from the CEO of Prospects International
Dearly Beloved Piano Dealer Principals, Sales Managers and Sales Associates,
I beg you to listen to this appeal if you are not 100% engaged in using the color-
coding feature in PianoLeads 2.0 or a color-coding system inside your CRM of
choice. YOU ARE LOSING MONEY!!!!!!
Why should my opinion be considered? Because using color coding over the past
three decades I have sold well over thirty million dollars’ worth of advertisement
to every business type and personality type known to man. Color coding has
allowed me to stay on task, organized and outsell ladies with prettier legs than
mine (that’s most of them) and men with more talent and education. I outperformed
many impressive salespeople when I was at Cox Communications simply by
employing some fundamentally sound selling methods. Color coding is a
foundational method and has been a way of life for me during a long and fruitful
career. I implore you strongly to consider it your new best friend.
Here is a fact to support my statement: from my dashboard at LeadFlow central I
can see the sales associates nationally who are excelling, and a common
denominator is their proper use of color coding. When I survey the leads, I see so
many yellows which leads me to believe that many sales associates are not
disciplined enough to change the colors, don’t know when or do not believe in the
power of the color-coding process.
Here is a simple explanation of how best to use the colors – It is simply put, this
method is the stop light system.
Red is STOP… don’t waste any more time on the lead, consider it disqualified.
Green means GO! There is dialogue and a real possibility to serve this person at
some point in time. Continue deepening the relationship until it is in a close-able
state however long that takes. Yellow… proceed with caution but let me go
further, yellow is the enemy. A yellow means that you have not had any or
enough dialogue to qualify or disqualify that particular lead. A well worked
sampling of 100 leads should show these approximate numbers: 33 green, 33
red and 34 yellow.
Obtaining dialogue with online leads is a challenge but a necessity in our new
normal. You must earn the trust of a prospect enough to convince them to let you
be their concierge or after a determined number of attempts (of assorted flavors)
they need to be disqualified. There is no reason to have a funnel of leads that are
top heavy with yellow and for all of you managers this should be a major red flag
for you when monitoring your sales staff’s activity. The presence of too many
leads in the “proceed with caution” state is a negative development and the basic
motivation for this article.
I have two HUGE and succinct points to make that should bring this into focus and
hopefully make color-coding a priority in your sales life:
#1 I have interviewed, hired and trained hundreds of sales associates and seen
color coding take “struggling salespeople into the realm of survival, good
salespeople to better and great salespeople into superstars” … this segues into the
#2 The reason why is because of the psychological and organizational benefits of
the color coding. When a person who is dedicated to the color coding goes to work
and fires up their CRM the first thing when they go to work, they immediately
see the result of their past efforts. They see the blue leads which have been sold
and their conversion rate. This is a “first thing in the morning” positive
reinforcement that they really can sell!
The second thing they should see (if they have been on the program for a while) is
approximately thirty green leads which show promise and should be the first thing
they go to work on. THEY ARE ALL RIGHT THERE TOGETHER! The first things you
should pay attention to without sifting through a gazillion notes or numbers to
figure out where to get started. All right there together…green – GO! Go get’em.
The third thing they see are the yellows which as I stated are the enemy. They
need to be massaged into a status of red or green, so the associate knows
whether or not to spend time on them. This is the most difficult number to move
because dialogue with internet leads is a skill to be developed but bear in mind
that the yellow leads only need attention after you have thoroughly worked and
deepened your greens.
So, as you can see, color coding is both simple and genius. A stoplight and the
meaning of those colors are part of our social DNA and muscle memory. If you
focus on relationships and colors the sales will come. They, sales, are a by-product
of quality activity, how well you gain people’s trust, and how well you stay
disciplined to the method. A good sports analogy is coaching: if a coach installs
good fundamentals and chemistry winning is a by-product. If a teacher installs
good learning habits and is a catalyst for curiosity, higher learning is more readily
achieved. A profitable by-product of good sales fundamentals and focusing on
the colors is more productivity… more sales.
Understand this – digits and characters are NOT as well processed cerebrally by
non-analytical types than colors are. 80-20 rule invoked, most top performing
sales individuals are often good “people skills” performers and operate more-so
on emotion than specs which is also true of the majority of buyers. Colors evoke
emotion, digits and letter rankings don’t and people buy, and sale best based
upon on emotion and backed up with logic, not the reverse. Do you see the
compatibility here? I hope so because believing in colors can change salespeople’s
lives and yours as an owner or manager subsequently.
In summary: I wish I could offer this challenge. It is hypothetical and impractical
but loaded with truth. If we could pit two equally talented, knowledgeable and
motivated salespersons in competition “one with and one without” color coding
in their sales habits the one with the color coding would sell approximately 35%
more. I say this after serious experience and observation. I pray that as many of
you as possible will take the colors seriously and make it a selling “way of life” so
it can improve yours.
Since Prospects International provides our clients with many opportunities, I’ll
leave you with this quote: ‘It’s Not About Having the Right Opportunities. It’s
About Handling the Opportunities Right.’ ― Mark Hunter
P.S. My conviction to colors as CEO of Prospects International predates our first CRM,
PianoLeads 1.0 created in 2015. Here is one of the first articles ever posted to our website, the
heart and soul of which is still relevant: