Successful sales people have many common habits. You can also train yourself to become more productive in sales:
1. Prepare for a meeting or call
When you have a set plan on what you will be saying or doing in a meeting, you will feel more confident, especially if you have properly researched your prospect before your meeting or phone call. It’s extremely important if you are meeting for the first time to remember that the first impression often defines if your relationship will grow into a mutually beneficial cooperation or not. Try to develop a plan of action for different situations, positive and negative, and think how you would react in each case.
2. Listen to your prospect
You can be a good orator, but it’s also important to be a great listener. If you want to close a deal with a prospect, you need to clearly understand what problem he has and how you can help him to resolve it. Ask questions about his/her business, current projects etc. – this information can help you provide a proper solution, and not just sell your product. Initially, it’s difficult in the beginning, but you will strengthen this skill if you will rehearse before each meeting. Also, remember to always take notes as you can forget what your prospect told you or what you promised them. Remember that if you can’t keep commitments, most likely you won’t get a second chance.
3. Know your products and services well
You have to know everything about the products and services your company provides – their features, strengths, drawbacks, as well as what your main competitors offer. But don’t stick to only the products which you were planning to sell at the beginning – you need to be flexible and analyze what you prospect says and what will better satisfy him/her. Successful sales people can quickly adapt to the situation and have the ability to offer solutions that are outside of the box.
4. Be a good presenter
When you plan to make a demo for your prospective client, you should avoid excessively focusing on just your company and its’ products. You need to show how well you know your prospect’s situation, his goals and objectives and build your presentation around this. You need to know in advance how much time you will have, who will be present at the demo and on what stage of the decision is the prospective client. If you know your prospect already uses your competitors’ products, highlight the differences between both of you, include referrals – it’s not a secret that these sell better than words.
5. Follow up with your prospects (Be proactive)
Don’t forget to follow up with your prospect after the meeting, call or demo – it’s very important to be proactive and don’t wait until he closes a deal with your competitor. You can find some helpful tips on how to follow up your customers smarter here.
6. Plan your day, less overtime, have rest and recover
Successful people understood that their productivity decreases significantly if they don’t have enough rest. You need to sleep at least 8 hours a day and try not to take on more tasks than you can perform. You may think it’s impossible, but this is not true – if you plan your day wisely you will realize that you can complete more tasks without rushing or working overtime. You know sales people have to look positive and not show customers their feelings or bad mood, but this is tough if you feel tired and pressed for time.
7. Keep your mailbox empty
After you answer an email you need to then to focus on the next task and this process can take up to 15 minutes of your time on average. If you have a lot of emails everyday your productivity can drop significantly, so here you can apply this very simple tactic – try to check your mail only at certain hours and manage all you have in your Inbox at those moments. Your Mailbox should stay empty, then you can start dealing with other business tasks.
8. Don’t switch between tasks. Don’t do tasks which bring no results
Switching between tasks is also very time consuming, so get into the habit of setting priorities and split your day into different phases when you are doing similar tasks or one big task and don’t distract from the main purpose. If you start to answer emails, try to get to the end of the list, if you start creating a presentation, then try to fully complete it, etc. You will see that you will have enough time to perform more tasks without switching between them than ever before.
9. Analyze each sales stage (and measure)
If you can’t measure your success you won’t be able to achieve affective results from the sales process. Whether you’re doing well or not, you need to analyze each phase of your sales cycle to better understand what was good and what needs to be improved. Sales reps often believe that analyzing a sales pipeline and getting sales reports are useless, but they can give additional opportunistic insight and an overall picture, especially when you work in a team.
10. Be persistent, don’t give up and love what you do
You can sell successfully if you are passionate about what you do and truly believe that your products/services can change the customer’s life. You will fail sometimes – try to perceive failures as a learning experience. Welcome complaints – they give you greater feedback than compliments. Be persistent and patient – remember that if you prospect says “No” at the first meeting you shouldn’t get discouraged!