The Physics of Sales



Many schools are closed so I thought it might be time to revisit a course many of you might recall from high school or college…physics; the science of matter, motion, and energy.

Well, sort of physics…the physics of sales. What? The physics of sales? Yep…that’s what I wrote. Consider this famous quote from Sir Isaac Newton.

“A body in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted on by an outside force”

If a body at rest tends to stay at rest and a body in motion tends to stay in motion, then why does any object when thrown just stop moving a few seconds after it hits the floor?

Stay with me…there’s a point here!

A body at rest stays at rest because it is not being moved and a body in motion will stay in motion because there is a lack of friction or some sort of force, like gravity, or an obstacle to stop the body.

Remember that Newton’s law says that the body will stay in motion until it is acted upon by some opposing force. In this question, the reason the body loses some of its energy is because when it hits the floor it loses some part of its energy since the collision is inelastic and further it is acted upon by its weight and air friction. So gradually the height of the body’s bounce decreases and it comes to rest.

That is a sales slump!!! That is an empty sales pipeline. The salesperson has hit the floor and motion has slowed and is coming to a stop. The force that caused the body to stay in motion was sales activity…networking, asking for referrals, cold calling, calling existing clients, doing research, talking to lead sources, attending functions, reading the paper or internet for leads, etc.

What was the outside force that stopped the motion? It could have been too many projects or constant interruptions, or even a pandemic but more often than not, it is a lack of proactive daily activity…too much waiting for something to happen. “A body at rest tends to stay at rest”….bad habits or laziness? Too often it is what I refer to as the “salesclerk mind-set”…waiting for a customer to walk in the door or for the phone to ring. Even retail store salespeople can’t depend on that so much anymore.

Too many salespeople are busy but not productive. It is often because they have no real daily plan of action. I know that some will complain that even when they plan, they get pulled away. That is true, but it happens to every salesperson… but the salespeople with a plan typically still find time to conduct their main tasks…prospecting, presenting, and closing.

It is critical for salespeople to stay in motion. Not every activity will result in a sale but staying active will keep them moving forward and re-fill their pipeline. Keep stirring things up and good things will happen...stay in motion!

Jim Heilborn is INDEAL's Training and Development Consultant specializing in the office furniture/products industry, working nationwide with dealers, manufacturers, and service providers. Jim has been associated with INDEAL since 2011, specializing in training and dealer development.