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Five keys to sales success

I am often asked, “What are the key things a salesperson must have to be successful?” As you can imagine, the list can be endless. And frankly, many things anyone would put on that list have complete validity.  I’m not so sure there are any wrong items on anyone’s list since many successful salespeople can attest to the things they would add to the list have worked for them. However, in my many years of coaching salespeople and even sales managers, presidents and CEOs of companies, let me share five “must have’s” we at Sandler Training believe:

You must have a system—a process for identifying, qualifying, and developing selling opportunities.  Pursuing anyone who expresses a casual interest in your product or service is a poor investment of your time and energy.  Even pursuing only those who have a real interest but not the wherewithal to buy it, or the ability to make a decision to buy it, is a poor investment of resources. To obtain the greatest return on that investment, you must be able to systematically qualify opportunities quickly using appropriate measurable criteria.

You must have skill—to implement your system.  And the most valuable skill is the ability to communicate: to get your point across—succinctly and meaningfully—using language appropriate to the situation; to ask meaningful questions that keep the conversation focused on topics essential to qualify the opportunity; and, to listen…really listen to not only understand the content of what the other person is saying, but the intent of their words, as well. 

You must have belief—in yourself, in your company, and in your product or service.  Because you can do no more than what you believe you can do, you must believe in your ability to tackle the job at hand and succeed to whatever level your skill and tenacity will take you.  You must believe in your company’s intention to treat its customers fairly and fulfill its obligations to them.  And, you must believe in the ability of your product or service to deliver to the customer the results promised.

You must have the desire to improve—even if you are at the top of your game.  There’s a saying in the aviation world—A good pilot is always learning.  The same concept is true in the sales world—A good salesperson is always learning…to be more efficient and effective: identifying, qualifying, and developing opportunities; representing his or her company; and serving customers.

You must have a 100 percent commitment—to doing the very best job you can, and to providing the best possible service to your customers, your colleagues, and others who depend on you.  Your personal value is not measured by the size of your paycheck, but rather by the quality of service you provide to others.  When you are committed to providing the best service you can…all the people you touch benefit.

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Gary Harvey

Gary Harvey is the founder and president of Achievement Dynamics, LLC, a high performance sales training, coaching and development company for sales professionals, managers and business owners. His firm is consistently rated by the Sandler Training as one of the top 10 training centers in the world. He can be reached at 303-741-5200, or gary.harvey@sandler.com.


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