Dec 20, 2001

How Many Demos is a Full Day's Night?

Recently, several salespeople and managers told me they don’t believe a reasonable person can average a minimum of two demos per day as we recommend on our recorded training videos. Are we leaving out important practical considerations? This article will take a look at this issue and help you make this important decision. Your financial success is determined by the decisions you make, so choose wisely.

Written Commitments
The foundation of any individual or company that achieves greatness is a written commitment to daily activity. If you are just waiting for the phone to ring, or aimlessly drifting through your days, you will never achieve your true potential. You must have a plan for how many people you intend to contact each day and how many demos you intend to do each day. Finally, you must have a plan for what you will do if you fall behind your goal. Will you work extra hours? If you could average two demos per day, your income would soar to $1,330 per week. A salesperson’s commission is directly tied to the number of demos he performs for his daily committment. If you want to reach your production goals, you must write them out, commit to them and be prepared to do what it takes to achieve them. If you want to make a lot of money, take a moment now to make a commitment to increase the number of demos you average each day.

Where Do I Get The Prospects?
This article is not about prospecting techniques. The fact is, we all know ways to find more demos, but many of us are reluctant to "get our hands dirty and start digging." If you use only one technique, you can more than double your income. Every time you go to a demo, get there early and call on nearby homes to ask if you can do a demo or pick up a water sample. Most salespeople who are struggling with their demo average know many prospecting techniques they do not use.

Fuzzy Borders
One recent problem has been the fuzziness of the borders between business and personal matters. Honestly look at your past performance and ask yourself if you are making a full time effort. Many salespeople come in a bit late, leave a bit early and stretch that long weekend. Remember that very few people in any industry make the big bucks without working long hours. I recently was visiting a client who has eight salespeople. Each one has a cellular phone, which doubles as a radio. At 3:00 on a Friday afternoon, we paged each of them to see what they were doing. Seven had their phones shut off. One was at home "planning his calls for next week." Not one was doing a demo or prospecting. Remember that your time is valuable. If you want to make $75,000 this year, you need to make about $36 per hour. Every hour you spend not selling, costs you $36.00. If you weren’t digging for four hours today, that cost you almost $145.00.

The Numbers
The numbers don’t lie. Let’s assume it takes a generous two hours to do a full demo including drive time. If you work a standard eight-hour day, you have time to do four full demos including drive time. I know we all have paperwork, call backs, financing, etc., so I am not saying you will do four demos each day. However, if you are averaging one demo per day, realize that you are only selling for 25 percent of your time. We believe no matter how you slice them, the numbers say an average of two demos per day is the minimum a full time salesperson should achieve.

How Much Is A Demo Worth?
How much you earn is directly proportional to how much you demo. If you close at the same rate as the national average, that means one out of three buy from you. If an average purchase is $400, that means you make $133 every time you demo. If you average one demo per day, you would make $665 per week. If you could average two demos per day, your income would soar to $1,330 per week. Your income is directly tied to your ability to do a good number of demos each day.

Sample Day of a Top Producer
How do top producers do it? Let’s take Bob as an example. Bob works from about 12 noon to 10:00 p.m. on weekdays. He takes Sunday and Monday off and works a full day on Saturday, becsause it is a good time to catch couples at home together. Each day, Bob spends the first hour he works calling on a local business. He does this on his way into work and completes one demo for a POU cooler before he gets in. Today, Bob has one appointment from a phone-in at 6:00 p.m. He does some paperwork and sends out 25 postcards. He drops off a soap package to a customer. While he is there, he goes to two neighbors and picks up a water sample to test. It is now 3:00, so he knocks on doors and picks up water samples for an hour. He gets eight samples. At 4:00, he calls people he had water samples from and gets an appointment for 5:00 p.m. He arrives 15 minutes early for his 6:00 p.m. appointment and calls on three neighbors. He gets one water sample and one appointment for 7:30 p.m. Bob has done four demos that day and has lots of bottles and prospects for tomorrow. Sound like a lot of work and a lot of digging? It is, but look at the results. Bob will easily make more than $100,000 this year.

Why Do Many Achieve So Little?
Why do we settle for so little? The fact is you can make a living without digging and without pushing. Many of us are happy with that. Also, many managers do not push their teams to achieve and are happy with whatever comes in on its own. We have to realize that none of us have achieved any difficult goal without pushing ourselves and working hard each day. The good news is, the potential is there for good salespeople and managers to make a lot of money in our industry if they only will set their goals high, concentrate on the number of demos they do each day and have a plan for what to do when they fall behind.

About the author

Carl Davidson is the president of Sales & Management Solutions, a consulting firm specializing in sales & management video training and live seminars. He is the author of several books including Secrets of Accountability Management. His articles are read by more than 60,000 sales professionals monthly. Send comments on this article to him at [email protected]. For a free demonstration video and list of products and topics, call 800-941-0068.