## Friday, March 20, 2009

### “X” Percentage: The Foundation Element of Prospecting

There are many ingredients that go into producing a successful prospecting system. Perhaps the most fundamental is an element that The Prospecting People at Ekstrom & Associates have dubbed, “X” Percentage. Understanding this one concept can give you the motivation to do the few simple things to increase sales revenues and drive greater profits to your bottom line. When you understand the “X” Percentage you can begin to realize the full potential of your business.

“X” Percentage is a simple and basic thought process:

Whatever product or service you represent some percentage of your prospects, or “X” Percentage, will buy this year. It doesn’t matter what you sell, it doesn’t matter the times or the economy, the fact is there will always be some percentage (“X Percentage”) of prospects ready to buy, or in the market place at any given time. It might be insurance, software, houses, cars, envelopes, furniture, tractors, whatever. “X” Percentage of the prospects within your sales territory will buy this year. It is a wonderful concept, one that will make you rich if you truly understand and use it. As the late Paul Harvey used to say, “Here is the rest of the story!”

“X” Percentage will also buy next year and the year after, and the year after that. “X” Percentage is perpetual and self-renewing. It’s just a fact. In times of expanding economies prospect buy more. In times of contracting economies prospects buy less, but on average “X” Percentage will always be ready to buy.

Armed with that knowledge you can get rich. Here’s how.

What portion of the X Percentage would you like to sell? Grab a piece of paper and write down answers to the following questions.

1. Whatever product or service you represent, how many units were sold last year? You don’t have to 100% accurate for this to be a valuable exercise. You can refine your answer to whatever degree of accuracy you want later. For now, just go ahead and jot down your answer and label it number 1.

2. Of the amount you wrote down and labeled number 1, how many unites did you or your organization sell? Write down that number and label it number 2. By performing a little simple arithmetic can calculate your market share.

3. Subtract number 2 from number 1. The resulting number represents the number of units your competition sold. Write that number down and label it number 3.

Now, what was your closing ratio? If you got in front of 100 prospects and sold 25, you have a 25% closing ratio. Write the amount of your closing ratio down and label that as number 4.

4. Divide the number of units your organization sold (number 2) by your closing ratio (number 3). The resulting number represents the number of prospects you got in front of last year. Write that number down and label it number 5.

5 Subtract number 5 from number 1. The result represents the number of deals you did not get in front of last year. Write that number down and label it number 6.

6 Multiple number 6, the number of deals you did not get in front of last year by number 4. The result represents the number of additional unites you would have sold had you gotten in front of the prospects you didn’t get in front of.

Prospecting is the key to getting in front of the prospects you didn’t get in front of last year.

More sales are lost because of failure to prospect than through the failure of any other step in the sales process. By failing to optimize prospecting … businesses and the salespeople that work for them deny themselves the sales opportunities … sales revenues and profits that would have otherwise resulted. We unconditionally guarantee that a failure to optimize prospecting needs never be an obstacle to you in growing your business and increasing market share again.

“X” Percentage, and what you can do with it, can begin to answer a lot of prioritizing and prospecting questions for you. Decide what your final number is worth to your organization and set your sites accordingly.