The difference between good salespeople and great ones is staggering. Good reps hit their quota ... most of the time. Great reps don’t just consistently hit, they have blow-out months or quarters. Good reps earn their prospects’ trust and respect.
To achieve long-term success in sales means that you need to develop good habits that make you more productive.
If you want greatness, good news. Following these rules of good sellers will help you become one of the top-selling salespeople on your team -- or even company.
1. Schedule blocks of prospecting time
Prospecting isn’t always the most fun thing to do. Sure, it is when you are on a winning streak and getting people to respond to you. But there are those times when people just aren't feeling it. When that happens, it can be easy to steer away from your prospecting and get caught up in busy work.
Top sales pros devote a significant amount of time to prospecting for new business and this habit prevents the peaks and valleys that many other salespeople experience. By scheduling time each week to prospect it can keep you on track to do it NO MATTER WHAT during that time. Of course, you can always prospect more but by having time blocked out it will help you stay on track.
2. Practice asking valuable questions
Don’t be scared to ask what you need to know. People are always busy, right? It will be rare that you are calling someone when they actually have time to talk. Top salespeople have learned to ask tough, probing, thought-provoking questions that make prospects think.
So instead of being nervous, ask what you need to ask. Most people will tell you want you want to know if you have the courage to ask.
Asking great questions: It gets easier with practice.
3. Listen more; Talk less
Conversations are a two way street. Be sure to listen fully to what people are saying. In many cases, it will lead you down a path where you can learn what would make them want to work with you. If you just call them to tell them all the things you want them to know you will not get very far.
The best salespeople I know are excellent listeners. They listen for underlying clues and hidden messages. They also seek clarification when necessary. They use prompters such as “tell me more” or “go on” which encourages the other person to divulge additional information. And, they also make strong eye contact which demonstrates that they are paying close attention.
4. Ask for referrals
Referrals beat a cold call every time. Calling on referrals is waaaaay easier. So, ask your best customers to give you one or two referrals. Everybody knows somebody who may want to talk with you. Most salespeople don’t actively ask for referrals even though they know the importance of doing so. The challenge is that they don’t know how to ask or are afraid to ask for fear of sounding needy or desperate. However, top salespeople ask consistently for referrals because they know a referral is more likely to develop into a sale than a cold call.
5. Follow up until your asked to stop
It is up to you to follow up consistently until you either win the businesses or get told they are not interested. We all know that it takes more than one call, one letter, or one email to connect with decision makers. In fact, it’s been reported that it now takes up to 14 touchpoints to connect with senior level executives. Successful salespeople know that it takes persistence and diligence to make contact and they use a variety of strategies to achieve this goal.
If somebody is pushing you off it could just be because they are busy or it is just not the right moment. But until they say “not interested” they are not telling you to stop following up. Timing is everything so keep on keeping on until you get an official yes or no.
Superstar salespeople are doing little things over and over each day in order to close massive sales and close more sales than the average salesperson.
In other words, it’s the structure of the daily habits of successful salespeople that matters far more than any one secret strategy.
That’s why 50% of salespeople from high-performing sales organizations report that they have structured sales processes, compared to just 28% of salespeople from underperforming sales organizations.
The small habits of successful salespeople add up to big success.
Heidi Wilcox is a Director of Market Development for Excelerate America, the ultimate one-stop shop for entrepreneurs. Have a question about which habit will lead you to becoming a more successful saleperson? Shoot Heidi an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.