What bothers me is the turnover we have in sales. It is amazing the number of people who get into sales thinking they are going to make a lot of money, and then they struggle, they fail and they fall off.
There is around a 15 to 20% turnover in sales every year. This number is disturbing because it tells me that people really don’t understand what sales truly is. Sales is about helping people.
Yeah, you could make a lot of money; there are no ifs, ands or buts about that. But above all else, it’s about helping people. You have to put other people first. I’m going to walk you through the 10 things to do to succeed in sales.
I contend if you do these ten things well – whether you are a new salesperson or a veteran – you will take your sales to the next level.
Video – 10 Ways to Succeed in Sales
1. Focus on the Ideal Customer
I see too many salespeople wind up chasing any lead or any response they get, which is great! But what helps you the most is focusing on your ideal customer.
Zero in and get laser focused. You are going to have to spend some time understanding who your ideal customer is.
You want to create an ideal customer profile and stay focused on it.
This is what is going to help keep you from chasing after the “shiny object” or any other distraction out there. Stay absolutely focused.
2. Time Management
As a new salesperson, it’s easy to think your most valuable asset is what you sell or your customer list or your prospects and so forth.
Know your most valuable assets is actually your time. You have to be using it wisely.
One of the biggest mistakes I see salespeople making is they use valuable selling time during the day to take care of paperwork.
They are taking care of this or that and doing everything but selling. You have to be wired in and be using your time in the most efficient manner because if you don’t, it gets away from you.
Time is the only thing you can’t make more of.
That’s it. The top performing salespeople understand this and do this incredibly well.
3. Create Clear Outcomes
What do I mean by this? You have to be very clear about the outcomes you can create. Think back to my first point, the ideal customer profile.
When you have an ideal customer profile, you have clear outcomes.
You can think to yourself, “These are the outcomes when I work with these types of people, when I work with these businesses” – not what you sell from working with them, but what the outcomes are.
When you are very clear on the outcomes you create, it’s amazing how much more confidence you have when selling. It’s amazing how much better you listen and understand. It’s amazing how much more trust customers will place in you.
4. Invest in Others
As a salesperson, you have to be willing to invest in other people. Sales is about putting the customer first.
One of the ways I can measure a great salesperson is asking myself, “How do they treat people away from the selling environment?” Do they treat them like jerks or do they invest in them? I want you to invest in other people, 24/7, regardless of who you are or where you are.
What does investing in others mean? It means respecting them. It means helping them. It means understanding. When you take the time to invest in other people, it is amazing how you will improve your abilities to listen, hear and learn.
5. Have a Peer Group
I want you to have a peer group. What is a peer group? Essentially, it’s a mastermind group. I’m in several. These are a group of individuals who challenge each other and hold each other accountable. They are individuals who you are going to go through your sales career with, together.
I cannot stress the importance of peer groups enough, because sales is not a solo activity. Sales is a team sport.
I want you to be very focused on having a peer group because you will find that you can exchange ideas, share solutions, talk about problems and really find yourself all of the time. Your investment into a peer group is going to pay off exponentially, with much higher returns than expected.
6. Be Goal Focused
This is, again, another huge difference between average salespeople and great salespeople. Great salespeople are always zeroed in on one of their goals.
Every day, you have to ask yourself, “What are my goals and what am I going to do to move myself closer to achieving those goals?” You have to be laser focused. If what you are doing today does not help you achieve your goals, you need to ask yourself, “Why am I doing it?”
Goal focused people are ones who make things happen versus the ones who are waiting for things to happen.
7. Be the Optimist
Anybody can be negative, but I want you to be the optimist. I want you to be the optimistic voice out there to your customers and your prospects. They do not want to hear from a pessimist, and neither do other people in your company or other people around you.
However, when you are an optimist, you are the ‘light on the hill’ and it is amazing how people will gravitate towards you.
8. Be a Rain Maker
Now, there is a rain maker and there is a rain barrel. You do not want to be the rain barrel – these are the people who basically function as customer service. Rain barrels give the customers what they want, and anybody can do that.
The rain maker is the one who goes out and creates incremental opportunities with not only their existing customer – because you are helping them uncover new needs – but they are also finding new customers. That is what it is all about.
The rain maker is the definition of a salesperson, whereas the rain barrel is the definition of customer service.
9. Be an Influencer
You want to be seen as an influencer in everything.
As a new salesperson, you are not going to be an influencer. I get that and I understand that. But, as you gather more expertise and more insights, your objective is that you want people to be looking to you for knowledge. You want people to be saying, “He or she has some insight I want to tap into.”
Your goal is to become an influencer because then, customers will gravitate towards you.
10. Always be Learning
Never stop learning. I want you to challenge yourself to be spending 15 to 30 minutes a day reading, learning and studying about your industry.
If you spend 30 minutes a day for just three months learning, reading and studying about your industry, you quickly be seen as an expert.
Now, that does not mean you are going to know everything there is to know. However, a two-watt light bulb looks pretty good in a dark room. You will have more knowledge than the vast majority of people out there.
Don’t think for a moment that as a new salesperson, you are going to be able to learn everything about your industry all at once. Instead, break it into small pieces. Become a master at all the small pieces and eventually, they will begin to add up.
Don’t try to eat the elephant all at once. You eat the elephant one bit at a time.
Those are the 10 things how to succeed in sales. I’m going to add just one more for you as a bonus: Buy the book A Mind for Sales.
I want you to buy it, read it and apply the lessons. Why? Because I want you to be absolutely, incredibly successful in sales. Because sales is – without a doubt – not a profession and not a job sales lifestyle, but about helping people. The definition of sales is helping others see and achieve what they did not think was possible.
As one of my loyal blog readers, I have an opportunity today for you to invest in your skills. Together, we can take today’s challenges and turn them into once in a lifetime opportunities. Consider this quote that I wrote in my new book, A Mind For Sales and say often:
When challenges arise we don’t rise to the occasion, we sink to the level of our training.
Are you ready? Watch the video above, and come be a part of the continued conversation as we all become masters in our fields and passions. My new program, The Sales Hunter University, is where you’ll find it all – unlimited personal growth, hands-on learning, quick tips, abundant resources, and an amazing community.
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Copyright 2021, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of A Mind for Sales and High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results.