Most reputable dictionaries define a “Habit” as… “An acquired behaviour pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary…”
So, can you develop certain sales habits so that being successful in sales becomes almost involuntary? I will not get into the psychology or methodology of developing habits. However, here are three simple actions you can take that if done often enough will become automatic and will make you more successful in sales!
#1 – Convert Hours into Activities As a professional sales person you must understand that the traditional “Time Clock” does not work the same way in sales as in most professions. Instead of paying much attention to the actual amount of time or hours that you work, focus more on the amount of sales activities you complete.
As an example, instead of looking at completing 8 hours of work every day, perhaps your day consist of completing 40 cold calls, 10 emails and 1 sales presentation every day. Or maybe you need to do 4 sales presentations and 1 proposal every day.
Focus on the activities that make up a successful sales process and get it done, regardless of how long it takes. Sometimes you may complete your required activities in the course of a normal 8-hour day, and sometimes it may take you 10 or 11 hours. Still yet, there may be days when you get the job done in only 6 hours. Make it a habit to focus on the activities completed instead of the hours worked.
#2 – Don’t THINK Too Much It is the natural tendency for sales people to overanalyse lost sales and poor performance. While it is good to investigate, study and continue to improve, most sales people simply over do this. Instead of focusing so much on what you may have done wrong, go back and focus on those numbers from Habit #1.
While it is important to improve, eventually it all comes down to the numbers. A brand new sales person with a mere 10% closing average can outsell the old superstar who has a 50% closing average, simply by out working him or her.
I practically wrote the book on the concept of “working smarter not harder.” However, you have to already be working harder first!
Develop the habit of looking at sales performance from a more scientific and mathematical point of view, rather than a philosophical and emotional one.
#3 – Continuing Education Credits With all that said about the numbers, the activities and the work ethic, the third habit you need to develop is to continue to study and learn. This time needs to be like “homework.” In other words, it is “study” time that you invest in addition to the normal hours that you work. Commit to a certain amount of hours per week to study and learn your craft and your industry.
Do the above with regularity for a while, even if you have to force yourself. They will become habits that you do with near unconscious routine and sales success will become automatic.