There are only three ways to sell more. Do more right. Do less wrong. Or, do both. Every sales super star knows that there are many skills and attitudes that contribute to their success, but there are twelve critical attributes that the sales super stars have integrated into their overall sales strategy. The following are in no particular order, but if you want long-term consistent success you will embrace and incorporate each of them into your routine sales attitudes and behaviors.
1. Make a sale, you’ll make a living. Sell a relationship and you can make a fortune.
Poor salespeople focus on just closing the sale. Successful salespeople focus on closing the sale and the relationship. Which is your approach?
Selling is not about only closing the current prospect on a particular product or service that solves one of their pressing problems, needs or desires. It is about building a trusting relationship and partnership with them, by becoming a resource, and helping them solve their on-going problems, or satisfying their continuing and evolving needs and desires. Super stars know that the lifetime value of a client is far more than the value of one sale or transaction.
2. People buy when they are ready to buy not when you need to sell.
You don’t change people’s buying habits or circumstances. What you can do is accurately discover them and then attempt to create a sense of urgency. A lot of buying is done due to momentum. It is important to discover those ‚real‘ reasons or circumstances as to why a prospect would buy now, later, not at all or never. Once you have discovered their real issues the sales super star tailors their appeal to those specific needs, desires and buying circumstances.
3. When you sell price you rent the business. When you sell value you own it.
Most poorly trained salespeople tend to lower the price when they receive price resistance. Any price, no matter how low, will always seem high to a prospect or customer if their perceived value is low. The key to effectively handling price resistance is to understand this simple, yet profound, concept.
Prospects and customers say they want low price, but what they really want is low cost. What is the difference?
Price is what customers pay for your product or service now. Cost is what the customer pays by buying late, not at all or wrong. It is their overall cost over an extended period of time.
The sales super stars sell value and don’t defend price. In the long run, it is much easier to justify high price if the value is there, than poor quality and constant product/service problems.
4. Your prospect will tell you what you need to tell them to sell them.
Accurate and timely information is the key to success in selling. One of the biggest mistakes poor salespeople make is that they give information before they get information. In other words they talk too much. If you practice this approach, you are going to make one or all of the following mistakes. 1) You will give too much information (more than is necessary to make the sale). 2) You will give the wrong information (based on the prospect’s needs, wants, desires or problems). 3. You will give information that could sabotage your success either in the short or long term.
5. If two people want to do business together they won’t let the details get in the way. If two people don’t want to do business together they will let any detail will get in the way.
If two people want to do business together they won’t let any details get in the way. If a prospect doesn’t want to do business with you they will let even the slightest detail get in the way. We are talking here about intent. Sales super stars know how to identify the prospect’s real intent or their purpose. They are not easily misled and tend to probe deeper when they feel they are not getting the real truth from the prospect or customer.
6. They need to work as hard to keep the business as they did to get it in the first place.
Many salespeople make lots of promises or benefit statements while trying to sell a new prospect. A key concept to keep in mind while selling is that the close of the sale is not the end of the sales process, but the beginning of the sales relationship.
Sales super stars know that to ensure repeat business, customer loyalty, positive references and qualified referrals that their after sales service must be one of their strengths.
7. To sell more every year, they get better every year.
Life is an interesting relationship between paying the price and winning the prize. Between self-investment and rewards. Between investing time in personal development and your ultimate success. It is never too late to begin an aggressive on-going self development program. There are hundreds of books to read, audio CD’s to listen to and seminars to attend. Sales stars don’t wait for their organization to invest in them and their future value. They take full responsibility for the quality of their life and learning. They are pro-active in seeking out learning opportunities.
8. They manage their time and territory effectively.
Each of us gets 24 hours to do with what we will. Some salespeople wish they had more while others wish time would pass a lot quicker. Some salespeople act like they have an unlimited time bank available to them and that their prospects or clients will see them whenever the salesperson would like. The sales super stars understand the importance of using every available selling minute to its full advantage.
9. The close of the sale begins when the prospect agrees to see them.
People don’t like to make decisions. The main reason is they don’t want to make a poor or wrong decision. Traditional sales closing methods asks people to make a decision. For example. Do you want it in green or red? (Alternative choice) Do you want to use your pen or mine? (Action close) Can we write up an order now? (Direct close) Each of these closing techniques, even though they do work, have two fundamental problems.
1) They ask the prospect to make a decision. 2) The sales super stars don’t use them.
Few salespeople have a ‚closing strategy‘ a process that they follow with each and every real sales opportunity. They don’t try an force a fit. They discover the prospects sense of urgency or they create it.
10. They never give up control of the sales process.
A common mistake poor salespeople make is that they lose control of the sales process at some point. There are many ways they accomplish this and here are just a few for your consideration:
They quote price before they have had a chance to build value.
They don’t ask enough questions early in the sales process. They just ramble on.
They send out literature when asked, without first qualifying the prospect’s agenda or reasons for requesting it.
They send people to their website without first getting some basic qualifying information and having a follow-up strategy after the prospect has perused their site.
Control of the sales process is one of the key strategies of the sales super star. They understand that control is not manipulation, but is in the ultimate best interests of the prospect or client. When the salesperson controls the sales process they are never broad-sided with a lost sale they thought was in the bag.
11. They never project their buying prejudices into the sales process.
The objection that you will tend to have the most difficulty answering successfully is that objection that is the most consistent with your own value system.
If you are a price buyer and your prospect objects to price you will tend to accept their objection. If you are the type of buyer who tends to think decisions over before making a purchase and your prospect says to you, „We need to think this over.“ Again, you will tend to go along with their objection as rational or making perfect sense (because that is the way you buy.)
This simple act of accepting sales objections that resonate with you because you can relate to them is nothing more than projecting your personal attitudes, opinions, judgments or biases into the sales process. When you project your personal beliefs into the sales process you are assuming that everyone who buys, buys the way you like to buy and often for the same reasons. The sales super star leaves their personal biases, prejudices and opinions at home.
12. They never lose their passion.
Passion is the great equalizer. It can make up for a lack of experience and knowledge. I am not suggesting that you not develop your knowledge or experience – only that until you do, your passion will be interpreted by others as a strong belief in yourself, your mission and your purpose.
Passion is different from enthusiasm. The old outworn cliché says „Act enthusiastic and you will become enthusiastic.“ I have never subscribed to this philosophy. The reason is that if enthusiasm is an act which you use when things are going well, how do you behave when your life is falling apart? Are you just as enthusiastic about failure, more problems than you deserve and any number of disappointments, frustrations and adversities?
by Tim Connor