Some sales people always seem to be doing better than others. Some sales people also seem to exhibit a track record with a greater number of acceptances than rejections. Maybe they’re born that way, you reason. Well, what if their success has more to do with technique than destiny? What if these salespeople are not born great but have shaped themselves into great professionals by conscious effort and hard work? If you desire to create a sales career that will not only bring you revenues but pride, that will not only help you sell products but build lifelong customer relationships, here are 5 effective practices that will help you change your game.
How do you react to a situation that doesn’t go your way? Do you react with spontaneous aggression or a calm demeanor? In order to be a winning salesperson, the trick is to be in control of your emotions and not the other way round. When you have self-control, you will respond to difficult situations in a way that will serve your sales goals better.
Ways to better your self-control:
- Practice being courteous even when you come across mistakes
- Keep your calm when your approach or proposal gets rejected or attacked
- Move ahead to the next priority instead of getting stuck with an incident
- Develop more prospects or opportunities so that rejection from one affects you less
- Indulge in activities that help you reduce your stress
Assess yourself honestly
It takes a lot of heart to accept one’s mistakes and shortcomings. But acceptance is the first step to betterment and betterment in turn, increases your chances of success. Unless you accept the fact that there’s a superior ‘salesperson’ version of you that’s possible, you cannot take your skills, identity and outcomes to the next level. So the more open you are to learning how you are as a sales professional, the faster you’ll transition from where you are to where you are meant to be.
Ways to do an honest assessment:
- Make a list of your strong and weak areas
- Take feedback from colleagues and clients on what they consider to be your strengths and weaknesses
- Analyze situations where you have felt successful / unsuccessful and understand the underlying behavior patterns
- Do a introspective check after every interaction with a client or prospect to analyze your approach
Salespeople who appear to be in charge even in an environment of constant change, will seldom be heard saying “That strategy isn’t working the way it used to,” or “But I’ve always done it this way.” Rather than allow an unfavorable outcome to overwhelm and keep you down, choose to modify your style and approach and create a result that’s more favorable. Remember Darwin’s ‘Survival of the fittest’ theory? Well, it holds even in this day and age.
Ways to be adaptive:
- Be open to exploring possibilities that don’t lie in your comfort zone
- Outline a plan of action without bias - base it on the situation and not your preference
- Keep your mind flexible to accept and respond to new facts and dynamics
- Revisit and overhaul strategies if needed, when your first approach fails to work
Apply targeted problem solving
If you take a ‘one solution fits every customer’ approach, you’re more than likely to run into a wall instead of an open door. What is the problem that the prospect is trying to get an answer to? Identifying your client’s critical problems and then tailoring your products or services to meet and solve that problem will significantly improve your closing ratio. It will also increase the possibility of your calls getting answered.
Ways to transform into a targeted problem solver:
- When you encounter a problem, dig deep until you identify the cause and effect
- Peel back layers of the problem to get to the core issue
- Recognize the evidence and impact of the prospect’s problem
- Develop multiple solutions for a problem and evaluate the cost-benefit ratio of each
- Recommend the solution that will produce the best result
Focus on your customer’s success
When working with a client, you’re only skimming the surface if you restrict your vision to making a sale. But think about a client’s long-term needs or how you can help the client build a competitive niche and you’ll be viewed as a growth partner and not a mere product pusher.
Ways to sharpen your customer success focus:
- Immerse yourself in the customer’s goals, needs and problems
- Act as your customer’s advocate within your company
- Help your clients prioritize their needs and expectations
- Invest your time and efforts in helping your clients achieve their goals
Being a great salesperson is by no means an easy task. It requires an ongoing commitment to quality practices, a consistent desire to observe and learn from your experiences, a genuine concern for your customer’s goals and several other factors that will help you better your abilities, experiences and results as a Sales professional.