“The more you learn, the more you earn.” –Warren Buffet
In sales, there’s only one thing that separates the good salespeople from the bad: cold, hard results. The sales game is all about the bottom line. It doesn’t matter if you could sell snow to a ski slope or if you’re still green to the sales scene there’s always room to improve. If you’re not seeing the numbers you want, it’s time to reexamine your processes, starting yesterday.
As the CEO of seven privately held companies, author of eight books, and creator of twenty-one best-selling business programs, celebrated sales veteran Grant Cardone is more than qualified to dish out some point-blank advice “off the cuff.” The following are his top five tips for improving your sales efficacy.
- Get your financial literacy in check.
Financial literacy will take you and your family from the level you’re at to the level you deserve. “People that are not making enough money simply make sense of why they’re not making enough money,” says Cardone. This justification process manifests itself in actions like telling yourself that money won’t make you happy, that you’re fine where you are, that you’re better off than people in third-world countries, etc.
“None of that makes sense if you have the potential to make more money,” Cardone says. If your product or service is solid, there’s no reason why your sales should be plateauing. It’s about adjusting how you perceive the relationship between your financial limitations and your financial potential, not about the product or service itself. Most importantly, avoid complacency at all costs. “If you’re happy where you are financially, why would you sell anything else?” Cardone asks. Staying hungry is key.
- The fortunes are in the follow-up.
Following up is hard. According to Cardone, 25 percent of salespeople make one call and then never return to the lead. That’s a full quarter of the sales force that’s blatantly self-sabotaging their bottom line! What’s with the lukewarm effort?
“Nobody wants to make that second call, much less the third one, or the fourth one, or the fifth one,” explains Cardone. It goes without saying that the willingness to follow up, again and again, is crucial to the success of a sale. Building trust with the client takes time; the best sales professionals know this and are willing to invest more time and effort because they can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
“Most sales are closed between the fifth and the eighth call,” Cardone reports. “All the money is in the follow up.”
- Diversify your strategies.
Keep your networking mediums varied. Mixing up how you reach potential clients will enable you to reach more potential clients.
“You should no longer be just a phone person, or an internet person, or an in-person person.” If you’re someone who normally makes calls, try reaching out to clients on social media hubs like Facebook or Instagram. If you’ve had a lot of success with in-person interactions, don’t fix what’s not broken rather, augment your efforts by developing an internet presence. Don’t forget about referrals, either! “This is like mixed martial arts,” says Cardone. “We call it mixed martial selling.”
- Write the deal up.
“Seventy-two percent of all salespeople and sales organizations never write a deal up,” Cardone states. What’s so important about a piece of paper? It demands attention.
Putting a deal on paper takes the pending close from a verbal hypothetical to a concrete agreement in writing. Instead of continuing to pummel your prospect with information they may or may not actually be listening to, put the deal on a contract or a proposal so they can actually sign it. Cardone said it best: “[You] can talk ‘til [you’re] blue in the face, but if you don’t get to the write up? Nothing matters.”
- Never stop training.
Not only can old dogs learn new tricks, they must if they want to survive. High-quality professionals in any business stay at the top of their game through the constant pursuit of new industry knowledge. “If you’re not gonna train, then put a sign on your desk: ‘I quit learning a long time ago,’ and see how many people want to buy from you.” Cardone attests.
If you’re not obsessed with training then you’re not obsessed with winning. To illustrate this Cardone references a quote from none other than iconic fighter Conor McGregor: “There’s no talent here. This is hard work.” If you’re not excited about actively studying your craft every day, you’ll need to do a lot more than just learn some new strategies—you should reexamine if sales was the right career choice for you in the first place.
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