Even if you’re an old pro, there’s a lot to remember about selling. Much like physical fitness requires constant upkeep, selling requires persistent self-monitoring and reflection. This is because—contrary to cultural stereotypes— successful salespeople do more thinking and listening than they do talking.
Here are 6 of 12 simple resolutions to keep your sales process in tip-top shape. I recommend focusing on one each day, week or month—whatever works for you—to keep your selling muscles firm.
- I will do my homework. Your prospect doesn’t want to educate you about their company. Before engaging with your prospect, do your research. Identify their needs and how your offering can satisfy them on your own time. This way you can engage your prospect in a more meaningful conversation when contact is made.
- I will focus on my client’s buying cycle. The sales cycle is dead. Your focus should be on understanding, facilitating and managing your prospects’ and/or clients’ buying cycles. Hone in on your external target, not your internal processes.
- I will challenge, provoke and ignite my prospect’s thinking. It’s still important to ask your prospect questions, discover their situation, and identify their needs, goals, and challenges— but you must take it further. Challenge, provoke and ignite their beliefs with a bias toward your product or service. If you don’t, you may be liked, but you will not win the deal.
- I will focus on how, not what, I sell. It has never been what you sell that has made you successful— it has and always will be how you sell that will make you the winner. Are you connecting with your customer, listening to their needs?
- I will qualify my leads. The old saying is still valid: To consider a lead qualified, you must have identified a need to satisfy, a problem to solve or a goal to achieve. Get there fast or go fish somewhere else if a clear need, problem or goal cannot be determined.
- I will be patient. What differentiates a good sales person from an outstanding sales professional is patience: patience to collect answers after you ask a question, patience when accessing all necessary key players in and around the account, and patience in driving the buying process.
Tune in next week for my next 6 suggestions on selling more effectively. In the meantime, what are your selling mantras? Which above the above really speak to you?