Article #58, June, 2007
3 Steps to Predict Your Sales Accurately
Have you ever figured out how many people you have to contact to get the sales you want? It is not as difficult as you might think.
Step 1: Determine your financial goal.
Once you have calculated how much money you want to make in a year, then you need to figure out how many clients it takes to add up to that number. For example, if you have decided you wish to gross $60,000 in a year, and each new client brings an average of $1,000, then you will need 60 new clients. Monthly, you would need 5 and weekly you would need at least 1.
Step 2: Your conversion percentage
How many sales meetings does it take to get one client? If it takes you 4 sales meetings to get 1 client, your conversion percentage is 25%. You convert one fourth or 25% of your prospects into clients.
This is a very important number. Hopefully, your conversion percentage has improved since you started your business. If you have had your business for less than two years, you might want to track how you are improving.
Step 3: Getting the appointment
This is probably the most difficult step. You need to determine how many people you need to contact in order to get each sales appointment. You will need your calendar for this one, and you may need to adjust how you calculate this depending on your type of business.
Basically, you need to look at your history. How many people did you come in contact with in the last 3 months, and how many sales meetings did you get? Consider formal networking in groups, informal networking (just meeting people in your everyday life), speaking engagements, internet advertising, print advertising, direct mail - whatever marketing strategies you are employing. The number of people you come in contact with is called 'exposures'.
Once you know how many exposures it takes to get a sales appointment, and what your conversion rate is, you can then know how much marketing you need to do in each strategy to get the gross sales you have projected. Using our example, let's say it takes 80 exposures to get one sales appointment. So, to earn $60,000 gross with an average new client bringing in $1,000, 60 clients would require 240 sales meetings (60 x 4) and to get 240 sales meetings, you would need 19,200 exposures (240 x 80).
Continuing with our example, if you are using advertising, you would not need to advertise in many publications to achieve these numbers. If you are only relying on networking, these numbers might be daunting!
The next step is to put all of this information on your business plan and use it! Look at your business plan a minimum of once a month to keep yourself on track. This system will eliminate much of the uncertainty about making enough and achieving your financial goals!