What makes a superior salesperson? Not merely successful. Meaning superior. This question was posed by Ian and Jennifer, two very astute Inside Sales Managers with whom Geoff Alexander communicates with on a frequent basis. After training and coaching hundreds and hundreds of telesales reps, he does have some answers, because he’s worked with many of the best. The list of the key elements that made these reps superior isn’t long, but it raises the bar over which a rep must jump in order to constantly over-achieve and outperform others. And the list isn’t just about superior sales characteristics either. It’s also about superior habits in the workplace. In this article, they are broken down into Superior Sales Characteristics and Superior Work Habits. Take a look…
Recently Jeff Ogden had the pleasure of interviewing Sharon Drew Morgen, author of the new book entitled, Dirty Little Secrets: Why Sales Can’t Sell; Customers Can’t Buy; and What You Can Do About It. You can listen to his interview with her by clicking on Interview with Sharon Drew.
It’s been a rough year, so I can understand the temptation to lay low until the traditionally slow holiday season has passed so you can start fresh in 2010.
That would be a mistake.
If anything, you should be firing up the afterburners and pressing harder than ever to close as many pending sales as possible before the holiday slowdown hits, usually right before Thanksgiving. It will boost your year-end sales – and your ego – so you end 2009 on a high note.
At the same time, the waning days of 2009 should be spent building up a prospect pipeline that can be converted into new business in January. In fact, I believe that November and December can be the two most important months of the year. The work you do during this 60-day span will set the stage for the 365 days that follow.
Companies that operate on a calendar-year basis are finalizing their budgets for 2010 and planning their initiatives for the first half of the New Year. Getting in front of prospects now is the best way to ensure that your products or services are on the table as those plans are being made.
These last few days of the year are also when many companies make decisions about any vendor changes that will take effect Jan. 1st . A lack of face time can result in your company being on the chopping block for no reason other than you’ve slipped off their radar.
And finally, if you don’t reach out now, chances are pretty high that you’ll miss your opportunity to get on a prospect’s calendar for the early days of 2010. You can bet that your competition is working aggressively to fill up those valuable January appointment times. Unless you’re doing the same, you’ll start the New Year playing catch-up rather than closing sales.
You probably hear certain questions from your prospects over and over and over and over. If you’ve been in sales for even a very short time, you probably have fairly standard answers to those questions. If you are more or less repeating the same answers every time you hear particular questions, those answers are your scripts.
Many sales professionals claim that they never use scripts and never would. Many take issue with the entire idea of scripting, saying that scripts are “phony,” “don’t work,” “make you sound like a telemarketer,” or that “every call is different so it’s impossible to use a script.”
The reality is that all sales people use scripts. Wendy Weiss shares why.
Do you use a script? How did you develop it? How often do you “update” it?
How Do You Know Who’s Really Behind The Mask?
Of course we know there are other predominant characteristics of top performing salespeople which positively contribute to performance not mentioned here. For now, Jim Kasper, is focusing on 3 key characteristics: Enterprising, Sociable, Assertive.
The other night Randy Whitcroft was doing some work and looking at his oldest son as he was doing some of his homework. He then remembered that when he was that age, he learned a very valuable lesson which to this day he attributes a great deal of his sales success – Doing his homework!
When it comes to calling into a new prospect, Randy will take the time to do a search on the person using tools like LinkedIn, Spoke, or even Google. He takes the time to find press releases, awards, or even other connections with the individual or company that can be used to either warm up the initial call or to help establish some rapport with the person he is calling. Before heading into a sales meeting, some homework is done on the people who will be in attendance at the meeting. Time will be taken to go through the company’s annual report, and read any recent press releases or news coverage. It is important to try to uncover some insights into their priorities and business needs even before heading into the meeting.
The bottom line is that Randy doesn’t ever want his clients to ever think that he did not take the time to get to know a bit about them and their business before opening up the discussion on how he can help them.
Do you complete your homework? Let us know if and how this has impacted your sales success.
Mark Hunter believes if you ask any CEO about their “issues,” you will hear that one of their biggest is finding and retaining good salespeople. Something happened on the way to a sour economy: Too many companies learned the hard way that their salespeople didn’t know how to sell. Instead, their salespeople were good at taking orders and providing customer service. There is nothing wrong with this approach, as long as the marketplace is always going to serve up new customers and keep current customers in business. Does that kind of marketplace always exist?