A commercial pilot is a highly qualified professional; they spend over 1500+ hours in training before they get their wings, and yet they still work off a checklist before take-off, so no stone is left unturned.
Why? Probably because 70-90% of incidents that occur in the workplace are attributed to human error, and in the aviation, industry there certainly isn’t much room for error. So, it’s no wonder they drag out the checklist every time they fly.
The same should go for sales. Yes, it’s not going to be a potentially life or death situation if there’s an error, but you want to get things right so that you can give yourself the best chance of success.
We use checklists for everything, especially daily prospecting. They are an incredibly powerful productivity tool that helps us organise and prioritise tasks into achievable, bitesize chunks.
Here’s an example of what your daily prospecting checklist might look like:
1. A list of proactive sales activities you know deliver results
2. Your “dream prospect” list of who to reach out to
3. A list of assets you can leverage as touchpoints, e.g. a PDF download, how-to guide, a webinar, a podcast, a free trial.
As you can see, we are huge fans of the checklist; we have one for almost everything, especially for our SMarketing campaigns. A significant number of inclusions go into generating a successful campaign, for example, social proof, a call to action, and a compelling headline. These are just three of the essentials and we use a checklist to ensure we don’t miss a beat!
The next thing we can learn from our pilot friends is when to use automation and when to go old school – manual.
Once they’re up in the sky, weather permitting, they can pretty much go into autopilot mode – thanks to the joys of technology. But if they’re trying to land in dubious weather, for instance, they certainly aren’t going to be using the autopilot landing manoeuvers, are they? (I sure hope not!)
So, the same goes for sales. There is a time, and a place when you should automate processes to increase efficiencies and productivity, e.g., the use of chatbots on websites, email automation – the list goes on. But in sales, there is also a need for human interaction at the right point in the sales cycle. This doesn’t have to be a face to face affair; it can be a phone call, an email, a chat over socials. Know the right time to reach out to your prospect and understand their preferred way of connecting.
And finally, the last piece of wisdom that commercial pilots can impart – no matter how experienced a captain, they never fly solo. They’ll always have a co-pilot who they are not afraid to lean on.
At Sales Redefined, we peer review A LOT! Every person in the business does it, including me. Yesterday, I peer-reviewed a prospect proposal with one of my team members, and she was able to add enormous value. For any critical proposal, make sure you lean on a colleague. I find when you’ve been ogling something for too long, you miss the minor details that count.
So, there you are, three essential lessons commercial pilots can teach us about sales.
Whilst we have you here, we have just the thing for you if you’re in 2022 planning mode. It’s our top 10 B2B Smarketing trends to drive business growth in 2022. It explores the most influential sales and marketing trends that will disrupt this year and shares relevant insights to help organisations stay ahead of the curve. Read it here: https://2022trends.salesredefined.com.au/top-10-b2b-smarketing-trends