SASSY October Business Forum

Question: I have been a sales representative for my place of employment for almost five years. In the past, I have successfully met each sales goal personally and professionally but lately I feel as if I have plateaued. How can I raise my sale numbers and keep motivated?


Answer: Sales careers have many facets to them. Competition and the overall economy have a strong impact on success in sales. It is important to be useful to your customer and having a strong relationship with them will provide the best possible outcomes for the customer and yourself.

That being said, not everything will always go perfectly and according to plan. I have found that the best way to get out of a rut is to take a step back and look at the customers as a whole. Thinking critically about what you are doing on a day-to-day basis can help you uncover things that could be done differently. It’s important to consider, if what you are doing right now is not working, then it is necessary to change up your process.

The best start is to logically think about the all the opportunities you have in your sales territory. This will give you a bird’s eye view on your market and the larger scale thinking will help you determine what you have to work with.  After this analysis, it is best to target a handful of customers and determine what each one requires. This includes specifically considering each company, each contact and determining what you can bring to the table to make improvements.

Business is not given for any reason; it is earned because you have something different and better than they currently have. This could be a wide variety of reasons, some of which might be service, availability or price. Reeling the main focus down to five opportunities can help you direct your efforts and get back on the road to success. Focus strongly on the success you want to have with those five customers and don’t give up without trying every possible solution.

Once you have given it your all, reevaluate your success. If your personal judgment tells you an opportunity is lost, drop that one and add another to the mix. But, remember to keep your opportunities at an acceptable level, it is better to follow through and be successful with a few customers, than it is to have so many that they are unhappy.

The rule of a handful of opportunities should be used over and over again, after you have landed the business and got everything up and running, you can move to the next one. The most important goal in sales is to produce a profit for the company you work for and that can only be done if you have a good process and the drive to succeed.


Bio: As General Manager at Fastenal, Chad Haviland has worked the corporate ladder in the sales department. Earning his bachelor degree at Indiana University South Bend and majoring in marketing and advertising, Chad has a strong knowledge of the Michiana sales demands.