Professionalizing the sales industry key to company success

Bill Gibson training at i-fundi Community of Experts event

Professionalising the sales industry key to company success

Sales is the life blood of every organization, yet as a profession it is still largely unstructured. According to international sales and marketing guru, Bill Gibson, professional selling involves continually walking into the world of uncertainty on a daily basis, certain of our success because we are practicing the winning habits, principles, skills, attitudes and processes of top sales professionals.


“As an organization passionate about vocational career development, we see the sales industry as a market ripe for development in terms of helping sales consultants and executives enter a ladder of learning and gain a professional qualification”, said i-Fundi CEO, Stefan Lauber, at last Friday’s Community of Experts at i-Fundi in Sandton.


During his energetic, three hour presentation to a packed audience, Gibson shared some of the sales and marketing secrets that he has successfully applied with clients in South Africa and North America. Captivating the audience with his humour and indepth knowledge gained from more than 40 years of sales experience, his tips on how to bust sales targets by finishing the year strong and starting the new year fast are gems for anyone in sales or account management.


Top 10 ‘Strong Finish’ tips before you leave


  1. Plan or review your day the night before: Plan your daily activities the night before & let your subconscious work on it while you sleep. That will start your day with momentum. Momentum is one of the keys to success. Flat out until December 15th.
  1. Early morning and late afternoon appointments: Having 7:00am appointments one or two days a week ensures a fast start (Momentum) and done weekly between now and year end could produce miracles. You could also include late afternoon (e.g. 5pm) appointments. Consider telephone appointments as well. “Can we set a telephone appointment for 7:30am?”
  1. Book two weeks in advance: For next week 70% of your appointments booked out by 4pm Thursday afternoon of this week and 30% booked for the following week (pro–active time). Try “telephone meeting requests.”
  1. Last call of the day: Just when you are about to “call it quits” for the day make one last phone call or personal visit. It can turn a slow day into a great day.
  1. Utilize “to do” lists daily: A Daily “To Do” list is a short term sales or business plan. Mark them off as you accomplish the “To Do’s.” It creates Achievement which creates Energy which in-turn creates Spirit. Also use “Not To Do Lists.” If you think it then “ink it.”
  1. Increase prospect and client visits or phone calls by 20% over the next 6 weeks: Logic says by increasing your visits or phone calls you will automatically increase your revenue and other vital results. Bust through your comfort zone. Track your number of calls. See the improvement.
  1. Set activities and results for the first two weeks of December: Do this to write as much business in two weeks that you would normally write in a month.
  1. Pre-set appointments for the new year before leaving: Set a minimum number of meeting commitments for the first 3 weeks of the new year.
  1. Have a specific list of clients ready to contact: Have this already prepared before leaving. Immediate momentum.
  1. Set sales targets before leaving: Determine the daily, weekly and monthly activities you will need in order to achieve the first quarter’s targets. Let your subconscious work on it while you are away.


Top 10 ‘Fast Start’ tips when you are back


  1. Database: Get your mind moving by sifting through your Data Base or contact lists on the first day back at work or before you actually officially start work.
  1. Welcome back: In the first few weeks set a goal to call as many past, present and future clients to welcome them back and wish them a great year while introducing a few new thoughts, ideas, etc. Ask for referrals.
  1. Bright lights: See clients immediately that are ‘Bright Lights’ or ‘Pleasurable People’ to be talking to and draw on their sincerity, care, energy etc. This can get your mind and your mouth moving. Be the “bright light” for others.
  1. Newness: Bringnewness’ into the New Year. New ideas, new avenues, new approaches, new opportunities, etc. Spice up the start of the year.
  1. Inspire yourself: Start your day with your inspirational books, motivational CD’s, bible, spiritual books etc.
  1. Keep the right company: Look at your circle of friends and acquaintances – do they motivate, feed and energize you or do they bring you down and demotivate and drain you? Invest more time with the first group. Surround yourself with people who help you grow and perform better this year.
  1. Wow service: Identify one client per week to WOW them with very special client service. Use this on your prospects and clients with most potential or those who are most wanted.
  1. Monitor your holiday stories: Avoid excessive time discussing ‘What You Did On Holiday’ with colleagues and even clients.
  1. Wall chart: Have your goals visible and let others see them so you have that extra incentive to reach those goals (It puts you on-the-line). Have your goals on a wall-chart, whiteboards etc. for a continual usable reminder. Have your targets in a visible place and have them displayed in such a way you can see your progress. It can be done through daily deduction from a total or through adding to it daily towards a goal. Immediately look for ways to work smarter not harder.
  1. The right focus: Which areas do you focus on:
  1. Focus on the right clients/prospects
  2. … with the right frequency
  3. … with the right database selling tools
  4. … with the right solutions
  5. … with the right timing
  6. … with the right presentation
  7. … with the right skills
  8. … with the right attitude



For more information on i-Fundi’s qualification in Sales and Marketing, click here.