We all dream of it. We envy other salespeople who claim it. We look for it constantly, sometimes at the expense of immediate success. We hold false hope in it as our security blanket. What is this mysterious "it?" That big sale. The one that will put us on the map and put money in our pocket. It is the big sale that will make our quota for the year. It's our earnings salvation! Is it really? How often do the big ones actually materialize? How much of our valuable time do we spend in pursuit? Do we sometimes sit long and hard, wondering how that big-one got away from us?
The truth is that our human nature compels us towards that lofty goal of the big sale. Yes, they do happen. Yes, the big sale can be a game-changer. Yes, the big sale can often change our finances. The issue is that the big-sale is a rare event and problems arise when we float from one big opportunity to the next without regard for the daily work and sales that are our 'bread and butter." We cannot afford to allow this "lottery" mentality to ruin our sales plan and critically upset our success.
Few sales plans are built upon the premise of a single large sale. While this goal may be an integral component of a larger, more comprehensive action plan, the typical sales plan is comprised of action plans for achieving sales success at many accounts on a smaller basis. Combined, these multiple sales goals often represent a far greater source of selling success and earnings than a single large sale.
There is a subtle yet obvious danger to "having all of your eggs in one basket." Any variable in the related industry can severely impact your action plan and pending success. Furthermore, a rift in the relationship between account and salesperson can severely impact the likelihood of sales success at that account. That risk is best realized when spread across a spectrum of possibly dozens of accounts in the same manner a financial portfolio of mutual funds spreads risk more comfortably than a portfolio with small group of single-industry stocks. The salesperson also runs the risk of becoming "pigeon-holed" while servicing a single customer or industry. The big sale that got away is a tale more apt to be told by such an individual.
The impact of a single lost sale is less damaging when your sales efforts are spread across a wide range of customers. This type of effort usually provides a steady stream of strong sales, good relationships and plenty of growth opportunities. Do not worry so much about the singular big sale or even the "one that got away." Your needed income will likely be derived from your steady performance and services provided to your entire customer base. Your growth will come as this base expands and you provide additional value. This is where your daily sales energy should be spent.