I have closely observed sales guys who perform and those who don’t. Both appear to have near similar views in sales reviews:
- The product is not up to the mark and customers are unhappy
- The competition is several times better and their price too is lower
- The organisation is not supporting on pricing / discounts
- There is no marketing support
- The leads that we have are bad, old, etc.
- The targets are unrealistic
- There is politics in the office that undermines sales
The above views don’t seem to differ across a variety of firms: successful or unsuccessful, big or small, national or international, or cutting across industries such as Engineering, Education, BFSI or IT.
So an interesting question is: How do a few perform, while others seem to just whine? After interacting with a host of sales guys I think the magic is in their mental makeup. So, here are the 15 secrets of sales guys who show you the money. They:
- Believe that even if the product, price, marketing support, etc. is lacking, they could still sell. I recall one smart young sales guy telling me “So what if there are problems? I need to see how the product will benefit a customer and find that customer.”
- See tough circumstances differently. “What is the fun if it was easy?”
- Volunteer to take on tough markets and / or tough clients. “We will plant our flag there too.”
- Focus on long term relationship with the customers (for that matter with people). I remember one sales guy arguing with the delivery team on behalf of the customer at the customer premises! He lost that renewal order, but won every one thereafter.
- Listen to negative feedback keenly with a view to improve.
- Willingly take along rookies and even peers for sale calls; the former for free training and the latter for support.
- Read books such as “How to get better at sales?” or listen eagerly to success stories of anyone.
- Never stop learning at any age.
- Never give up on a customer. They usually follow-up several times. There is a research which suggests that customer usually do not start thinking favourably about buying until the fourth meeting. The good ones on an average do five meetings and the bad ones do about two.
- Start thinking “What did I do wrong in this case” when even after several attempts, there is no success. They still will not blame the customer, the product, the price, or such.
- Believe in the law of large numbers. “Boss, I get only five successes from a hundred that I meet. If I need ten successes, I need to meet two hundred.”
- Work for the company. “In sixth months we will be better than competition”.
- Persist in the face of setbacks.
- Mingle with other good ones in the office and outside.
- Are high on integrity. They do not cheat on reported sales numbers, expenses, etc.
Needless to say, the bad ones rarely see value in effort, avoid challenges, get defensive, give up easily, ignore feedbacks, feel threatened by other people’s success, usually hang around with other bad ones and change jobs frequently.
The good ones of course, give you comfort, dependability and performance. They show you the money!