It’s amazing. So many salespeople with great potential either drop out or have limited success. Most have good skills, possess the right attitude, and want to get ahead. But something holds them back.
What are they missing?
Simply put, they don’t know the rules for getting to the top. Here are seven that will help do the job:
Rule 1: Do it now
The world has changed and the message for everyone is fast forward. Wells Fargo’s FastFlexsm Small Business Loan program tells the story. Online and funded as quickly as the next business day, there are no meetings with a loan officer, no filling out paperwork, being told “decisions are made locally” or waiting for a response. Enough, already!
This is what today’s customers expect. Salespeople stumble because they don’t do it now. They don’t get back to customers quickly, whether it’s responding to a question, solving a problem, or getting them promised information. Customers expect it done now and it’s savvy salespeople who get the message—and the business.
Rule 2: Hoard time
Only top salespeople grasp that they have only a limited amount of their most important asset: time. It’s not renewable. Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.
So, don’t let distractions rob you of your time. The worst of these is assuming that every prospect can become a client by working hard enough. That’s total nonsense. And this is why thorough prospect analysis helps avoids wasting valuable time chasing the wrong ones.
A prospect analysis answers two questions: Who are my best clients? Why do I like working with them? Go after prospects with similar traits and pass on the rest.
Rule 3: Corral optimism
Plain and simple, a positive attitude keeps us going. Selling takes tons of optimism to get past ever-present rejections. But optimism is not without a dangerous downside: it can get in our way so we only see what we want to see.
Success requires the ability to spot obstacles and come up with a plan to either get past them or put them aside and move on, rather than pursuing them.
New York University psychology professor Gabriele Oettingen has come up with a way to move forward toward a goal by being both optimistic and realistic. She calls it WOOP:
- Wish: What’s my goal?
- Outcome: What would be the best result if you accomplished it?
- Obstacle: What’s stopping me from accomplishing it?
- Plan: What do I need to do to overcome it?
Knowing how to put optimism to work can transform hope into goals, including making sales a reality. And, as you might guess, there’s a WOOP app that can help and it’s free.
Rule 4: Talk less
Many salespeople talk too much. What’s even worse, their words are mostly automatic. Press their button and out comes the same blather every time. It makes no difference who the customer may be, the words are always the same. It’s like a doctor prescribing the same pill for every patient.
Customers know what they’re getting when they hear nothing but tattered scripts from the mouths of salespeople. It’s so easy to fall into a pattern of talking about what we’re selling. It’s as if the customer isn’t even there. Instead of engaging prospects, endless words drive them away confused.
More from John Graham:
Next page: Rules 5-7
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