The great thing about sales is there is typically a direct relationship between correctly applied effort and results… when I first started working in sales I had no issue with spending Saturday mornings scanning the industry magazines for leads as it always meant I got at least 10 new business opportunities per week and at least 5 new clients that month, as well as filling my sales pipeline with some very good quality prospect. Subsequently, hitting sales targets was never an issue.
In fact, hitting sales targets stopped becoming a challenge, being the most successful and profitable sales person on the team was my driver….creating as much space between me and the rest of the sales team was the real goal….(sorry guys, you never stood a chance!!)
The bad news about sales is…if you are not putting in the effort – everyone knows.
There is no getting away from it.
It’s a very transparent business…and depending on the type of person you are, well that either works for you or it doesn’t.
So if you are new to sales, here are a few things that will help you get to the top of the league table faster….
- Spend some time with the best performer on the team, learn what they do, when they do it, how they do it and why they do it….and then do it better and more often!! It could be that they see higher level prospects, they pitch for bigger deals, they see more people, they pay more attention to certain sectors, they do their admin in non-core selling time etc. The list goes on – but you, you should watch, learn and improve. Short cuts don’t work in successful, long-term sales, and there are lots of mediocre sales people around to prove it!!
- Aim to get there fast – hit the top performers lists fast. Don’t have it in your mind that it will take months to be a success, what have you got to achieve this week for it to have been a good week? Likewise with this month. Sales is an addictive business if you are winning. Start winning soon…after that, it’s the best job in the world.
- Decide what you want and then work out how to get it…don’t be the busy fool. Once you know specifically the types of people and organisations you can best do business with and can sell to, then those are the prospects you hunt, cultivate excellent relationships with and close. Stick to your core business.
- In a similar vein…not all prospects are created equally. Decide where you spend your time. Sure, some prospects will try your patience, only you can decide if the investment is worth it. Some clients will actually cost you money, and you will probably never know how much until it’s too late. So, have your radar switched on at all times, ask yourself…am I doing this because it is good business or am I doing this because I just want to be busy?
- Don’t be afraid of the tough conversations. A single tough conversation can save you months of dancing around with a prospect. Managing expectations, building trust and developing long-term business relationships required honesty, openness and mutual respect…it’s not all plain sailing but most issues can be overcome when both parties feel free to speak their mind
- And lastly…You have to want it more than anyone else…. Perhaps this is the voice of experience, but it’s definitely something I have learned to appreciate more over the last few years…sometimes you just need to want a positive result more than anyone else, or anything else.
- Win – Win – in selling, in order to solve our problems, we need to help someone else solve theirs…so we have to set aside our goals and dreams every day and take on those of someone else. They win; and so we win…
Hope 2013 and your new career in sales brings you all the joy and reward you deserve!!
Carol Griffiths – Lead Consultant and Director
Morton Kyle Limited
0779 002 1885