Who doesn’t want to be a top performer?
What’s the best sales advice out there? I’ve curated it all and I’m going to share my top 20 golden nuggets.
You’ve got to have the right mindset to succeed in sales. The challenge is: our mindset is made up of a wide number of things, chief of which is how we do our job.
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1. Follow up, follow up, follow up.
Top performers know that the sale is made not in that initial conversation, but in the follow-up. They stay true to that all the way through. They do not give up and that’s one of the single biggest differences.
2. Be clear on the outcome you create.
Top performers stay absolutely locked in on the outcomes they create. It’s not the product. Average salespeople get hung up on the product they sell.
It’s the benefit the customer receives. The best way to do this is by taking a piece of paper. Write down your ten best customers and write down the outcome that they received. That’s what you focus on.
3. Know your customer’s customer.
It’s no longer good enough to know your customer, but you’ve got to know your customer’s customer. When you know your customer’s customer, it’s amazing at how much more valuable you become.
The ultimate mark of success is when the customer asks you a question about something you don’t know anything about. But they do it because they’ve seen you bring them so much brilliance, so much insight.
If you can understand their customers, then you’re going to know what they have to do to continue to win their sales.
4. It’s all about the questions you ask.
Spend more time developing questions to ask. It’s not what you share with the customer, it’s what the customer shares with you.
That means that you have to be comfortable with silence. Know how to be silent, because when you are, the customer will wind up sharing more information with you.
5. Relationships and peer groups.
This is one of the reasons why I’ve got the Sales Logic Mastermind. If you’re not familiar with that, jump out to Sales Logic Podcast.com. It’s in the podcast I do with Meredith Elliott Powell and we have a mastermind group.
It’s about being part of a community where you’re associating with other top performers. My relationships drive me, my peer groups drive me because I challenge them, they challenge me.
Top performers are careful who they hang out with. They know other behavior rubs off on them. They also know that relationships open doors for them. It’s proximity is power.
6. Time management and discipline.
I can’t recommend enough the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. I highly recommend you read it, because in that book he talks about the discipline of the little things.
I use my day wisely. Now, it doesn’t mean I’m booking myself solid. Top performers I speak to keep white space on their calendar because they know that they need time for themselves to think. They schedule meetings with themselves!
Top performers are absolutely locked in. What are your goals?
These goals are not what your boss or your company has set for you. Your job is to go past those goals. That’s where average people stop.
Every day, start off by looking at your goals and ask yourself: what am I going to work on today? Is it going to help me achieve my goal?
8. Never stop learning.
Sales hasn’t really changed much in 2000 years, but the mediums, the strategies, the methodologies have changed, as well as the customers, the verticals, the industries, the go-to-market strategies. And you have to ask yourself: am I continuing to learn?
Top performers, regardless of how many years they’ve been in the business, are continuously learning.
9. Maximize opportunities with existing customers.
Salespeople struggle to land a new customer. Then they land the new customer and they quickly move on and continue the struggle to land the next one. Maximize the opportunities that you have.
Every salesperson I know says, “Give me more leads, give me more leads.” I say: look at your existing customer base. There are a lot of leads right there.
If I’m not maximizing existing customers, I’m treating existing customers as if they’re bowling pins and my job is just to knock them down, take their money and run.
10. Give referrals and get referrals.
Top performers know that you can give and get referrals from your own customers.
What is the percentage of your business that comes from referrals?
Are you giving referrals? If you’re not giving referrals, you’ve got a serious problem on your hands. If I want to get referrals, I need to give referrals.
11. Your attitude matters.
That means having an optimistic attitude. You’re always seeing the upside in everything.
Top performers do not get caught up in pessimism—even when the call goes wrong.
12. Play the long game.
Short-term problems are just that: short. The valleys are never as deep as you think they are, and the mountain tops are never as high as you think they are.
You have to keep doing the work. The results you achieve are a result of the activity you do, and it’s the day in and day out. Play the long game.
13. Serve others.
I want you to be seen as someone who goes past what’s expected.
Zig Ziglar used to make the comment, “The best way to achieve your goals is to help others achieve their goals.”
14. Own the prospecting process.
It’s great to have marketing giving you leads. Don’t rely on others to bring you your leads.
The leads you create yourself are going to be your best leads. When you own your prospecting process, you own the outcome.
15. Speed sells.
Don’t get bogged down with trying to make it perfect.
Customers aren’t waiting around. Plus customers don’t necessarily know what’s perfect.
16. Embrace your CRM.
Even the lousiest CRM system is better than no CRM system. Don’t think for a moment you’re going to be able to remember everything. You can’t.
17. Keep your pipeline manageable.
Don’t start what you can’t finish.
I see a lot of salespeople, when business gets slow, they throw out hundreds and hundreds of prospecting emails. Hold it. How am I going to follow up with hundreds of emails?
You want to prevent your pipeline from resembling a sewer pipe. You want a water tap, where you have more time to spend with fewer prospects.
18. Never allow price to become what you’re known for.
When you become known for price, you’re replaceable. One, because that’s the only reason people are buying, because they’re buying off a price. So why do I need a salesperson? We can just automate that whole transaction.
Two, that transaction will only occur until somebody else comes along and makes it a little bit cheaper. And they will. Price is not a sustainable competitive advantage.
19. Have metrics you use to measure your performance.
What are the metrics? What are the number of calls, number of conversations that you need to have each day? How many steps are there to close the sale?
We all want to put results up on the table. The number we achieve is only a result of the activities we do.
20. Create a process.
You’ve got to have a process and a routine. Do not deviate from it. If you deviate from it, it’s amazing how quickly you lose sight of things.
The Best Sales Advice
w/ Mark Hunter
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Copyright 2024, 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.