There most likely is not a more focused or possibly profitable and rewarding profession than sales. Obviously, the work is difficult: the hours are long, managing the needs of your clients can be a challenge but the rewards are great and you can do it!
Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to serve in many positions and the one that has always been the most satisfying is developing the sales organization. As I have developed as a professional sales person and trainer, there are some things that have worked for me and some things that have not. Here is my list of the top 10 habits a sales person must develop for long term sales success.
1. Sell Value Over Price
Simply put, don’t take shortcuts. When it’s late in the month and your short on both sales and income, it’s tempting to drop your prices rather than slowing down and selling value. There is an old saying, the worst time to make a sale is when you need it the most. Stay focused on sharing the full value of your products every time and put this first and foremost. Your customers will appreciate the extra effort you make and so will your pocket book.
2. Positive Attitude
This is definitely high on my list. Sales people not only need to develop a positive attitude; they need to maintain it. Obviously, everybody has bad days, however the best salespeople don’t show these sentiments in front of their customers. Think positive thoughts, make friends with other positive people, listen to positive audio files and watch positive topics on the Internet about success and your industry.
Great Sales People have the tendency to set goals and focus on achieving them. They take the time to visualize the future that they want to live in and they understand that it takes focus to hit the target. Successful salespeople also know the significance of setting priorities and keeping first things first. They align their actions with their goals and focus on achieving them.
4. Ask Questions and Listen More Carefully
There is one slip-up that most salespeople make with clients every day and I see it all the time. It is that they assume that they know more than they truly do about their customer’s needs and how to satisfy those needs. This type of sales person seems to always be talking over their customer and don’t slow down to truly listen to their customers’ needs and concerns. Great salespeople recognize when it is time to stop talking and start listening. You would be surprised what you learn about your customer when you simply zip-it and listen!
5. Never Give Up
Don’t be discouraged and never give up on your success. Be that as it may, even in the worst of times, achievement is often right around the corner. Instead of giving up, top-performing salespeople wake up each day, dust off their shoes and jump right in where they left off – working to achieve their goals.
6. Focus On Others
A great sales person understands that a large part of their success is based on their ability to focus on others, particularly their customers. Many times, we have a tendency to reflect only on one’s own success or achievement. Being able to visualize yourself in the other person’s shoes can give you more empathy towards their feelings which will allow you to be a more genuine person and they will notice it and appreciate your attention.
7. Keep Promises
Belief is a key factor in any communication, and it is particularly imperative in sales. When good salespeople make promises, they must keep their promises, building trust is a core component of making sales and when you break promises, you break trust and this destroys the value you have built up.
8. Be Honest
At times there is a painful dynamic that appears to run in the background of many relationships between the client and the sales person. The sales person wants to convey the highest value and hold a reasonable profit for their employer and the customer wants to receive the highest value at the lowest possible price.
To overcome this battle, sales people sometimes feel the necessity to take short cuts and not fully disclose an issue or situation that might otherwise influence a buying decision or they may simply choose to lie. In the short run, the sales person might make a few sales, but he is probably not going to win many long-term clients or referral business.
Great Sales People realize that it takes honesty, and integrity with a lack of self-interest shown over time to generate the level of trust with a client that may be needed to build a rock-solid connection.
9. Show Respect for Others
Have you ever watched someone hold the door open for another? It’s nice and people notice it and appreciate being treated with respect. Don’t ever lose respect for your customer, and always strive to show it. It will pay off in long term dividends.
10. Always Work to Improve Skills
The sales arena is full of sales people with experience and wisdom. You can always learn something new if you are willing to keep an open mind. Most sales people fail because they fail to have a willingness to learn. Seek out sales training within your industry. Seek out guidance from others who are successful within your space and even outside of it. Fill your mind with good information that will help you reach your goals. Take time every day to learn something new. There is absolutely no excuse for not improving your skills, with the Internet and Youtube, you can learn almost anything about, well… anything.
Here’s to Your Success – Jody Humphrey