Written by Sean McPheat |
So many of the salespeople that attend our Sales Training ask us the same question; how do I improve my sales and become a winner at this game?
If I had the one magic answer, I’d be sunning myself on my own island right now.
The fact is there are many answers to what makes a person a winner when it comes to this game of sales, and when they are all combine, they provide a great foundation for us to build a successful career.
Most of the advice we give is not about sales techniques or having the best products or services. We find most successful salespeople have a series of profiles that they themselves are mostly in charge of. They have built up internal resources that outside negativity and poor results won’t destroy. They recognise that the power comes from within and isn’t affected by mediocre results or average customers.
Here’s my take on the habits that makes winners in sales:
Sales winners know they can make a difference in everything they do, so they are self-motivated. They don’t rely on their manager or colleagues or customers to make them feel good about themselves. Their intrinsic motivation drives them forward. They have a killer sales mindset that keeps them always going.
They are realists and prepare for challenges so that they aren’t swayed by a wind from a negative direction. They control their own emotions and make them work for them.
Upbeat & Positive
They are physically upbeat and don’t let the nay-sayers get them down. How you carry yourself makes a real difference to how you feel on the inside.
Winners have a great support network that they use for all occasions, not just when things are going well. These chosen people are supportive and positive and offer the right kind of juice for the winner when it’s really needed.
Start The Day Well
Sales winners begin each day with positive interaction, either on CD or reading, stuff they choose to drive them in the direction they want to go. This could include motivational talks, sales techniques discussions or even up-beat music that changes mood.
Choose Your Attitude
They know that they can choose their attitude, no matter what happens. If they don’t get the sale, they learn from the mistakes and vow not to repeat them.
They are excellent researchers and preparation junkies. Recognising that sales won’t fall from the sky into their lap, they make it easy for prospects to see that partnering with them would improve their business opportunities no end.
As you see, sales winners are people who rely on themselves for success, rather than the outside world. If you check in with your attitude every single day, you build the foundation for success and give yourself the chance to join the winners.
So far, I have covered the habits that makes up a sales winner. Let’s now take a look at the key skills. Below are my top 8 attributes (in no particular order but #1 is!)
The Desire To Help People
Note how I said, “to help people” and not to “sell them”. The role of a salesperson is to help prospects and clients overcome some kind of problem and yes, this means at times that you’ll need to walk away if you can’t help them.
Listen, Listen, Listen!
Good salespeople have fantastic listening skills. They are not pre-occupied with what they are going to say. Instead, they listen attentively to what their prospect is always saying and act upon their agenda. Two ears, one mouth and all that…
Questions Are The Key
Following on from the above the ability to ask quality sales questions is a vital skill for any good salesperson. Good questions will unearth needs, wants and pain and only then can the salesperson go to work by fixing these areas with their solutions. Check out the solution selling methodology for more on this.
The top salespeople have belief in themselves and in what they are selling. If you don’t believe in what you sell, then you’re fooling yourself and your prospects and clients. Here’s the acid test question as to whether you believe in your product or not: Imagine your mother or father was in the market for what you sell; could you, hand on heart, sit them down and give them a thorough presentation of what you sell and give them no discount whatsoever until they say yes. And would you be able to sleep at night? If the answer is yes, then you believe. If not, get the hell out of here.
They Don’t Give Up
After you have asked for the sale you’ll most likely get more “No’s” than “Yes’s”. But do you give up or do you keep moving forward? Good salespeople appreciate and accept that hearing a “no” is part of the sales process and if you’re not hearing some no’s then you aren’t selling hard enough.
No Cheese Please
The days of the “Have I got a deal for you” salesperson is over. Well, at least they should be if you’re going to be successful. People want to know, like and trust you so make sure that you put steps in place to accomplish just that.
They Understand The Science Of Their Selling
They understand their numbers. They understand the value of their sales ratios at each step of the sales process, and they use the numbers to continually improve and develop to improve the ratios at each step of the process.
They Continually Develop Their Skills
I was talking at a sales conference recently about the importance of continuing to learn and develop new skills. The audience of Sales Directors and Sales Managers were astonished when I told them that I had invested in over 30 days of training the previous year. How did I do this? Well, by listening to sales, management, marketing and personal development audios in my car. Here’s the quick maths; 30 minutes to work and 30 minutes home each day. This equates to 1 hour per day or 5 hours per week. 5 hours x 52 weeks = 260 hours. 260 hours divided by 7 hours in a working day = 37 days. I haven’t taken into account time travelled to prospects, functions, clients etc but I’ve included 52 weeks to even that up.
What are you doing to improve your skills? Can you beat me? Bet you can’t.
Ok, so that’s my top 8 attributes of makes a winning salesperson. There are others to add to the list, but I’d bet that if you mastered these alone then you would be one hell of a salesperson.
Is it true that the best salespeople can sell anything to anyone? Are you one of those rare few in the world of professional selling that can sell virtually any product to any prospect? Could you sell ice cubes to Eskimos?
In the 60s, 70s, and early 80s, many salespeople prided themselves in the (imagined) ability to turn every prospect into a customer regardless of the prospect, product, or service. Such a salesperson could overcome every objection and close every sale.
My first question to you is, “Is such a thing possible?”
My second, even better question is, “Would such ability be a good thing?”
The Ultimate Closer
Today, in the age of the modern, educated, and sophisticated buyer, some still believe that if you can perfect and maximize the main areas of the sales process, that one can indeed close almost every sale with nearly any prospect. The ultimate closer would then be THE consummate professional in such areas as:
Prospecting – The ultimate closer could fine-tune their sales funnel stages to filter prospects so well that the majority of prospects become buyers.
Asking Questions – The closer could become so skilful at asking questions that they could find a problem that the prospect is having, in any situation. The closer could somehow always find a way to create need or desire for whatever they sell.
Persuasion – The closer, of course is so powerfully persuasive that they can talk anyone into believing anything.
Closing – Finally, the ultimate closer would have the ability to overcome any sales objection or condition. This salesperson has an answer for everything.
Are you that perfect salesperson? Can you sell anything to anyone? Does such an ultimate closer exist?
Of course, it doesn’t. But sales winners do exist. They are consummate professionals who always do the right thing by their customer.
Here are a couple of courses that you might be interested in:
Originally published: 16 May, 2011
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