Are you thinking about resolutions? Personally, I think we should set goals and work to better ourselves year-round but the start of a fresh new year can be motivating so it’s my hope that this is right on time. But more importantly, I want this to be something that sticks with you through the year.
Everyone wants to know what they should DO to be successful in selling, but success is as much about what you DON’T do as what you choose to do. Many salespeople sabotage their own success and make a lot less money simply because they routinely repeat the following six bad habits:
- LOUSY to no follow-up. We do a lot of events and have sponsors at them who use it as an opportunity to close more business. Many do a great job at name capture and follow-up. Others, well… What they fail to realize is that getting a name at a trade show is a “shy yes.” A big, fat maybe.You cannot convert a “maybe” to a contract by sending a few generic spam e-mails immediately after the event, with no other follow-up. People are BUSY. The most successful marketers I know have follow-up systems that consist of 12 to as many as 50 steps in their process to convert a lead to a sale, ALL incorporating various media, from e-mail and telemarketing to direct mail, LinkedIn connections, etc.
- They aren’t serious students of their craft. Masters work daily on improving and practicing fundamental skills. I’m shocked when people who call themselves sales professionals have never read a single book on selling, never attended a single course. A recent candidate I interviewed for a sales position commented that she was “an avid reader.” I asked, “What’s your favorite book on selling?”Guess what I got? Blank stare. No training, no reading. She’s an avid reader, but NOT of books and materials that could make her a better salesperson, so I passed.
- NOT consistently prospecting. This is probably the single biggest reason most new salespeople fail: they waste time doing everything BUT prospecting for new clients. Now, I don’t suggest they just open the phone book and start dialing the A’s. Obviously you can be smarter and more sophisticated than that. But prospect you MUST, and in sufficient quantity and CONSISTENTLY. This is particularly important when you’re SUCCEEDING. Otherwise you end up with a roller coaster where you have one great month (and subsequently STOP prospecting because you have a lot of deals cooking) and then dip waaaaay back down the following months because you didn’t prospect when the harvest was good.
- Not creating SYSTEMS. The fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants sales rep will never, ever match the income, performance and close rate of a true professional with a sales system. You have to have systems for prospecting, for qualifying, for following up, for handling objections, explaining the price/building the value and closing the deal. My close from the front of the room is not RANDOM. It’s a system that consistently gets 30% to 40% of the people who could buy to reach into their wallet and whip out their credit card on the spot. I couldn’t do that if I just got up there and said whatever I felt inspired to talk about that day.
- Hanging out with losers. Years ago, when I was a sales rep for CGI Systems, the company hired another rep and sat him in the cubical in front of me. Every Monday he came in late, reeking of cigarettes and stale alcohol that exuded from his pores. I insisted they move him since I didn’t want to be sitting next to a loser all day.If you want to be a top performer, you MUST find ways to hang around other successful people. You cannot expect to make a top income and strive for excellence when you’re hanging around and allowing yourself to be influenced by losers. No matter how strong you are, it affects you. Go spend a week in a foreign country and you’ll start picking up the accent and speaking the language. You can’t help it. That’s why your mama wouldn’t allow you to hang with the “bad” kids – she was right.
- No self-discipline. Retired U.S. Navy SEAL Jocko Willink is going to be our Saturday keynote speaker at Boot Camp. If you’re not familiar with him, you MUST read his book Extreme Ownership and embrace, practice and master the principles. Jocko will tell you that the difference between a live soldier and a dead one is discipline.Top salespeople hold themselves accountable and discipline themselves to do the work, cross the t’s and dot the i’s. They get their reps in every day, every week. They organize a plan for every week and execute that plan, starting early in the morning and avoiding wasting time by the water cooler jawing about trivial matters.
Speaking of Boot Camp, it’s coming soon and you need to be there! Join 1,200 of your most successful peers (see #5 above!) to discover brand-new moneymaking strategies, business-building blueprints, marketing campaigns and profit-boosting ideas. Go to www.RobinsBigSeminar.com for more information.