Sales: keep in mind the 90-day rule

In sales and marketing, as in life, there are certain rules that hold true in most situations.

There is the 80/20 rule. He says that 80% of the results usually come from 20% of the activity you do. Or 80% of sales come from 20% of customers.

There is the assumption rule. It tells you that making assumptions will trip you up, that if you “assume” anything, you’ll end up making an ASS out of YOU and ME.

There is another guideline you should be aware of. It’s the 90 day rule!

The 90 day rule says that the success or failure you are experiencing today is not a result of the things you are doing today.

It is the result of the activity you were doing 90 days ago. Think about sales. You want to sell a product. You identify potential customers or clients and talk to some. After talking to a batch of his prospects, he builds up a small set of words to explain his product and gets to work. Initially, people show interest and request more information. You provide them with that initial information and start building a list of interested people.

At the same time, you keep talking to new people, new prospects. At the end of the first month, you have a list of interested people who are talking to you. It’s frustrating. At this stage there is all this activity, things happen, people talk, but the results seem out of reach.

Some people are buying. Some people are showing real interest. There are a lot of people who are interested. Things are starting to move. It’s happening, but the results just don’t match the effort you’ve been putting in.

You are working harder than the results justified.

By the second month you have a batch of clients. That gives you some success stories of people using your product. That means you have your original story, the words you put together to tell your story. You also have some results to validate what you’re saying. Words are good, but the results of your initial clients change your story, change your attitude, change your results.

Your business begins to gain momentum. Your results are more in line with the work you are doing.

In the third month you really start to see the results of your work. You have new clients, referrals arrive, everything is going well. The key to their current success is the work that was done early on to identify prospects and talk to a lot of people. That’s where the current success comes from.

You are building on the effort and success of month one and month two.

Your results come from everything you’ve done over the 90 days, and in most cases, by the end of those 90 days, you’re really starting to cook.

Things are happening. Your results are worth the effort and things are getting exciting.

The danger then is that you will stop doing the things you did to get where you are.

It’s easy to think that your current success will continue then. You’ve worked hard, things are happening, you can afford to relax a bit.

The most common mistake, the one that will really hurt your business, is to stop the basic activity that you did in the beginning. The “grunt” work that got you going is still needed to keep things going smoothly. You need to keep finding new prospects and keep talking to new people.

If you think you’ve done the work, if you think you can relax a bit and take it easy, then remember the 90-day rule. Keep doing the basics. Keep doing the same work you did at the beginning,

Take a day to rest and reflect, and then… Set yourself a new 90-day plan. Build on your success!

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