As human beings, we are all special, unique creatures.
A salesperson is, of course, human, and in this respect is also unique and special…
In the role of professional salesperson, there are some things that each and every salesperson should be doing. When these things are suggested, poor salespeople often insist that they, or their business is fundamentally different that most. It is unique and special, and as such, the basic best principles of sales don’t apply to them.
They are wrong.
In these respects, they are not unique, they are not special, they are just wrong.
Here are three areas in which successful salespeople, or those wishing to be more successful, should get over themselves and do things the right way, like everybody else, in spite of their essential, perceived specialness.
1 – Scripting the first 30 seconds of a cold call, important meeting or presentation
When I suggest scripting, most salespeople cringe. They seem to imagine painfully executed acting attempts and monotone telemarketers. They could, instead, imagine actors who do a good job, and realize that with a little practice, they may not sound scripted.
There is no need to script an entire call, meeting or presentation – I have even written about the folly of trying to do just that. However, what you want to say in the first 30 seconds that you have to speak is usually predictable. If that is the case, as it should be in many situations, then scripting your “introduction” allows you to speak with confidence, get off to a strong start, and start the conversation the right way.
2 – Following a sales process
I have blogged and written at length about the sales process (click on the link if you are not sure what that means). If your sales job includes:
- looking for people to sell your stuff to
- seeing if they are able to and interested in buying your stuff
- asking them questions about their needs
- making them an offer
- answering their questions, comments, concerns and objections
- and attempting to close the deal
…then you do all of the stuff that is usually involved in a sales process. Rather than insist that each sale is unique like an artistic masterpiece, why not map out the steps, and work to optimize your approach. You might just sell more!
3 – Forgetting the idea that this will be an easy ride, and just do your work
Sometimes salespeople get lucky. Sometimes it is from working hard, sometimes not. Sometimes a great deal or client just falls into your lap; or your product gets so hot that a rock could sell it. It won’t always be like that.
During my career, I have seen more than a few highly paid salespeople get complacent, and later get stung when the fuel for their high pay dried up. They had to start digging their proverbial wells again long after they got thirsty. There is no excuse for this. Whether or not things are good or you are busy, keep working consistently; keep finding new clients and opportunities; keep your pipelines full and balanced. This is how to ensure long term, consistent success.
I have worked with a lot of very special and unique people in the last few decades. Those who were successful in sales over the long term seemed to be the ones that knew the basics, and executed them with discipline and consistency.
Authors note (AKA shameless plugs)
So, this 7-step sales process and associated topics…. Yup, I write about that a lot. I’ve been working with it since I developed it about 25 years ago – in my own diverse work experiences, with my teams when I had them, and with clients ever since.
If you would like to develop you own personalized and customized, highly effective and efficient B2B selling system, here are some further steps you can take:
The Salesman’s Guide to Dating is a free or very cheap (depending on Amazon) Kindle book that walks you through the sales process using the familiar analogy of dating. It’s a good, fun and quick way to get your mind around the whole process and how the pieces fit together.
Building Your Sales Process (BYSP) is a free and very thorough exploration of the same 7-step process that will walk you through the development of your own customized, personal B2B selling system. When you are done, you will know exactly what to do to get new business.
The Momentum Selling System® is an inexpensive but very robust online sales training course that is similar to BYSP, but goes deeper into the concepts behind each of the steps, and also helps you develop a plan not only for the 7-step process but also addresses mindset, repeat business and client base management.
If none of that sounds right, I do personal coaching and offer a free 30-minute intake session so that we can both learn if it makes sense to work together 1-on-1. If this sounds interesting, click over to the coaching page on this site and sign up for the free session.
Here’s to your success!