Posts Tagged ‘sales success’
Ever wonder why so many people are venturing into being solo entrepreneurs or SMB owners? Beyond the obvious advantage of being your own boss, my sense is these folks have witnessed great salespeople who make selling look easy.
Just hop over to LinkedIn and scan a few profile summaries. Immediately you will see a difference between those who understand sales and those who think they understand sales.
Sales is simple. Someone called a buyer has a want or need and someone else called a seller has a product or service to fit that want or need. Pretty easy, well not so much so.
Social selling has only reinforced this notion that selling is easy. Sure you can buy Twitter followers or make a zillion posts on Facebook and when you measure the results, what do you discover?
People buy from people they know and trust. To create that knowing and trusting persona takes time, energy, money and emotions. Great salespeople are willing to make those investments.
Just as in leadership, great sales people are made not born. They develop over time. These forward thinking sales leaders are self directed toward continuous improvement themselves by honing their knowledge, talents and sales skills.
Through the years I have had the opportunity to meet truly great salespeople who understood “sales is the transference of feelings.” (Zig Ziglar). From them I learned what to do and what not to do.
My sense of selling is authentic, laid back and I have crystal clarity as to who my ideal target market is. Yes some of my clients do not fit my ideal customer profile, however over time more often than not they do grow into that role.
If you want to have sales success, then look to follow, listen and learn from those who have sales success. Be willing to accept their is no quick fix for sales success and you will be nearly half way to your own success.
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Once again, we witnessed how the underdog, the team, the individual never gave up. This “never give up” attitude is also embedded within great salespeople.
2016 was and 2017 appears to be years where the can do attitude, never give up attitude will triumph over the can’t do one. Henry Ford is quoted as saying:
“Whether you think you can or you think you cannot, either way you will be right.”
How many times do we allow our own inner voices and sometimes the outside voices of others defeat us when we are so close to winning, to success? Thomas Edison realized this when he said:
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
Great salespeople persevere especially when the going gets tough. They keep moving forward even when defeats happen. F. Scott Fitzgerald also recognized the essence of perseverance when he wrote:
“Never ever confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.”
American Author, William Feather echoed Fitzgerald’s words through a different bullhorn.
“Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.”
There will always be naysayers who will be quick to shout your defeat. Great salespeople shake these words off like dogs who shake their coats after after running through the rain or snow.
Years ago I read something about “if you give you, you never truly wanted it.” For sales success, you must want success beyond the dollars and cents. Money as a motivator is necessary, but not truly sustainable.
As my husband, a now retired entrepreneur said:
“It is not a question of do I know it, but rather one of do I want to do it?”
His words reflect an internal desire to want to win that goes beyond the external rewards of money, status and recognition. The want to is how his and our own self-confidence, self esteem and self worth are reaffirmed.
Great salespeople know how to overcome the limitations preventing them from sales success. Many live by these words of General Hannibal:
“We will either find a way or make one.”
Do You Want to be Among the Great Salespeople?
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Over the last 10 years, I have discovered this startling fact among those in sales leadership roles:
98.7% do not know what they truly do well!
The irony, if you want to call it that, is 95.4% of these same salespeople know what they don’t do well.
Sales Leadership Question
Why do winning sales teams win?
- Answer A) Because of the weaknesses of their salespeople
- Answer B) Because of the strengths or talents of their salespeople
Most sales managers, SMB owners and salespeople respond with “B, of course.” So if that is true, then why do so few salespeople know what they truly do well?
Through one if not the most accurate psychometric assessments in the marketplace, the Attribute Index, salespeople and other professionals learn how they make decisions externally and internally along with 78 core talents that can be separated into:
- Interpersonal – talents used when making external decisions
- Intrapersonal – talents used when making internal decisions
Some of the intrapersonal talents begin with this word of “self” as in self confidence, self direction, self esteem, self management or self starting ability. The interpersonal talents include accountability for others, realistic goal setting for others and relating to others.
When people do not know what they do well and focus their efforts on what they think they do well, numerous opportunities are missed.
What is even worse, people through conditioned behavior continue to prioritize fixing their weaknesses even though knowing full well sales success comes through one’s strengths.
Isn’t it time for those in sales leadership roles to truly know by having crystal, clear clarity what they do well?
Benjamin Franklin understood the power in having clarity around our strengths, our talents when he said:
“Wasted strengths are like sundials in the shade.”
Can you afford not to know what you do well? Learn what you do well along with what motivates you and how you communicate through this SPECIAL OFFER. (until 2/28/2017)Share on Facebook
2017 appears to be one of optimism if we believe a recent poll by Morning Consult. Consumers have expressed the strongest confidence at 113.7 since August of 2001. All these positive indicators should also spur drinking from the glass of sales optimism.
Of course, if you as a salesperson are not feeling confident all the good news, positive indicators will not change your sales optimism. Maybe you are a half empty drinker?
Some Reflection Questions
Possibly it may make sense to ask yourself, what sales behaviors are you expressing as you meet with people?
Are sales leads feeling your optimism?
Are prospects seeing your energy?
Are colleagues sensing your excitement?
If your business growth or sales results in 2016 were not where you wanted them to be, what changes can you make to ensure different results in 2017?
Vision – Values – Mission
Here are some additional questions to ask yourself to change your sales results.
Where do I want to be by the end of 2017? This is your vision for just the current year.
How will I behave to achieve those desired outcomes. This is your values, your business ethics.
What will I do each month or quarter to execute the necessary behaviors (actions). These are the action steps within your mission for 2017.
Words of Wisdom
Sales optimism always return to your own mind. In the words of Henry Ford “Whether you think you can or you think you cannot, either way you are right.”
You have the choice to move forward, to preserve or to stay where you are potentially hunkered down in some corner with the mental hope things will get better.
Thomas Jefferson recognized that inaction is an action when he said “Action will delineate and define you.”
“Action is the foundational key to all success” and Pablo Picasso is right.
Possibly the beginning to sales optimism is within these words of Zig Ziglar
“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”
So get going, invest some time to plan each day, track your activity and your sales results.
If you require some assistance, please use what I call the 4 Points to Sales Success (see below) along with the guidelines. This is a tool I created from my father’s old paper tracking of his daily sales activity results.
Download four-points-to-sales-success (Active Excel File)
Download Guidelines 4-pts-success-sales-tool-guidelines (PDF File)Share on Facebook
People buy from people. This is a fact. Since people buy from people, then to develop those people relationships is very dependent upon the salesperson’s capacity for empathy. This may help to explain the sales success for many top performing salespeople.
Years ago I heard the difference between empathy and sympathy. Both of these terms recognized the emotions and situations of others. The difference was this one word – agreement.
- When we are sympathetic we are in agreement with the other person.
- When we are empathetic we acknowledge the other person’s situation, but do not necessarily agree with it.
Sales success is built upon understanding the emotional wants and needs of the sales prospect. How we share that understanding is very much about our empathy and its foundation of emotional intelligence because we:
- Recognize and understand the emotions of others
- Recognize and understand our own emotions
- Manage both of these emotions
Back in February of 2013, I wrote this:
When sales people have the capacity to perceive and understand the feelings of others, this bodes well for their ability to build authentic relationships. This sales leadership talent of empathetic outlook does involve being consciously aware of the impact of your actions on others. Sales Training Coaching Tip: Empathetic outlook is all about interpersonal intelligence within the realm of emotional intelligence.
Today some sales training experts continue to focus on sales skills, technical tools and yet fail to truly acknowledge the importance of empathy specific to building relationships. For example, a sales prospect does not call when he or she promised. The salesperson begins to first focus only on his or her emotions of disappointment to discouragement. When the salesperson and the sales prospect finally reconnect, those emotions may surface or are still submerged. The prospect may sense those emotions and this may have a negative impact on the interaction.
Empathy is a necessary behavior for sales success. To ignore this talent, this capacity, may harm future business and individual growth.
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Words are powerful. Words can make a break a sale. So what words are hurting your sales conversations?
One of the most damaging words is “need.” This word implies judgement and suggests potential incompetence on the part of the sales lead. What is even worse most sales training focuses on “needs” and “wants” and reinforces this word within the salesperson.
Sales Coaching Tip: The word “need” fails to be emotionally intelligent.
Then how about the word “think?” Here is another word within most sales conversations that also may be viewed as emotionally unintelligent because it implies judgment. The salesperson who uses this word may also be viewed as too egotistical as the sales prospect may be saying to himself “Who is this person telling me what to think?”
Now we come to the word “you.” Again another word that can imply judgement. These three words, “in your opinion” can be substituted.
“Should” can also be added to the list of words to remove from one’s sales conversations. Most of us probably remember our parents telling us “you should” do this or do that. Even back then we had an emotional reaction because it removed our ability to make a choice as discussed within the Theory of Self-Determination.
There are other words that may not be judgmental, but are so overused people are impervious to them. How many times in the B2B or B2C marketplace we hear this word “help?” “We help people, blah, blah, blah.” Everybody is helping everybody. Really? With all the words in the English language, another word cannot be found?
Sales Coaching Tip: Help is how you do what you do; not what you do.
Then there is this word, “challenge.” Within the sales process during the fact finding meeting, salespeople are encouraged to discover the challenges being faced by sales lead. In some instances, this word may create some negative feedback because of overuse or the salesperson sounds like all the other salespeople.
Download this 7-Step-Sales-Process-ADVSYS PDF to better understand the overall sales process.
One word, a slip of the tongue so to speak, can potentially doom any blossoming relationship. This is way integrating the most emotionally engaging words in all sales conversations is essential for sales success.Share on Facebook
Do you believe you have an open mind? If you truly desire sustainable sales success, then maybe it is time to open your mind to new ideas.
One way to engage in keeping an open mind is to read at least once sales book or a book about your industry, the marketplace or business in general. If people buy from people they know and trust, your expertise and knowledge helps to build and reinforce that trust.
Another way is to stay open in your thoughts is to read a variety of blogs, newsfeeds and engage in LinkedIn Pulse or LinkedIn discussion groups. These interactive opportunities help to challenge the status quo you maybe currently experiencing even without your conscious knowledge.
Of course, not everything you read, see or hear is agreeable to your own beliefs and knowledge. That is okay. By being exposed to contrary views, you can improve how you state your position.
For example, some of my colleagues believe salespeople create value. I don’t believe that to be true. During the last several years I have read several books, blogs and listen to this sales concept that salespeople create value. This difference in belief has allowed me to better articulate why I believe this is a false belief.
My sense is salespeople confuse value creation with value connection or value clarity. People buy on value unique to them. (My third sales buying rule.) Sometimes salespeople must bring clarity to the sales lead about what is important to him or her. Another advantage of an mind is it works with emotional intelligence instead of working against it.
Technology is probably one of the greatest impetus for having an open mind. For salespeople seeking sales success, finding the best sales technology tools such as a CRM is essential.
One of the quotes I continually remember to continue sustainable success for me is this one by Henry Ford:
“If you think you can or you think you cannot, either way you are right.”
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Do you ever watch those Ted Talks? The one common characteristic of the presenters is energy. Those who achieve sustainable sales success always appear to be in energy even when they are speaking quietly. Their energy radiates and draws their listeners close and closer.
How many times have you bought from a low energy, boring salesperson? One of the first indicators as to energy level is a handshake. A firm handshake always trumps one of those wimpy ones, doesn’t it?
Smiles are another indicator of energy level. I am not talking about those plastered, fake smiles, but the authentic ones. Most buyers know the difference.
How quickly a person walks as well as the overall posture of the individual also can reveal his or her energy level. When a salesperson walks in timidly, shoulders slumped, this does not leave the buyer with positive feelings.
Engagement is a partner of energy and a must to achieve sustainable sales success. People buy from people not from fancy dancy websites, glossy brochures or the latest CRM software.
Of course in today’s 24/7 B2B marketplace maintaining energy is not easy. Many forces are being applied continually to top sales performers. This is why it may make sense to outsource some of those tasks or find technology tools to help reduce the time demands.
To maintain energy from my perspective also requires scheduling time for reflection, exercise and time away from sales. Having complete balance in life is unrealistic. Yet, salespeople can strive toward having better balance between their personal and professional lives.
Download this simple self assessment, Personal-Professional-Wheel, to learn where you may wish to concentrate your activities.
Yes having energy is essential to sustainable sales success. If you energy levels are low, there is a very good chance your sales levels are equally low. If you wish to increase sales, then maybe your goal should be to intentionally increase your energy levels.Share on Facebook
Most sales training and much of the sales coaching focuses on how to improve sales skills. To reach that next level of sales success may require going beyond current, almost cookie cutter, robotic sales training.
If current approach to developing sales skills is still not securing the desired results, then maybe something is missing. What is missing is how to recognize and leverage the uniqueness of each salesperson. That uniqueness is the combination of numerous factors such as personal experience, informal learning, motivation, decision making style and their supporting talents.
Would you believe there are 78 talents that all individuals have in varying degrees of ranking? These talents both interpersonal (extrinsic) and intrapersonal (intrinsic) can have a dramatic impact on existing selling skills. They also help to explain why top sales performers who achieve similar results have different approaches.
FREE Download AI-Self-Assessment-78-Talents
What I know to be true is with the over 500 professionals of which 50% have been involved in sales I have debriefed less than 2% know what they do well. Suddenly they realize how these talents contribute to their own uniqueness as well as how many potential sales opportunities they have missed because they lacked clarity about their talents.
Yes sales training is important as is understanding marketing in today’s social selling world. Maybe it is time to rethink how we train salespeople and look to developing them by identifying and then leveraging these supporting talents.
Never heard of the Attribute Index? Click HERE to schedule a time to speak wit Leanne Hoagland-Smith to learn more about the most accurate assessment in the marketplace.Share on Facebook
Sales success today definitely requires leaving your ego at the door. Being humble, demonstrating humility is essential. This does not mean you as the salesperson is a doormat. No what it means is you are authentic because you are more focus on the potential ideal customer or sales lead than yourself.
Many of the top sales performers I personally know are grounded. This sense of being grounded is consistently displayed in how they collaborate with other colleagues. They are always focused on the wants and needs of their ideal customers or current customers. This focus generates sustainable sales success.
Being grounded requires strong internal positive core values or business ethics. Grounded individuals are not the “snake oil” salespeople.
Grounded also extends to having a sense of intentional balance between one’s personal and one’s professional worlds. Individuals who are unintentionally off balance appear not to be as grounded as those who have more balance.
Also I believe top sales performers do come from the earth. For me what this means they are people first and understand people buy from people.
Yes humility is not something that can be easily faked. Eventually, a strong ego will surface and crack the facade of humility.
Believe it or not, one’s internal temperamental bias can reveal one’s ego and therefore suggest one’s humility. A negative bias toward one’s self esteem reflects a good ego and suggests this person is open to criticism, another sign of being humble. Conversely, a positive internal bias suggests the individual is self-centered and dislikes any criticism.
Sales success has many factors and varies between individuals. The goal is to apply some or all of these tips to your own sales behavior and then monitor the results.