The 7 Habits of Successful Salespeople

In analyzing those salespeople who are successful year after year, we have found significant consistencies in behavior, sales skills, and practice management. We like to call these The 7 Habits of Successful Salespeople. If you can adopt these 7 habits, you will be amazed at how your sales improve.

  1. The ONLY “A” priority is prospecting. Successful salespeople service accounts just like everyone else. They also have “fires” to extinguish and meetings to attend. But they should let nothing get in the way of consistent prospecting. You don’t have to like prospecting; you just have to do it. Of course, if you learn to like prospecting, you will do more of it.
  2. Don’t look, act or sound like every other salesperson calling on the prospect. Create a unique approach – you can’t just say that you are different. You must demonstrate it. Pretend that you are the prospect. Would you take your phone call and be responsive? If not, then your strategy and script need some work.
  3. Have an ideal prospect profile and look for candidates that fit this profile. Do this by evaluating your best clients. Are your best customers typically Fortune 500 size or small family-owned companies? Are they regionally based, national, or are they local? Do they have thousands of employees? Are they retail organizations? Etc., etc. Know who you are targeting.
  4. Successful prospectors understand that the purpose of a call is to set an appointment with a qualified candidate. Stop seeing everyone and anyone who will see you. You must make sure the prospect qualifies to do business prior to setting an appointment. You must stop selling on the phone.
  5. The quality of the phone call determines the quality of the appointment. The goal, while on the phone, is to identify if the prospect has a problem that can be solved. First you must establish that the prospect would like to fix the problem. Even though the prospect may identify a “problem” on the phone, this isn’t typically the real problem. You must ask questions like “Why is that a problem?” and “How much is the problem costing you?
  6. Prospects want to meet professionals through introductions, not cold calls. Learn how to ask for introductions from your COIs and current clients as your first prospecting strategy.
  7. “Drill down” past the pain or problem indicators (symptoms). Here are a series of questions to help you get past the initial symptoms that a prospect will verbalize:
    • Tell me …
    • How long has this been a problem? What have you done…?
    • When you spoke with …?
    • What has your current provider done to make this problem go away?
    • What happens if you don’t fix…?
    • How much is it costing…?
    • Is that a problem?
    • Do you want to or have to fix it?

In addition to the above 7 Habits to Sales Success, you must track your activity and look for ways to exponentially improve revenue by improving technique. For instance, you may be great at getting a first meeting but not great at uncovering real opportunities. If you track these vital numbers, you can start to improve the areas where you fall short.

If you aren’t tracking critical data and you are only looking at production, you will find that your business is not working/ growing and you won’t have any idea why. Take time to track and ultimately understand where you are coming up short.

So, as you review the “The 7 Habits of Successful Salespeople”, ask yourself which sales skill or habit is most important today and for the next 30 days. Then commit to adopting or changing that one behavior or business practice that will dramatically impact your business.

From Founder & Chief Learning Officer, Tony Cole

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