Successful Salespeople Start With An Attitude
Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character. —Albert Einstein
As a salesperson, your attitude and commitment are critical to your success simply because attitude and commitment are what the clients buy. When you speak to a client or prospect your attitude and commitment are what they hear, see, and feel.
Let’s face it: No one hears the words. Most people don’t listen; if you have kids, you know that most people don’t listen. But people hear your attitude, they feel your commitment, and that’s what they’re going to buy. Anyone can close a sale, but not everyone can sell attitude and commitment. Only the most successful salespeople can do that
Successful Salespeople See Themselves Successful
However, if you cannot even create a vision for yourself, how can you possibly expect to create a vision for someone else? Only if you can see yourself successful can you be successful. If in your mind you can envision yourself doing something, then you can do it
See yourself successful. Create in your mind a picture of what you want your success to be. Once you’ve created that picture of success in your mind, focus—focus in so clearly on that picture that you can describe it right down to its most minute details. Once you can focus on and describe clearly what it is you want, you’re ready for the next step.
Successful Salespeople Set Goals
True motivation is an internal force. It has to come from within. Nobody else can motivate you.
Successful salespeople are goal oriented. They have written specific goals and plans for their lives, careers, and businesses.
Successful Salespeople Are in Control
You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair. —Chinese Proverb
Of course, many salespeople don’t like to admit they are in control, because they would have to be accountable. It’s a lot easier to blame it on luck, bad breaks, the credit department, the stupid prospect, or the competition who undercut you on price. Which brings us to the next rule.
Successful Salespeople Have An Action Plan
Everyone who has ever been successful has had a plan, whether it be a general sending troops into battle with a battle plan (do you really think a general would address his troops and say, “They’re over that hill somewhere, just go get ’em”?) or a football coach preparing his team by formulating a game plan (no, coaches don’t just gather their players together and say, “Hell, we’re better than them, just go out and kick some butt” ).
The U.S. Small Business Administration will tell you the single biggest reason small businesses fail is they did not have a written business plan.
What’s amazing is how many salespeople will agree about the importance of a plan and yet never bother to have one, whether it is for their life, career, or business. They’ll tell you they’re experienced enough to know what to do without having to bother writing one up.
Successful Salespeople Act On A Plan
Never mistake motion for action. —Ernest Hemingway
Everybody has good ideas. The world is filled with people who can come up with new and better ways to do things. However, the difference between a good idea and a successful idea is action.
Successful salespeople don’t wait around for business to fall into their laps. It is not true that if you build a better mousetrap the world will beat a path to your door. You still have to tell the world you exist. Average salespeople assume the clients know they exist.
Here’s one for you to roll around in your head: Would you agree there aren’t many people in the world who haven’t heard of McDonald’s or Coca-Cola? If that’s the case, then how do you explain the billions of dollars they spend on advertising? Believe me, if Coca-Cola and McDonald’s need to tell their customers they’re still around, then so do you.
The lack of action on the part of salespeople goes way beyond their lack of prospecting and the fact that they don’t have enough appointments. The appalling lack of action shows up in their poor follow-up, which can be the kiss of death for salespeople.
Successful Salespeople Are Persistent
You’ve seen yourself successful, visualized it, focused, described it, set the goal, and planned it out. You even started, acted, and took that first step. But now we come to the final step of the goal setting process. It is here where the 3 percent who will be great will leave the other 97 percent behind. It is called persistence.
Too many people confuse falling down with failing. When people go ice skating, so many of them judge their proficiency by how many times they fall down. For instance, “How did you do today?” “Great! I only fell once.”
Does falling down once really tell us whether a person can skate? How do we know they didn’t spend their whole time hanging on to the rail? Or maybe they skate by taking baby steps. Olympic skaters fall; NHL hockey players fall. Why? Because they’re not afraid to let go of the proverbial railing. They’re more concerned with succeeding than with not falling down.
Successful Salespeople Sell More Than Just A Product/Service
The only way to know how customers see your business is to look at it through their eyes. —Daniel R. Scroggin
Successful salespeople find out what a client needs and make sure they get it all the time. It goes beyond selling the client what they want, because far too often what they want is not what they need. Here is where too many salespeople get in trouble. They are so desperate to close a sale and so afraid the client will say no, they take the point of least resistance and let the client buy whatever they want, even if the salesperson knows it’s the wrong thing.
A successful salesperson would rather turn down a sale than sell a client something she knows won’t fill the client’s needs. Let’s be honest: If a client buys what they insist they want and it turns out to be something they didn’t need, do you think they’re going to call that salesperson and say, “Listen, it’s not your fault. I insisted on buying this. So don’t worry, from now on I’m going to listen to you.” Yeah, right, and chicken have lips.
No matter whose fault it is, as the salesperson, as the one who is supposed to have the knowledge, I’ve got news for you: It’s your fault. Clients expect salespeople to tell them what they need. Otherwise, what do they need them for?
Successful Salespeople Don’t Sell Price, They Deliver Value
The middle is dead! The middle is gone!
If you want to be successful in today’s business world and economy, you have to be one of two things: the cheapest or the best.
The days are long gone when you could sell a pretty good product or pretty good service at a pretty good price, because you can get “pretty good” at a dirt cheap price. Or you can get “fantastic” at just a little more expensive price, because pretty good just isn’t good enough anymore.
Look around you, go to any shopping mall. Look at the stores that do business and look at the stores that do not. On the one hand, you have your deep discounters, such as Wal-Mart,Target, and Kohl’s. But even down at this end, where price is supposedly the deciding factor, how do you explain what happened to Kmart? Similar merchandise, similar prices, but not nearly the same results as Wal-Mart, Target, or Kohl’s
Successful Salespeople Are Expert Advisors
Your clients do not have the time nor the inclination to be an expert on what it is that you do. Heck, most clients don’t have the time to keep up with all the information they need to be experts in their own field, let alone yours. That’s why your ability to supply your clients with knowledge, expertise, information, and education is critical to not only your success, but theirs, too
As an expert, adviser, and resource, your job goes way beyond supplying your clients with great products and great service. Your job is also to provide the client with the knowledge, expertise, information, and education they need to be more successful in their career or business.
If you can do that on a consistent basis, you will have differentiated yourself from the competition, created so much extra value that your price almost becomes immaterial, and reached the zenith of success in sales: You will have made yourself indispensable to the client.
Successful Salespeople Love What They Do
Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. —Albert Schweitzer
The author writes two things really separate successful people from the average.
The first is this: There is no “by the book” way of being successful. Don’t let anyone tell you, “You have to do it this way.” You don’t even have to do everything the author says. All he’s saying is, here are the things successful salespeople and businesspeople do to be successful. If what you’re doing is working 100 percent to your satisfaction, keep doing it. You’d have to be nuts to stop.
But if what you’re doing is not working 100 percent to your satisfaction, here are some proven ideas, so give it a shot. What do you have to lose? By the way, if what you’re doing is not working 100 percent to your satisfaction and you’re not willing to try something different; then you do lose.
The second important lesson the author has learned, over the years from all the successful people he has met is that successful salespeople absolutely, positively love what they do.
The single, biggest reason they do what they do is because they love it. For successful people, there is nothing else they would rather do. Successful salespeople believe that what they do helps the people they do it for, because successful salespeople do not sell, they help.
Loving what you do also gets you through the hard times when there is no money coming in. It is also the one quality that can help make you great at anything you do.