The Difference Between The Best And The Also-Rans…
As a consultant and trainer in sales and the sales process, I’m often asked the question, “What makes a top-performing salesperson?”
As with most things in life, the answer can be summarised in just two words, Attitude and Activity.
Attitude determines the difference between the best and the rest. The best don’t necessarily know more, they just do more and do it better and more frequently.
Activity is the manifestation of their desire to succeed.
Combined, they become Actitude – activity conducted with a positive attitude.
The 14 characteristics are essential reading for business owners, sales managers and salespeople…
Here they are…
1. They focus on their outcomes and don’t get distracted by trivia.
You won’t find them around the coffee pot or water cooler talking weekend sport on Monday morning at 9:30. They’re either on the phone or with a customer. They know and understand that quotas / targets are there to be exceeded, not something to aim for. They focus on achieving their target as early in the month as possible because they know that the bonuses they earn by exceeding them support their lifestyle. That’s why they go overseas on holidays when you go camping or spend a week at the beach!
2. They are determined and persistent.
They maintain a positive attitude and always stay “Up” even when the chips are down. On the occasions when it does go wrong, they bounce back quickly and ask themselves, “What did I learn from this, and how do I prevent it happening again?”
3. They always act “On Purpose”.
Every call, every letter, every visit is conducted for a reason. They know their intended outcome and fall-back position before they make contact with their prospect or customer.
4. They manage their time and guard it zealously because they understand the difference between Urgent and Important.
Important is their priority; achieving quota by providing efficient and exemplarily service to their customers. They recognise that Urgent is someone else’s priority thrust upon them. They treat other people’s time with respect. Always on time for meetings and appointments, they don’t disrupt proceedings with irrelevancies or idle chatter.
5. They perform all tasks quickly and efficiently in the minimum of time, always working to pre-agreed timelines.
It’s true that the tasks you have to perform can easily expand to fill the time available to complete them. It’s also true that if you want to get something done, give it to a busy person. It’s easy for a salesperson to become bogged down in detail and paperwork. Often a cluttered desk is a display of someone trying to look busy, or at least busier than they are. The clutter acts as a block to prevent new work responsibilities and ideas entering the workspace.
6. They establish clear communication rules.
Their peers and customers know how to contact them and the need to keep messages and information exchange short and precise. Their customers know that their calls will always be returned and that phone tag is unnecessary. Likewise, top performers treat email as efficiently as they do phone calls. Their golden rule for both written and verbal communication is, “Less is More.” When handling enquiries and responses, they do not get hung up on emotion, they focus on logic.
7. They are effective networkers.
They know that when networking, they’re not selling, merely establishing and maintaining relationships with others who support them with information. When networking, they are active listeners rather than active talkers. Their positioning is that of trusted friend instead of active promoter.
8. They always keep their eyes and ears open, constantly looking out for opportunities.
They notice adverts for Companies they could become suppliers or partners to. They write down prospect’s phone numbers from their ads, vehicles and street signage and make contact with them. They are always prospecting and can never have enough prospects in their pipeline.
9. They are pro-active, especially when things are slow.
Instead of moaning and complaining that sales are down, they get on the phone and call past and existing customers as well as prospects to seek business or information.
10. They provide their upline managers with detailed, accurate and timely sales reports.
Successful sales don’t mask the truth of their calls with meaningless comments. Instead, they paint an accurate picture of the conversation, the outcome and the next step they intend to take. This means their managers can identify marketplace trends and issues without needing to waste face-to-face time with their team or with customers.
11. They never waste customers’ time with needless, irrelevant product pitches.
Indeed, they always take the time to understand their customer and their business needs before even thinking about presenting their offering as a solution or opportunity. Their mantra when presenting their product or service is, “Prescription without diagnosis is malpractice.”
12. They negotiate from “No” instead of from Win: Win.
Always prepared to walk away from a bad deal or a poor quality customer, the most efficient of salespeople expect the sale to be made on 100% agreeable terms rather than a compromise.
13. They look, act, think and behave as someone their customers will look to for advise.
They dress well, are careful of their personal habits, and proud to represent their Company.
14. They invest in their own education.
Every highly successful salesperson has their own library of quality self-development materials and invests time improving themselves, their skills and their product knowledge. They know that their attitude delivers their results and focus on the positives. They diligently attend sales training whenever offered and pay attention to new and different techniques and processes. They constantly seek to improve their knowledge of their own products and industry.
Do you think you have what it takes to be a top sales performer?
Take another look at this list and ask yourself the question, “How good am I really?”
If you’re not achieving the results you should be, chances are that the answer you’re looking for lies somewhere in this list.
If you’re a sales manager or an employer, and your sales people don’t exhibit the characteristics outlined in this list, we need to talk! Call me for an obligation-free discussion about what we can do to help.
Here’s the number: 1300 884 757.
(c) James Yuille