gets done.” – Tom Suddes (quoting 278 others)
  • It’s very easy to get sidetracked. Make it very clear (for yourself) and for your sales team that the first measurement will be number of times we got out of the office to go visit with people. Even without the perfect materials, we know (at For Impact) this will have a tremendous positive impact on your organization.
  • The dashboard creates accountability.
  • Following on the first point, if you’re a manager you can set goals with your team around number of visits/asks. This ties back to accountability and performance.
  • The dashboard points to what’s working and what’s not
  • Once we were working with an organization that was making 15 visits per week, but logging only a few commitments and declines. We were able to zero in on this and it turned out the staff wasn’t really asking. They were walking through the numbers and ‘hoping’ the prospect would select to give. We did another training session around ‘the last three feet’ and the numbers then improved.

    This is a pretty important point. You can deal with real issues as they arise – instead of planning and planning for months/years with no activity.

After the numbers we then review:

  • Status of Top Ten Prospects on the Master Prospect List
  • Specific Pending Strategies that need attention
  • Strategies for the Forthcoming week

Nick’s Note: It Takes 15 Visits to Hit Your Selling Stride

We coach and train organizations and individuals to sell … to sell their vision, their projects, their impact.

  • Sales is a 1:1 activity. It requires that we get out of the office and meet with people.
  • Sales is also the only way to truly maximize relationships.

I will often ask an executive director, “How many visits and asks (1:1) does your organization make each month?” More than any other statistic, this is a key performance indicator for an organization. Many leaders respond with something like, “Well, right now, none. We’re waiting until we finish our strategic plan.” Or, “About once per month but we’re really going to commit to major gifts in the coming year.”

Get out. Visit. Ask.

As coaches, we know it takes about 15 asks (over a three-month time period) from one person to hit ‘selling stride’… where a sales person is likely to keep making visits … revenue will jump … systems will start to form. On paper, 15 visits doesn’t look like a lot (and it’s not) but it requires:

  • That we stop messing with the message.
  • That we get out of our comfort zone. Otherwise, human nature would have us wait forever to make the FIRST visit.
  • That we get beyond the 2-3 ‘low-hanging fruit’ prospects … being proactive in a sales process.

If you’re new to this, your first few visits are going to feel awkward. You’ll find yourself saying really stupid things. Just know this and know that you have to do them to get them out of the way. Somewhere in the range of 6-10 visits you’ll start to ‘own the message’ and find yourself in familiar territory on each dialogue. And … by visit 15 you will find a groove. Each visit is no longer produces that ‘deer in a headlight’ feeling. Much like an experienced quarterback describes, the time seems to slow down and you get much better at processing on the fly.

For what it’s worth:

  • I feel really awkward on my first ten visits on behalf of a cause. Even having done this hundreds of times it takes me a while to find my groove.
  • It’s much easier to do three visits in one day than it is three visits in one-week.
  • Remember, be authentic and you can’t screw up. It’s okay to say, “This is the second time I’ve shared the plan in this way.”
  • If it helps, go ahead and make ‘practice visits’… these count toward the 15.
  • I’m suggesting it takes 15 visits for a person to reach his or her stride which impacts the organization as a whole. If you have two sales people then they each should make 15 visits to hit a stride.

OGs Note: Share the Story. Present the Opportunity.

Another one of those SIMPLE, but not EASY lessons.

STOP Asking for Money. (I did that 5,812 times.)


You’ll be amazed.

**Special Board Note: This could be the GREATEST LESSON to get your BOARD and VOLUNTEERS ENGAGED in your QUANTUM LEAP CAMPAIGN . Just ask them whether they’d rather:


Jeff Strine, one of our For Impact coaches, says it best:


It’s all about your vision. No more to be said.

Sales Process (A Visual)

Wanted to share this illustration of a customized sales process we did with a client. If you’ve been to a workshop you will recognize Predisposition > Present the Opportunity > Follow-up.

Though we originally made it for one client, we think it’s pretty near universal.

  • Leads feed into a PREDISPOSITION STRATEGY.
  • VISIT! Do Discovery and then Present the Opportunity … could be two visits or one but not more.
  • The GOAL is a big deal to me … if we can get them to say, “Wow, this is great, what can I do to help?” … then it’s not about cultivation, time or a chess-like gambit. It’s about communicating the ‘how to help’… now/today.
    If they don’t say, “Wow!” … then we effectively JUST ASK around the goal … and get permission to talk about the funding plan on the next (second) visit.
  • Follow-up – is a STRATEGY, not an ACTION ITEM.


Click on image to download a copy for your files.

Sales Requires People…Process…Performance

There it is. The ‘3 P alliteration’ that summarizes all ‘SALES’!

SALES SUCCESS is a direct result of combining your SALES PEOPLE with a

SALES PROCESS and then relying on them to PERFORM! (You need all three.

Two of three won’t cut it. One of three, close up shop.)

Note: Most ‘NFP’ orgs don’t know where to begin re: a SALES PROCESS. We’ve spent 30 years building and refining a SALES PROCESS.