How to Become a Highly Successful Salesperson
To achieve long-term success in sales means developing good habits that make you more productive, and make use of your time wisely. Below are seven sales habits that will help you improve your results.
1. Prospecting because it feeds the pipeline
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The general rule of thumb to follow is to have at least 300% percent of your targeted budget in your pipeline to ensure that you reach your goals. Top sales professionals devote a huge amount of time to prospecting for new clients, and this habit prevents the up and down that many other salespeople go through. So, ask yourself: Do you allow a specific amount of time for prospecting every single week?
2. Ask great questions, which gets easier over time
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Over the years I’ve learned that most people will tell you anything you want IF you just have the courage to ask. However many sales people do not ask high-value questions when meeting with clients. Top salespeople have learned to ask tough, probing, thought-provoking questions that make prospects think.
Many salespeople are uncomfortable asking these types of questions because they feel that questions might be too personal or too probing. The key is to verbally rehearse asking questions BEFORE you meet with your prospect or client. And try to ask smart, constructive questions to make the meeting productive.
3. Develop Listening skills
The best salespeople are excellent listeners. They listen for underlying clues and hidden messages. They also seek clarification when necessary. They use prompters such as “tell me more” or “go on” which encourages the other person to give additional information. And, they also make strong eye contact which demonstrates that they are paying close attention.
4. The key to effective presentations is reminding yourself it’s not about you
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Many sales presentations become ineffective when they focused on things the client does not care about. Great sales presentations focus on the client’s situation and clearly show how they will benefit by using your service or solutions.
While talking about how long you’ve been working at a particular company, awards you’ve received, client references and so on, make sure to focus the bulk of your meeting addressing the “Why should they use you” and “How can you help them” questions that are most likely running in the client’s head the entire time.
Set your presentation as more of a conversation, while presenting your strategies, solutions to their problems, and options that would be effective and beneficial to their situation. In other words, your sales presentations should be client-focused.
5. Persistence pays off
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We all know that it takes more than one call, one letter, or one email to connect with decision makers. Successful salespeople know that it takes persistence and diligence to make contact and they use a variety of strategies to achieve this goal. If you want to understand the nature of true persistence, a good resource is Robert Terson’s “Selling Fearlessly”. Ask yourself how many attempts do you make before you stop trying?
6. Ask for referrals, referrals beat a cold call every time
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Most salespeople don’t actively ask for referrals because they think it’s too pushy or brash, even though they know the importance of it. They are afraid that their client will think they are desperate for business. However, top salespeople ask consistently for referrals because they know a referral is more likely to develop into a sale than a cold call. You can think about the words you will use beforehand if you don’t want to sound overbearing.
7. Follow Up: It’s up to you
Many a customer meeting and sale has been lost due to lack of follow-up and with the technology we have today, this should be easy. Too many salespeople fail to follow up after sending a proposal — mistakenly thinking that the prospect will call them, if they are interested.
News flash! It’s up to you to follow through afterward and I guarantee that you are losing sales if you are waiting for people to call you back. People are busy and they might have already forgotten your name seconds after your conversation. If you are serious about increasing your sales you MUST be proactive in following up.