Breaking bad sales habits
How to ingrain "good" habits into your life
It's never easy to acknowledge that you may have developed some bad sales habits. Breaking a bad sales habit is not an event, but a process. The first key to breaking bad sales habits is to acknowledge them. Then do the work and create a plan to break them. Failing to remove bad habits can lead to the demise of your business.
Habits, whether good or bad, form when a particular action or set of actions are performed repeatedly. I’ve witnessed first-hand how bad habits keep professionals from experiencing increased sales and a more robust bottom line. No matter how many times you hear about the importance of habits, the message is meaningless until you’re willing to ingrain the new habits into your life.
Can you truly change? Can you break your bad habits? You can! How do I know? I suffered from and broke my own bad sales habits.
Here are some of them:
Poor or no follow up. Why bother started something you have no intention of finishing? Following up is in your control. There’s no good excuse for dropping the ball on potential business. A good follow-up system is key to generating more sales. Customers respect business owners and salespeople who are efficient and organized. Your dedication to follow up and follow through in a professional manner will win you customers.
Squandering time on being “busy” verses being productive. Another key to increasing your productivity and output, and most importantly your income, is to work the entire time you’re at work. Don't squander that precious commodity. The biggest time wasters are checking email, surfing the web, taking phone calls that distract you, and using up the time that you should be spending on high-value tasks. Ultimately you are your own income-driving machine. Being highly productive at work is an investment that always pays big dividends.
Selling inside your comfort zone. Smart professionals know opportunities lie outside their comfort zone. They work in that zone every day. The greatest enemy to your highest potential is continuing to sell inside your comfort zone. No growth or progress can be achieved without stretching, expanding and stepping out of your zone. A good stretch outside your comfort zone does wonders for your bottom line.
Ineffective qualifying. Successful professionals have an expert grasp of the qualifying process. They don’t assume that everyone is a buyer. Successful professionals know how to investigate and dive in to obtain vital information. They uncover the truth. They distinguish themselves as experts through their questioning. They employ listening skills to be able to hear what the customer is saying and not saying. They understand reading between the lines. They segregate the wheat from the chaff.
Sell value instead of price. People don’t always buy based on the lowest price. No one believes that the lowest price ever equals the best offer. You don’t win opportunities on price. You win them on the value that you create. Consider this: if price is the only thing that matters and people are just looking for “cheap,” then everyone would be driving a Kia, Nordstrom would be empty, flying first-class would not exist and we would all be drinking Folgers instead of Starbucks. Selling on price alone is a losing proposition. Show them the value and many price objections will disappear.
Continuing to use “following up,” “touching base,” checking in,” and “reaching out.” These phrases do nothing to move the sale forward. If they did than everyone would be a sales rock star. Those lame phrases are overused by professionals who forget to employ this powerful step in the sales process. They neglected to clearly define and ask what an appropriate next step would be while in the sales conversation with the client. Be bold and ask potential clients what the step looks like for them. Find out when they want to continue the conversation. Clarify “what’s next” before you end a meeting.
Winging it. The “I don’t need to practice” syndrome will spell disaster on a sales call. Role play and dress rehearsals are not the most favorite sales activity. They are the most effective. You can choose to wing it, skip the rehearsal and forego the role plays. By choosing this course you will repeatedly hear this mantra from your customer, “I need to think about it.”
Do not discount the importance of persistence in developing that good habit. Repeat the process until it is completely ingrained. You gain so much internal power by being persistent. Giving up before you have mastered the habit in your daily life can be costly, if not fatal, to your business. When you become competent and capable in establishing and following good habits, you'll be able to accomplish extraordinary results.