What’s the difference between good salespeople and great salespeople? It’s not an easily answered question. Sales success is built over time by simple habits that compound to manifest extraordinary results. Every salesperson has their own unique style, but there’s a handful of habits that show up again and again.
The first of these effective sales habits is consistency. Think of sales like your seventh grade science project. In order to conduct an experiment, you have to standardize the process or your data will be useless. The same logic applies to sales. Keeping your strategy consistent from client to client will allow you to perfect your process and then do it again and again, which ties into the next section: repetition.
If it’s not broken, why fix it? It’s one thing to be innovative when you’ve found yourself in a sales lull and quite another to be innovate for innovation’s sake. In sales, time is money; if you know how to close using a single tried and true strategy, by all means go for it. There’s no shame in sticking with a technique that works. Repeat until you’ve run the well dry and only then go back to the drawing board.
Never allow yourself to become complacent. Observe your coworkers at the end of the next month, quarter, pay period, etc. How salespeople react to hitting their quota (or not hitting it) is a huge indicator of their potential for success. After average to good salespeople hit their numbers, they simply stop pushing. They’re content with achieving just above the bare minimum. Great salespeople are a different story. When they achieve their goals they think to themselves, “Great, what’s next?” Always looking for that next opportunity, the effective salesperson will allow themselves to celebrate small victories, but only briefly. Then it’s time to get back out there and pound the pavement. Remember, a little hard work goes a long way.
If you don’t ask, the answer will always be ‘no’. Great salespeople aren’t afraid of a little rejection. In fact, they thrive on it because they know how to learn from their failures. How many times have you had a solid lead slip through your fingers because you botched the follow up or forgot to reach back out? Following up with the customer lets them know that: 1. You’re still there; 2. You still want them to buy; and 3. You’re not giving up anytime soon. The worst thing the customer will tell you is ‘no’.
It’s all about balance. While it’s important to be confident and assertive, it’s equally as important to understand boundaries. Salespeople are notorious for being pushy, aggressive, and all the other traits that come with a commission-based career. But all-star salespeople know when to push and when to pull back. Every client has a breaking point, and the best salespeople know when they’re getting a little too close to crossing that line. Closing a deal is a bit like a dance, and every client has a different style. Navigate the sale with grace, not aggression, and you’ll be blown away by the results.
Sometimes it takes a village. The best salespeople know this and resist the urge to succumb to the ‘every man for himself’ mentality that so often plagues sales departments no matter the industry. A bit of healthy competition is one thing, but unchecked it can quickly evolve into something much more malicious. Your coworker’s success might not result directly in commission in your pocket, but it does translate to success for your company, which will benefit you in the long run. Sales isn’t about being the lone wolf, it’s about lifting up the pack.
There’s no single correct path to becoming a stellar salesperson, but there are definitely wrong ones. Whichever path you find yourself on, we hope you keep these tips and tricks in your playbook to streamline your journey.
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