Hungry for sales results?

Every salesperson should have their own ‘cookbook’ that provides the ingredients and the right directions to produce satisfying results

Recipes for success come in many different flavors, styles and portion sizes. Every salesperson with any measure of achievement has used a plan, an approach, a method and techniques that have produced positive results.

Great salespeople have their recipes for success that work every time they are consistently practiced. It’s crucial for every salesperson and sales leader to have their go-to “cookbook” that provides not only the ingredients, but the right directions that always produce satisfying results. 

Every sales cookbook needs to be unique to the salesperson using it. Think of it like this: Most chefs have favorite cookbooks within their libraries that they prefer over the others because the recipes suit their unique and preferred styles of cooking and, of course, their customers’ tastes. In the same way, one salesperson’s cookbook might not work so well for another salesperson with a very different personality and selling style. 

In essence, salespeople and their manager need to be the editor-in-chief of their own sales cookbook. It needs to be filled with directions for the right behaviors they need to keep practicing, as well as the ones that need further development.

What does a sales cookbook actually look like and how exactly is it used?

Your sales cookbook is derived from a combination of selling activities that have a method of tracking and measuring to determine the quality of your results. Culinary recipes specify precise quantities of ingredients, cooking temperatures and timing to produce pleasing dishes. Your recipes for sales success must include the right selling activities executed in the right quantities to consistently produce results that satisfy your CEO and shareholders.

Let’s break down a typical sales cookbook into some of the ingredients and instructions. First, what activities do salespeople need to consistently engage in week after week? Here’s a starter list:

• Attending networking events

• Cold-calling on the phone

• Walk-in cold calls and prospect visits

• Social media content and interactions

• Giving expert talks or seminars

• Referral partner meetings 

• Email newsletters

• Direct email messages

Now let’s say you’ve determined that five of the above activities work well for your individual style and target market. The next critical step is to apply tracking metrics to the activities and develop a formula that, when applied consistently, can be somewhat predictive of actual sales.

Always remember that, while no salesperson can control outcomes, what they can control is their behavior. They control their own actions, and only action can cause anything to happen – sale or no sale.

If your monthly sales goal is $50,000 and an average sale brings in $10,000, what will it take on average to make five sales per month? If you usually close deals from one out of every four prospect meetings, then you’ll need to book 20 meetings per month to hit the goal. So the question now becomes, what will it take to book those appointments?

Remember our list of ingredients/selling activities? Let’s presume we’ve determined our “fantastic five” are networking, cold calling, expert talks, direct emails and referral partner meetings. 

You can write your cookbook using combinations of proven-effective activities, i.e. behaviors that lead to satisfying results:

• If attending a networking event generates two appointments, then you can schedule attending four events to generate eight appointments.

• If for every 10 cold calls you get one appointment, then you can make 50 cold calls to generate five appointments.

• If when you give an expert talk you generate two appointments, then you can schedule two of them to make four appointments.

• If sending five direct emails nets you one appointment, then you can send 10 emails to generate two appointments.

• And if every four referral partner meetings you participate in land you one appointment, then schedule that many for the month for a fresh appointment. 

There’s your 20 new appointments that, should generate your $50,000 in monthly sales.

Whether you execute this exact recipe or another combination of the right behavior-driven activities on a consistent basis, your sales success becomes a self-determined objective. One of the nice benefits of that is you can rest assured there will always be food on your table. 

Kevin Hallenbeck, principal of Sandler Training-Manchester, can be contacted at 603-232-1520 or through

Categories: Business Advice