Showing posts with label positive attitude. Show all posts
Showing posts with label positive attitude. Show all posts

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

The 3 Main Characteristics Of Successful Sales Professionals – PMA, Hard Work And Process

I’ve spent the last seventeen years meeting circa 200-300 sales people per year and often ask what particular quality, or attribute, they put their success down to.  Of course there have been many, many answers but of these thousands of sales people, they’ve commonly mentioned similar ‘themes’ which I’ve distilled down and summarised as the following three qualities:

Positive Mental Attitude
Hard Work
Process

1. Positive Mental Attitude


Having a positive attitude  is vital in sales. If you don’t believe in your product, and more importantly believe in yourself, then why would any customer want to buy from you? Having a positive attitude  in everything that you do leads to more positive outcomes, and these, in turn, increase your chances of success.

Some people have an ‘ingrained’ positive mental attitude, but others have to work hard to develop this self-belief and to try to see the positive in every situation no matter how tough it may be. 
I used to work with a recruiter who after every cold call rejection said, “thanks very much, you’ve helped me to make it one call closer to my target today." The target client was always puzzled by his response, they questioned his rationale?  His answer was that he knew from his own stats that if he made 50 completely cold calls, he’d get 1 ‘yes’ and that’s all he needed to hit his daily target leading to his weekly target leading to the monthly target. Okay this was a long time ago and selling has somewhat changed, but he was consistently a top-performing sales person out of a team of eighty (and actually his cold call-lead rate was more 1:5 as this approach always intrigued the target clients to want to find out more!).  This approach of seeing a positive in every rejection was, he felt, the key to his success. 

2. Hard Work

Achieving success in any field takes hard work but this is particularly pertinent in sales.  No matter how sales has changed I still firmly believe in the ‘mathematics of sales’, i.e. the more that you put into the top of the pipeline the more return you get at the bottom. 

It always helps to break down the ‘big sales goal’ into manageable weekly, daily and even hourly targets.  Working hard requires discipline and dedication to take the small steps towards your goal every day. Working hard means dedicating a percentage of each day to topping up your pipeline even if it feels it is full to the brim. Working hard is keeping going no matter how many rejections you’ve taken.

In sales, it’s always tempting to ‘call it a day’ and not bother prospecting for the final hour that you should be doing.  However, it's commonly when your back is truly ‘up against the wall’ that you get that break, and everything starts to turn around.  As Seneca once said, and I’ve plagiarised and regularly quote:  ‘Luck is the crossroads between preparation and perspiration’.

3. Process

All great sales professionals work to a sales process, sometimes intuitively.  It’s amazing how many salespeople I’ve met who claim ‘I don’t work to a process – I don’t need something as inflexible to work within’ and so on.  I then ask them to walk me through a recent sale, and it’s typically ‘Seven Steps’ or ‘Needs Creation Selling’.  Perhaps they hadn’t learned it formally, but they were subconsciously following the same path or approach, in every sale that they’d concluded.

These sales processes can be sales strategies, daily plans, a workflow, a formal ‘sales technique’ or even following a CMS path ticking every step along the path as the client is taken through the buying process.

There are many advantages to utilising a sales process, and this could be as simple as learning from successful colleagues, replicating it and adding your own style.  Alternatively, it could be as complicated as formally reviewing the best practitioners in your business, what works-what doesn’t, structuring it against formal models and creating your individual process to follow.  By working a process and being disciplined to consistently use it and to add all data to a system you ensure that none of your sales leads fall through the cracks.

More importantly, however, by using a well-defined sales process, you can ensure that you prioritise and this helps accurately forecast your own performance and move your leads through to closure at a considerably quicker rate. Overall, a sales process makes planning and closing greatly more efficient. With a sales process in place, it’s also easier to measure success, get consistent results and be on top of your forecasting and your KPIs leading to that ‘big target’.

To conclude becoming a successful sales professional takes time, sweat, skill and tenacity. Of course there’s some major generalisations here as there’s no ‘set blueprint for success’ that will work for everyone.  

However, IMHO the three common ‘themes’ required for success are a positive attitude, working to proven processes and hard work/application.  Do you agree?

Rob Scott is a geek about sales and has commissioned the largest ever surveys of UK sales professionals.  Click here for statistics on the UK sales industry.


Saturday, 15 November 2014

Five Essential Movies To Inspire The Salesperson in You

Sometimes, being a salesperson can feel like one of the hardest jobs in the world especially when nothing seems to be converting and you’re under constant pressure to perform.  

So if you’re struggling to hit this month’s target take heart and learn new tactics from these movies!  We hope that there is something in all of them to inspire you to some degree.

We've deliberately left out ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ and a couple more obvious ones but make no apologies on leaving in ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ and ‘Boiler Room’ because if you haven’t seen them yet they’re well worth a watch because if for nothing else there are always salespeople finding things harder than you at the moment! 

Glengarry Glen Ross
This has to be the number one movie for salespeople. Is it possible that just like the boss here that nothing else matters to you except sales? He offers as an incentive unique prizes: a Cadillac El Dorado as the first prize, a set of steak knives as the second and the third prize is the sack! Would you be able to handle the high pressure sales environment here?  The movie teaches salesman to push harder and harder to make the kill. But would you go so far as to commit a robbery just so you could close deals so you didn’t get the sack?!?

The Pursuit of Happiness
This real life story is a pick me up and can inspire any salesperson to never let go their dream. Christopher Gardner, the protagonist, has invented a medical device and invested heavily in it but it does not sell as it is priced much higher than a similar product but with little more benefits than others like it. He loses his house, bank accounts, credit cards and wife. What he doesn't lose though is his dream. Would you be able to pursue your dream even when you feel like you have lost everything?

Boiler Room
We all love closing deals otherwise why would you be in sales? Sometimes it can be relief, sometimes exciting but it can be motivational as well. Will you, like the protagonist, realise that success not only maximizes your friends but your enemies as well. The movie could inspire you to lead your business to success.  Maybe like the protagonist the salesperson in you could then realise that getting rich is not the answer to a lot of things despite the fact that it feels like all everyone around you just simply wants to be rich.

Tin Men
Here’s one I giggled all of the way through as sleazy business practices pop up one after another as the movie progresses. It may be comically presented but the movie does shows you many shady sales tactics that are probably best avoided. The two stars have no virtues and the revelations about shoddy business practices hit you again and again.

Door to Door
This is a little-known inspirational true tale and, as the name suggests, is about walking from door to door to make the sales. Bill Porter suffers from cerebral palsy and spends a lifetime selling Watkins Products.  Right up until his dying day he was closing sales even though he was badly injured when a bus ran over him.  Could you, like him be able to mark your territory so dominantly that no one else could make a sale there but you?


So here’s our top five and we hope there’s a couple here that you may not have heard of.  We’d love to hear what films have inspired you when you’ve had that tough month so which ones would you add?