sales

What Great Salespeople Do - Habits of the world's most successful salespeople

January 7, 2017

What makes a salesperson successful? What do great salespeople do? Is it a divine gift or is it their daily habits and routines that set them apart? The answer is the latter and here are some of the top habits that make the world's highest income salespeople so successful. By following in their footsteps will help you become a better and more financially successful salesperson too.

Master Time Management

Time is precious. Once it is spent there is no way to ever get it back, so proper time management skills are a major key to success. The best salespeople know what they are going to do, how they are going to do it, and when they are going to do it. According to Cara Holden at insightsquared.com, prioritizing the best leads first makes for better end results and the best salespeople maximize every minute of the day for each lead (https://www.insightsquared.com/2015/02/bdr-managers-train-your-team-to-prioritize-leads/). However, effective time management is more than just deciding what you are going to do each day. It involves planning exactly what you are going to do throughout every hour of the working day, and planning how you will manage every sales call so you will be prepared for any difficult questions, complaints, and the prospect's hot buttons for closing the deal (https://www.insightsquared.com/2014/07/daily-habits-of-a-highly-effective-sales-rep/).

Focus Your Time On Performing High Income Tasks and Delegate The Rest

Understanding your own strengths and weaknesses is important. As a salesperson you need to determine what income generating tasks make you the most amount of money per hour and what tasks are low income tasks that you should delegate to other people. Eliminating low income producing tasks from your workload keeps you from wasting valuable income producing time. So, focus on only performing tasks where you make the highest amount of money per hour and delegate low income producing tasks to other people. Also, always be on the lookout for new technology that allows you to automate your tasks (https://agocluytens.com/great-sales-performers/).

Know when to say “No”

Saying “yes” all the time can lead to you biting off more than you can chew. Learning when to say “no” to some opportunities and people leads to you being able to provide enough time to make sure you can deliver quality service to your best leads and clients. Pick and choose the best deals and do not be afraid to say “no” when you need to. Ago Cluyten says that saying “no” is a key skill of top performers and they often learn it the hard way, so learning to say "no" before it is too late can save you from potential headaches (https://agocluytens.com/great-sales-performers/).

Set Measurable Goals and Push Yourself to Achieve Them

Success in anything requires knowing the road you want to travel. Setting measurable goals is one of the top habits of the most successful salespeople. A study at Harvard University found that setting goals leads to higher motivation and thus higher achievements. Those who set measurable goals are 30% more successful than those who do not (https://hilt.harvard.edu/files/hilt/files/settinggoals.pdf). Also, you should know what kinds of goals to set. Setting smaller manageable goals within a larger more general goal is the best way to keep yourself on track and make sure you accomplish your goals. Monitoring your goals, whether met or not, is just as important. The most successful salespeople write down their goals and review them every single day.

Become an Expert on the Benefits of Your Product or Service

Not being able to answer a specific question about the product or service you sell is a surefire way to lose a potential sale. In fact, Wranx (a training app) found that “strong expertise” can lead to an 87% increase in sales when compared to salespeople who are not as knowledgeable. They also found that at least 50% of customers want expert advice on what to buy while 73% need the salesperson for their expert knowledge of the product (https://www.wranx.com/people-buy-from-people-with-great-product-knowledge/). However, according to insightsquared.com, not only knowing your product inside and out, but also knowing a competitor's product just as intimately is key. You need to be able to understand and point out flaws with competing products while simultaneously explaining why your product offers more benefits and is the financially superior buying choice (https://www.insightsquared.com/2015/03/8-things-the-top-1-of-sales-reps-do-differently/). 

Stay Positive When Bad Things Happen

It is a fact of life that sometimes you are going to lose big sales, and it can feel like the end of the world when it happens. John Treace at inc.com states, “rather than [giving] up, the top performing sales people concentrate on all the reasons they can succeed. And they find a way to win” (https://www.insightsquared.com/2015/02/bdr-managers-train-your-team-to-prioritize-leads/). As the saying goes, if you fall off the horse, pick yourself up and get right back on.

Build Rapport and Trust

Getting potential clients to like you and trust you is another incredibly important trait of the world's most successful salespeople. Building rapport and having someone feel like you're a true friend they can trust is huge in moving a sales forward and keeping a client for life. The late and great "ad man" David Ogilvy said, “The worst fault as a salesman is to be a bore. Foster any attempt to talk about other things; the longer you stay the better you get to know the prospect and the more you will be trusted” (https://www.inc.com/ss/10-greatest-salespeople-of-all-time). This means avoid constantly trying to “make the sale,” and focus more on your customer's needs and wants and how you can help them get what they want. Listen to what they have to say and do your best to meet their needs. Remember, you were given two ears and one mouth. Listen twice as much as you talk.

Be Persistent

The sad truth is the majority of salespeople give up on trying to bring on a new client after their first one or two attempts fail with the prospective client saying, "I'm not interested." Research done by Dr. James Oldroyd at insidesales.com says that, “more than 85 percent of organizations [do not] make enough calls” and he found that a minimum of eight to twelve attempts are needed and it has a 90 percent success rate at pulling leads when done over a period of two weeks (https://www.insidesales.com/tips/number-of-contact-attempts/). Using multiple ways to contact a prospective client is key here:. Use phone calls, emails, voice messages, post office direct mail, Fedex, UPS, and even faxes. Don't be so pushy that you are obnoxious, but be persistent. The world's most successful salespeople can be told "no, I'm not interested" dozens of times, yet they keep trying. Sooner or later they get the client.

As an example of extreme persistence, when going after a big client that he really wanted, top 1% salesman extraordinaire Grant Cardone is known to have contacted that same prospect over 100 times over the course of five years before he finally got a meeting with that prospective client. Then, Grant continued to contact that same prospect for another year before that prospect finally purchased from Grant. That is persistence and that is why Grant Cardone is a top 1% millionaire salesperson. Master salespeople never give up. A "no" today does not mean a "no" next week, next month, or next year.

Value and Return on Invesment vs. Price

Emphasizing the value and return on investment of a product instead of its price tag is another way top sales professionals make far more sales than average salespeople. Today, the Internet makes it very easy to shop and compare prices, so by avoiding the price point and putting the focus on the benefits and return on investment the product will bring a client, you will make more sales.  By focusing on value and how a product solves the problems or needs the customer wants to solve, it shows that you care about the customer’s needs as opposed to just trying to make a quick sale (https://www.tenfold.com/sales-performance/40-healthy-habits-top-sales-performers#).

Ask for Referrals.... and Then Ask For Them Again

A happy customer is your best source of new leads. A study done by Dale Carnegie found that that a whopping 91 percent of satisfied customers are willing to offer referrals when asked, but only 11 percent of salespeople actually ask their clients for referrals (https://www.inc.com/john-treace/7-habits-of-highly-effective-salespeople.html). So if you want high quality leads that are much easier to sell to, you need to routinely ask your clients for referrals. Doing so will be your number 1 source for new leads and new clients.

In conclusion, there are many habits that separate the top 1% highest income salespeople from the other 99% of all salespeople. By making the success habits discussed in this article your habits, you will be well on your way to becoming a top 1% highest income sales professional.

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