Posted: April 20, 2012
The seven rituals of world-class salespeople
Here's how to get a competitive edgeLiz Wendling
World-class salespeople make sales, not excuses. Most people think that success comes from a stroke of good luck or possessing enormous talent, but many successful people achieve their accomplishments is a simpler way: through self-discipline, self-mastery and rituals. It has been said that if people put as much energy into achieving their goals as they spend making up excuses for failure, they would shock themselves.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, rise above the noise and be thought of as a world-class salesperson, then you must commit to rituals that will give you the advantage over your competitors.
1. Invest in yourself
When you invest in yourself, others notice and begin to invest in you too. Lifelong personal development and commitment to personal excellence requires tremendous dedication, discipline and willpower. Most people take their earning ability for granted. But every bit of education, each book, seminar or other experience you have invested in to learn your craft and develop your skills, has gone into building this asset. You are your greatest asset.
2. Work at work
The key to doubling your productivity and output – and eventually your income – is to work the entire time you are at work. Don't squander that precious commodity. The biggest time wasters at work are other people who want to talk with you, distract you, delay you and take up the time that you should be spending on high-value tasks. Ultimately a salesperson is their own income-driving machine, so working at work is an investment that always pays big dividends.
3. Make everything count
Great salespeople know that everything they do and every move they make matters. Whenever a business is succeeding, growing, yielding profits and increasing its client base, the reason boils down to one factor: "high sales." Everything else is secondary. Almost everything you do in a business either increases or decreases sales. Everything either builds you up or breaks you down. Everything either attracts and retains more customers or drives them away. Everything counts when it comes to sales.
4. Sell outside your comfort zone
World-class salespeople know that the opportunities are outside their comfort zone so they work in that space every day. If your goal is to achieve what you’ve always wanted, then you have to do something you’ve never done. You can’t have different results if you refuse to try new experiences. No growth or progress can be achieved without stretching, expanding and stepping out of your comfort zone. The greatest enemy to human potential is your comfort zone. It requires change in behaviors, actions and thoughts to achieve new results.
5. Be highly productive
Top salespeople have a plan and work that plan. They don’t waste time and meander through the workday, floating from task to task or simply doing what comes along. The schedule of a world-class salesperson focuses clearly on the task at hand – they plan every move, schedule appointments with precision and complete those planned tasks in a timely manner. They get more done in one day than others get done in a week. Just appearing to be busy will never cut it; being productive will. Productivity produces results.
6. Have a flexible personality
One of the predictors of sales success is flexibility – the ability to do different things in different situations and know how to relate to a range of people and personality styles. Some approach the sale the same way and behave the same way with every type of customer. But customers are different and you need to respond and react differently to the type of customer you are dealing with. In some cases it’s completely appropriate to get right down to business with someone who is assertive and direct, but it is less appropriate with someone who requires more chit-chat and warm-up time. Know thy customer.
7. Be a master qualifier
Successful salespeople have an expert grasp of the qualifying process. They know how to investigate and dive in to obtain vital information that uncovers the truth. They know how to find their prospects’ problem areas and pain points that help them through the discovery process to see if there is a fit. These salespeople differentiate themselves as experts through their questioning and listening skills. They are able to hear what the customer is saying and not saying: they read “between the lines.” Listen more and talk less.
The top salespeople always seem to have good personalities and great attitudes. Nothing seems to get them down. They have the ability to keep their spirits up no matter what happens.
It takes your own personal revolution to stop accepting “what is” and start creating “what is possible.” Revolt against the play-it-safe, inside-the-box and don’t disturb-the-peace syndrome that will bury your business and keep you playing small. All it takes is one bold move, one big thought and your revolution is unleashed. It’s not what you sell, it’s how you sell.
Liz Wendling is the president of Insight Business Consultants, a nationally recognized business consultant, sales strategist and emotional intelligence coach. Liz is driven by her passion for business and generating results for her clients. Liz understands the challenges that business owners are facing building a business and selling their professional services in today's market.
Liz shows clients how to tap into and use their innate strength, power and confidence to develop highly successful businesses. She teaches them to create effective, dynamic and fluid client conversations that turn interested prospects into invested clients who keep coming back.