When I was recently preparing a speech to up and coming sales reps, I realized that I had compiled a list of selling tips that I wanted to share today. Here are the best of the best:
#1 Consult, Don’t Regurgitate – better to listen to your prospect and find out what they really need, rather than “barf out” everything you know
#2 Share, Celebrate and Support – be a fantastic teammate!
#3 Manage Time, Plan and Prioritize – not the “sexy” part of selling, but crucial to success
#4 Fly Under The Radar, Don’t Be “On It” – if your boss does not have to follow-up with you about things not getting done, that is a good thing!
#5 The Path of “Most Resistance” Pays Dividends – anyone can do the easy stuff, but tough it out and do the difficult (or less desirable tasks) day in and day out
#6 Customers And Prospects Are Human Beings Too – get to know them on a personal level, make notes and show that you care about them as people too
Keep these close by and refer back to them when you need a gentle reminder of what it takes to succeed in sales!
That is the question 🙂
Ever see people handing out business cards like they are dealing a deck of cards?
“Come one, come all, everyone gets a card!”
The important question is…
did you get a card from the prospect, or the networking event connection?
When you get a card, you are in control. You control your own destiny.
When all you do is hand out cards, and often forget to get their card, you wait – hoping one day that they reach out to you.
Uh-oh! Your card may end up in the garbage but you still can connect if you have theirs!
All I have ever known is hard work. It started as a kid when I was:
- attempting to perfect songs at piano lessons to prepare for recitals and/or exams
- playing sports
- washing dishes at a buffet restaurant, or working at a golf course
I was never the most talented at any of these things, but my hard work, dedication and commitment set me apart from others over the years.
My wife and decided to rip out our old flooring on the main level of our home in the spring of 2012, and replace it with new hardwoods. In the kitchen, the old hardwood came out rather easily, but underneath was a bit of a surprise! There were two layers of linoleum, with an unimaginable amount of staples still stuck in to the sub floor. As I hummed and hawed about actually getting down on my hands and knees to take out the staples, I had to take a moment to reflect and remind myself how I had completed many other undesirable tasks in the past.
There have been many projects that I have completed over the years, and during each journey wanted to quit many times. Below is some of the “fun” that I have engaged in:
- I shovelled my two-story roof over a period of three days in hip deep snow. I would be up there for long periods of time, and even had to call my wife on a cell phone to pass me up food and water on occasion!
- We decided to get smaller pieces of sod once when we cut down shrubs in our back yard, rather than the traditional long strips. This tripled my effort, but saved some money.
- I tried to salvage my poorly finished basement ceiling, by scraping off very old stipple, and then tried to repaint it.
- I removed a large flower bed of 10 to 20 lbs rocks to landscape the front of my house.
- I painted the interior of my 900 square foot condo & the interior of my two-story 1700+ square foot primary residences, both in short turn around times.
Being in the sales profession for well over a decade now, things like call reporting (and using CRM software), forecasting & handling services issues were certainly not things that I jumped out of bed to do over the years. Early in my career, I was lucky enough to wrap my head around the fact that this was all part of the process. Keeping up with required tasks allowed me to focus on more enjoyable parts of the roles like engaging customers and making sales.
I suspect that you don’t want to be on your boss’ radar for becoming known as somebody who does not keep up with reporting and other administrative tasks. Make this part of your daily routine. Trust me from experience. DO NOT wait until Friday afternoon to do all of your administrative work for the week. Use it as a time to tie it all together.
Oh yeah, back to pulling out an “endless supply” of staples from my kitchen floor last spring. I just kept my head down, and pulled those staples out, no matter how much my body hurt, keeping the vision in my mind of how awesome our home would look when it was all done.
You can read all the books, and study all the theories about what motivates people to do what they need to do to be successful in life. But it all comes back to you – you and your will to get through the “not so fun tasks” is the key so you can look forward to the fun parts of your job and of your life.
Accomplishing a task is the satisfaction, and that is my primary goal every time I work towards completing something that I really do not want to do.
- How do you motivate yourself to complete professional and personal tasks that you don’t like to do?
- How deep do you have to dig when all you want to do is lie on the couch sometimes, and avoid all the undesirable things on your “To Do List?”
When I was selling in a retail market many years ago, it became common knowledge that one of the chain stores had a simple selling strategy:
- “Make sure that you sell to the first person that walks through the door every morning. It will set you up for the rest of the day.”
Really think about that for a minute. How different would their mindset and attitude be if they had a great start to the day? Don’t get my wrong, I am not asking you to beg for the sale, or hang on to their leg as they try to leave the store. But you get the idea!
For sales reps, business people and anyone trying to sell “Widget XYZ”, listen up….
You should have laser focus from the moment the calendar changes to a new month, and start that selling period with a “Bang”! A strong first day or two (or even a week) sets you up for the rest of the month. You will feel more confident, have a bounce in your step and presentations will flow more naturally. Heck the challenges won’t even feel as painful! You won’t feel as much pressure to sell, because you are already well on your way to reaching the monthly goal.
Think back to those months that you had a fantastic start vs. a poor one. One felt great while the other one felt like the weight of the world was on your shoulders. I can vividly recall having both types of feelings, and one is obviously better than the other!
Sales is a lot like sports, and when you are “feeling it”, good things happen.
Try “feeling it” when you have only achieved 25% your monthly goal with three days left in a month. OUCH!
Get in the mindset that NOTHING will get in your way to starting a month with a “Bang”!
Don’t get distracted in the office doing busy work and returning email. Focus on a detailed sales plan for that first week and don’t deviate from being in front of customers unless absolutely necessary.
I would love to hear if a very focused sales strategy for the first week of every month helps your results. Keep me posted – I would love to hear from you!