9 Keys to Success for Sales Mega Stars
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Salespeople are a hugely important part of some businesses. Good sales people can take a good business and make it truly successful, but as any head of sales will tell you, some salespeople are better at it than others.
It’s not too hard to suss out the average performers and poor ones and skills such as, product knowledge, communication style and attitude are all indicators of general competence.
The challenge is in discerning the difference between good and great.
So what is it that makes some people sales superstars, while others are more in the middle?
Different organizations will argue until the cows come home about what is the most important quality in a salesperson. But here are some top tips from high level salespeople, that might give you the edge in your sales technique.
Sales mega stars hold two agendas in their mind at the same time. Whereas average salespeople tend to focus exclusively on their own goals during customer interactions. mega stars go into situations focused on their goals, and the goals of the other person. This nuanced difference is one of the main differentiators between mega stars and their lower performing colleagues.
The reason that this makes such a big difference is simple – while you may care mostly about making the sale, your customer only cares about their own needs, and until you can demonstrate to them that your product can actually benefit them, they really won’t care how badly you want them to make a purchase.
Being Comfortable with Uncertainty
Average salespeople want things to go according to their script, the way interactions are supposed to go. If they get given new information that deviates from their plan, they become agitated and they may try to close too early and too often. In contrast, Megastars are more confident. They know that they’ll be able to close the sale eventually, but they’re not attached to having it play out in a certain way, they are adept in being flexible, quick minded and quick on their feet.
This flexibility allows them to deal with objections in a constructive way, without ever forgetting about rule #1 (see above) and allows them to preserve relationships, even when a sale isn’t possible right away.
Right Product, Right Customer
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Average salespeople tend to think in certain predictable ways, one of the common ones being: “I have this product, how can I sell it to this customer?”
Megastars go the other way around. They think “I have this customer; how might my product be helpful?”
This develops trust in the customer and helps the relationship. Finding so called ‘pain points’ in a customer where what you offer could be helpful is a building block to high level sales.
This point is actually similar to point #1 when you think about it. While the average salesperson is trying to push a sale on the customer, the megastar draws the customer in by focusing on how the product can benefit them.
Average salespeople have a tendency to view customers and prospects as either obstacles or helpers in accomplishing their targets and goals. They often use words like gatekeepers, blockers, competitive threats or supporters, defining others in the context of whether they’re going to help or hinder their efforts to achieve their targets.
Megastars have a different definition. Other people aren’t just a means to accomplish their sales goals; other people are their goal. Helping people and creating a useful and meaningful relationship between customers and the business is the best way of everybody achieving their goals. How did I help them today? is their definition of success.
Love Trumps Fear
The two most powerful emotions we experience are love and fear. And often they manifest themselves in similar ways whether at work or play. In general: love expands, fear contracts.
Average salespeople spend a lot of time worrying about whether or not things will go their way. Fearing the worst in every interaction. This unspoken fear erects an emotional wall between them and their customers, no matter what they try, they just can’t connect.
Megastars have no such barrier. When they’re with you, they’re fully with you. That connection puts everyone at ease and allows for a genuine interaction and relationship to develop.
Perseverance will defy most odds in everything in life. When things get tough most people, including average salespeople will quit, not their jobs, but most certainly on a customer or prospect, especially when things aren’t totally going their way. Everyone wants the easy win but most are unaware of the reality of success, and that reality is hard work.
If you persevere, you will learn, you will get better, and you will probably get that sale.
But perseverance isn’t about hassling a prospect until they give in – if the product isn’t right for the customer, then forcing it on them is at best a waste of time (not to mention unethical). No, perseverance is about working hard to find a way to help a prospect, and also about being able to admit defeat gracefully when a sale just can’t happen (and then moving on to the next).
Another practical upshot to this way of thinking is that you never know which prospects might later come back and make a purchase. But if you burn your bridges, you will miss out on these second-chance opportunities.
Never Stop Learning
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When there is downtime during a working day or in life, how is it normally spent? Music? Television? video games? Well, Megastars use it to learn, whether that be reading, listening to podcasts or inspirational talks. To be a megastar, you need to learn every day.
The future of selling belongs to those with a thirst for learning, not just for those who work hard. Make learning a top priority. Invest in books, seminars and audio talks related to sales and business, and watch your sales skyrocket.
Another great way to learn is by listening back to your previous sales calls (you record all calls right?) and analyzing what happened. Learning from your own successes and failures is perhaps the best possible way to improve yourself!
Enthusiasm is Infectious
Average salespeople appear disinterested in their products. A tiredness about their job envelops them. No customer will want to buy from them.
Mega stars have enthusiasm for not just their job and their products, but life itself. They project energy, and enthusiasm. Customers will respond in kind, whether that is through a great interaction of even a sale.
The inescapable conclusion from this point is that to be a successful salesperson you have to truly love what you are selling. This can be hard, but if you can’t find a reason to be enthusiastic about what you sell, maybe you are in the wrong job!
Ask for The Close
This sounds simple, but it really isn’t. Close the sale.
Average salespeople don’t ask for the sale. They assume that after their sales pitch, clients will take the initiative to pay, they don’t close. In some cases, they even postpone it.
The old adage is that you will always lose 100 percent of the sales you don’t ask for, and it’s true. Mega stars always get the sale before leaving the room. Details can be finalized later, commitment to the sale cannot.
So there you have it, 9 keys to becoming a sales mega start. As you may have spotted, there is a general theme here, that seems to ring true for all successful salespeople, no matter what the product or the sector. The theme is that good salespeople focus on uncovering the needs of clients, not their own needs.
If you really want to be successful, the best thing is to ask questions that help you to understand your client’s business. Use active listening techniques, so that you build on top of their answers and dig deeper. People will start to trust you, and that is the crucial thing in sales.
If people trust you they will deal with you long-term… Be sure to see more posts on our blog for more top sales guidance!