Over the years, I've picked up 10 crucial habits for sales success. They may not seem like much when taken individually, but when you collectively build them into your approach, you begin to see success usually comes from things we can control.
I’m appreciative of these habits I’ve learned, because I know they are what equip me to keep moving forward.
It’s easy to think every prospect is going to be an amazing customer, but that simply isn’t the real world. The challenge is that bad prospects often come masked as awesome opportunities. It can be difficult, but the sooner you can identify the prospect who is not going to buy and move them to the side, the sooner you’ll have more time to pursue good prospects.
Sales is full of rejection, and the number of times I found myself wallowing in my own pity-party is more than I care to count. Yet each time, even when there seemed little chance of success, something would turn around. I hung in there. Not giving up is a habit and a lifestyle.
One of the reasons we have slow periods in sales is because we most likely had a busy period that limited the time we had to prospect. I didn’t learn this early in my career, but it is without a doubt one of the most fundamental principles I now practice each week. Never stop prospecting.
Sales can be lonely, and when it’s lonely, it’s amazing the bad ideas and bad attitudes that suddenly emerge. I’ve always found myself performing much better when I have positive sales peers who I can meet with on a regular basis. You need people who will offer you fresh perspectives and with whom you can have the kind of relationship that challenges you to always improve.
It’s interesting to think about how I approach sales today compared to how I approached it a few years ago. I don’t think I knew back then how essential it is to continually learn! My willingness to keep learning is what ensures I’m as relevant today with my customers as I was 10 or even five years ago.
It’s easy to think you have unlimited time, but that simply is not the case. It’s also easy to think the most valuable asset is the customer or your product, but again, I don’t feel that’s the case. When I learned to master how I use my own time, I was amazed at how much my results improved.
We all try to do more than we’re capable of doing. Early in my sales career, I made some major mistakes by attempting to juggle a couple of deals at the same time, only to lose both of them. Delegating and being willing to make the tough decisions is what it takes to master this one. I will admit, as much as I feel this is a habit I practice regularly, I’m also prone to slip. The unfortunate result is I don’t achieve what I had envisioned I would.
Take everything out of the sales process, and what we discover is that it is still a people business at its core. It’s amazing how the ability to connect with another person and develop a level of confidence and trust is what ultimately leads to genuine success—for both of you!
There have been times I’ve walked into sales calls without knowing what I should know, yet I wind up being successful because my attitude carried me through. Conversely, there have been times I’ve failed miserably, and when I later reflect on the reason, it often comes down to my attitude toward the customer. Practicing a habit of a good attitude will carry you farther than you can imagine.
One day it can seem like everything is going great, and then boom—something happens to turn things around. Thank goodness for this habit of patience with the cyclical nature of the economy and sales, because it’s what keeps me going when things seem bleak. An endless sea of business can grind to a halt overnight, but the reverse is true, too. Sales can pick up when you aren’t even expecting it.
Mark Hunter, “The Sales Hunter,” is author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price. He is a sales expert who speaks to thousands each year on how to increase their sales profitability. He was named one of the Top 50 Influencers in Sales by Top Sales World. To receive a free weekly sales tip and read his Sales Motivation Blog, visit www.TheSalesHunter.com. You can also follow him on Twitter, on Facebook and on LinkedIn.
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