The Strongest Sales People Do These Five Things

The Strongest Sales People Do These Five Things

Lots of people can be good sales people, but there are some sales people that are great. They’re the ones that excel beyond everyone else in the office, the record setters, the superstars. What is it that sets the most accomplished sales professional apart from everyone else?

 

 

Have Objectives

Accomplished sales professionals begin every day with a plan. An objective they plan on achieving before the day ends. How much business they plan on doing. How many people they’ll need to talk to in order to meet that objective. Plans for maintaining their attitude if they hit rough patches through the day.

 

The strategy for the day isn’t something they casually thought about on the way to work, it is a plan set out in advance, part of long term and short terms goals they have written down and to which they hold themselves accountable.

 

Outstanding Connectors

Accomplished sales people are outstanding connectors. Introverted or extroverted, it doesn’t matter. They realize the person they’re speaking to is currently the most important person in their universe. They know how to listen to that person and they know how to approach a conversation. They are adept at creating trusting relationships. Their interactions are sincere. They’re not put on in order to create a sale. They believe in what they’re doing, and they believe in their products. Rather than speaking at, they speak with. The person they’re speaking to reacts accordingly and participates in a discussion.

 

Strong Listeners

It’s impossible to build rapport or relationships or find out what makes the person in front of you tick without listening. Successful salespeople don’t just listen for the specific answer to a specific question, but listen to the way the other person speaks and what else they say. Then they use what they’ve heard to make the next question more specific. That way once they are ready to speak, instead of talking in generalities and hoping to catch a potential customer’s interest, they can zero in on exactly what they already know is going to capture the person’s imagination.

 

Excellent Problem Solvers

Successful sales people don’t try and sell products, they explain how what they’re offering can make things better, more interesting, easier, more economical for the person they’re speaking to. They offer solutions.

 

Close

So many sales people know what they want to accomplish. They’ve mastered the art of listening and rapport. They know exactly how their products can make life better for their customers, but when it comes time to finish the deal everything falls apart. They somehow believe that everything they’ve already done is automatically going to encourage the person to finish the deal on their own. That might happen sometimes, but certainly not most of the time. The most accomplished sales professionals are adept closers.

Sales Killers

Sales Killers

Talking too much

You may believe it’s necessary to go on at length about the benefits and features of the product or service you’re selling. If you spend too much time talking without listening then you run the risk of creating the impression that you care more about your product than the person you’re speaking to.

 

Instead you want to get the person to talk about themselves and their situation so you can determine the best way of directing the discussion.

 

You may think piling on facts is a great way of putting your product or service in the best light but unless the information is relevant to the person you’re speaking to, rather than enhancing your presentation it detracts. Sales killers come in the form of too much talk.

Letting the person you’re speaking to have control of the conversation

The best way to take control of the conversation is by asking questions. By asking the right questions You get to know the person better, and are better able to direct them towards the conversation you want to have. Your answers to the questions you finally want to ask will establish you as an expert in regards to your product or service.

 

One size fits all sales pitch

The second you go into a standard sales pitch that you’ve perfected for anyone, you’ve already lost the vast majority of individuals. Standardized pitches are sales killers. Find out about the person you’re speaking to then tailor what you say to them.

 

Not being prepared

Always have everything you need to complete your presentation. You should never have to scramble for information regarding pricing, sample information, or answers to questions that may come up. Create a checklist of everything you need and ensure you have it at the start of each day. Even if you’ve talked about a product a thousand times, every time you talk about it with a new person you’re making a first impression all over again. Make it a great one!

 

Not asking for the sale

At the end of your presentation you always need to ask for some sort of commitment from the person you’re speaking to. Don’t worry about coming across as pushy, simply finish off in the confident, friendly way you’ve conducted the rest of your presentation.

What Type of Salesperson Are You?

What Type of Salesperson Are You?

According to Harvard Business Review there are 8 types of salespersons, but only three of those types are consistently successful.

As part of a study, twenty three sales skills were tested during hundreds of live sales meetings, and it turns out only seven of those skills actually contributed to success:

  1. Preparedness
  2. Interactions with customers
  3. Company presentation
  4. Presentation and rapport
  5. The sales pitch
  6. Storytelling
  7. Rising to the challenge

Experts

About 9% of the sales people studied were so skilled in all seven aspects they were labeled experts.

Closers

About 13% had a smooth talking style that led to a lot of deal closing. They were labeled closers. The problem with closers was customers often felt off-put by their in your face style.

Consultants

The next 15 % had good listening and problem solving skills, but were unable to achieve consistent sales. They were labeled consultants.

The other 63% of the salespeople in the study were far less effective.

Storytellers

Customer focused and loved to talk about case studies. The problem with the storytelling approach is, too much talk. Storyteller tendencies can be balanced out by having a structured meeting agenda.

Focusers

So intent on passing on the nitty gritty details of the product or service, focusers lose track of the people skills necessary to understand customer needs. These people need to focus a little less on the product and a little more on their listening skills to better tailor their pitch.

Narrators

Fabulous at memorizing their scripts and every detail they need to know but narrators get into trouble when they have to veer off into unscripted territory, like questions. Narrators should do a lot of role playing to improve their improvisation skills.

Aggressors

Salespeople who zero in on the prices. Aggressors tend to come across as overly combative. It’s important for aggressors to realize how they’re being perceived by customers to avoid alienating them.

Socializers

More successful at cocktail parties, than sales because socializers end up making more friends than closing deals. They need to practice moving from small talk into sales talk.

If a salesperson can identify what category they fall into, they’ll be able to focus on their strengths and work on their weaknesses. The best thing they can do is track down an expert and see if they can arrange for some mentoring!

 

Become A More Persuasive Salesperson

Become A More Persuasive Salesperson

 

When you approach someone with your product or service chances are they weren’t sitting around thinking about how much they’ve been wanting that thing you’re about to offer them. Persuasion is the art of helping them decide that yes in fact that something they are interested in.

 

Establish a rapport

The first thing you want to do is establish a rapport and that begins by finding some common ground. The best way to find that ground is through questions. Smile, act confident start the process of getting to know this individual in front of you a little.

 

Focus on the positives

You wouldn’t be promoting your product or service if it didn’t have great things going for it. Now that you’ve gotten to know the person a little see if you can line up some of those benefits with something you’ve gotten to know about that person.

 

Turning objections into strengths

If someone throws out an objection about your product and you don’t have an answer ready, by the time you come up with one you’ll most likely be looking at the backside of your potential customer.

 

Come up with ways to turn all the objections you know about into strengths. Agree with the person’s objection and then explain how it’s not really a problem at all because the product actually has these strengths. Every time you hear an objection write it down and then figure out the strengths you can highlight to overturn it.

 

Start small

You want to the person you’re speaking with to agree with something you’re saying. It doesn’t have to be a big thing or even have anything to do with your product or service. Once they’ve had a positive interaction with you on one point they’ll be more inclined to have another positive communication because once a flow of conversation is going in one direction it will tend to keep going in that direction. A smiling, nodding, positive conversation full of yeses will tend to stay on that track.

 

Show them the bandwagon

People like to be part of the group. If they believe most other people are doing something or are interested in something they want to be part of the majority. Let them know how much other people are using or enjoying your product or service. If you have statistics or testimonials, all the better.

Becoming a Top 20% Salesperson

Becoming a Top 20% Salesperson

 

You’ve probably heard of the 80/20 rule, that states that 80% of the results in a given situation can be attributed to 20% of the people working towards those results. That means the top 20% of the salespeople in a company will make 80% of the sales.

 

Take control

Top twenty percenters have certain attributes. They don’t hope for the best they commit to being the best.  Holding no illusions that they’re somehow going to magically rise to the top, they decide they’re going to get there and then hold themselves accountable every step on the way. There’s a grand canyon between hoping for something and deciding you’re going to get something. One leaves the achievement of the thing to outside forces. The other takes control.

 

Acknowledge successes

They look at everyday as another opportunity to learn something that’s going to bring them closer to their goals. They implement what they’re learning and keep on working away on that skill like a sculptor on stone, until that skill or the sculpture inside the stone is revealed. When those skills lead to successes they don’t just let them pass like ships in the night they stop and acknowledge the accomplishment. They reward themselves in some way to keep themselves incentivized.

 

Not afraid of fear

Fear is the great stopping point to so much success. The two things that people most fear are: failure and looking bad in front of others. Those fears are what prevent so many people from giving their careers 100% of their energy and dedication. You can’t fail 100% if you’re only putting in 60% or 70% effort.

 

Top twenty percenters do not let fear get in their way. They are as afraid as anyone else, but they go ahead and put themselves out there anyway. As Henry Ford said, “One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.”

 

A personal commitment to results

Top twenty percenters are not giving lip service to their company or their product, they are speaking with 100% conviction and commitment. To be a strong salesperson you have to believe in yourself. To believe in yourself you have to believe in what you’re doing. You can’t believe 60% or 70% or even 99%. It has to be 100%. If you don’t have 100% believe in yourself and your company then why are you there?

 

Clear direction

A lawyer never asks someone on the stand a question without knowing the answer. Top twenty percent salespeople are fully prepared and versed on every aspect of the their product and the people they’re selling that product to. They may never say the same thing twice, but they have a clear, defined system for what they’re going to say.

Successful Sales People All Have This in Common

Successful Sales People All Have This in Common

 

Here’s a quiz: What’s the greatest indicator of success for a sales person?:

 

  1. Product knowledge
  2. Sales skills
  3. Irresistibility of the product
  4. Personality of the salesperson

 

Answer:

  1. Personality of the salesperson

 

In the hands of a self-confident sales person, a mediocre product will completely outsell an outstanding product in the hands of a less confident sales person.

 

The good news is, even if you are not a confident person by natural disposition, with a little work and perseverance you can build your confidence levels up. It all starts with how you treat yourself when no one else is listening.

 

How do you talk to yourself? Are you negative and harsh or are you positive and encouraging? The most important voice you’re going to hear day in and day out in your life is your own. It’s the loudest, most pervasive, persuasive voice of all.

 

Self confident people like and respect themselves. If they catch themselves letting negative self defeating thoughts in they don’t just try and turn the thoughts around, they take charge. What’s the negative self talk about? What can I do to change the situation that brought it about?

 

The more confident you feel about yourself the more confidence you’ll have in your face to face interactions. If you’re less confident, you’re not going to be motivated to put yourself into situations where there’s a chance of failure.

 

The more you like yourself, the more others like you. The more you like other people the more confidence they’ll have in you and what you’re selling.

 

Your self confidence spills over into the product you’re promoting. When you believe in your product as much as you believe in yourself, people you’re talking to will be inclined to believe in it right along with you. Remember, your customers are taking their cues from you. Because you’re confident, they’re confident. Because you’re enthusiastic, they’re enthusiastic.

 

Confident people will always take full responsibility for their results. They don’t think of themselves as working for someone else or on behalf of someone else. They think of themselves as being self employed because they realize the level of success they’re going to have starts and ends with them. When things aren’t going the way they hope they don’t stand around complaining or waiting for someone to step in and fix things, they take charge. They change what they can and seek out the help they need to change what they can’t.

 

Not only are self confident people inspired and inspiring, instead of wasting time worrying about failure, they think about the next thing they can try to achieve success.

Help Your Prospects Feel At Ease

Help Your Prospects Feel At Ease

 

If you’re in sales, you spend a lot of time talking to strangers, building quick relationships and (hopefully) an easy rapport. If you can help people feel more at ease when you start talking to them, you’re going to have a much easier time of it. Here are a few tricks to help you with that.

 

“I’ve only got a minute.”

If people think you’ve only got a limited time to talk to them, they’ll relax because they don’t feel trapped. Even if they’re not initially interested in what you have to say, giving you a minute of their time doesn’t seem like a big deal.

 

Is now a good time?

Just asking people if it’s a good time will increase the chances they’ll listen to you. Studies have shown that people are more likely to give you their time if you ask about their availability and wait for a response rather than just push ahead with what you have to say. It helps them feel in control of the situation.

 

Keep your body on the same page as your words

Saying all the right things won’t help if your body language is contradicting your words. Sometimes we’re so intent on what we’re saying we forget to notice what our bodies, starting with our faces are doing. A smiling face is the beginning.

 

When trying to get our point across we’ll often point our chin at the person we’re talking to in our earnestness. What we don’t realize is, from the other person’s perspective it looks like we’re pointing our nose down at them, so make a point of lowering your chin just a little.

 

Now that your chin is down, have a look at your hands. What are you palms doing? Keeping your palms up while you’re talking conveys the message that you’re interested in the other person, in hearing what they have to say and open to their ideas.

 

Nodding your head up and down as the other person speaks, raising your eyebrows are both non-verbal cues that you are open to them and at ease. Anything squashed down, like eyebrows or pursed lips conveys stress and a closed off attitude.

 

Dump the judgments and preconceptions

Approach every person with a completely open mind. Regardless of what they look like, what you expect they might say or think, give them your full, non-judgmental focus. Talk to the person, not the potential sale.