I will not get into the fable of ”The Tortoise and the Hare,” but you already know the outcome, so why repeat the story? This might sound nuts, but good guys do finish last and this kind of outcome will make a nice income for the patient and sincere salesperson. We are going to look at the game plan that will guarantee a salesperson very consistent sales and the bonuses or commissions that will follow. It is basic, full of common sense and nothing that you have not heard. The key to this program is, will you follow it all the time?
Here is my seven-point plan for you to always be at the top:
• Don’t think about bonus or commission. Do not think about how much money you will make on the sale. The customer will know if this is about the sale and not helping them solve their issues or their situation. This will keep you honest, fair, and above all, a professional salesperson who is doing the right thing - always.
• Be patient. If my wife or daughter heard me use the word patient, they would hit me upside my head and say, “Are you kidding?” I am not the most patient person at home, but in business, this is a must. Sometimes, you cannot affect the customer’s buying cycle or the timing that they are considering for the purchase of your product or service.
• Stay in touch all the time. This is so important for a salesperson. The first “no” is not necessarily the end of that sale. It might take multiple “no’s” or the “back burner” comments to push you off. Your job is to stay in touch until the potential sale has played itself out, one way or the other.
• Stay true to yourself and always put the customer first. One of the three most important ingredients that make a professional salesperson is empathy. So here is a test for you, and most of you will not pass. You check your voicemail and you see two messages. They both say the same thing which is “Please call me, I need to talk to you.” You do not know what it is about or what their issue is. The first voicemail is your smallest client and the second one is your largest client. Who are you going to call first? Most people answer the largest. Now look at what you have done. You decided which client is more important to you, and not what might be important to them.
• Ask a million questions. This needs no other explanation than doing your job and doing this all the time. Quit talking so much and find out what the customer wants, not what you think they might need. Questions are the basis for a sales call, period. This is where the action is and naturally makes sure you are with the key decision maker. You should be well versed in what questions to ask and why.
• Stay consistently busy. This is like any athletic workout. The more consistent you are in your approach, the better the results. You must have a game plan and then stick to it. This is just not once in a while or when sales are strong, but all the time. The key is the number of sales calls made to new customers and existing ones over the long-run.
• Be an organized nut case. An organized person is a sales rep is it at the top of their game. Use your planner, Smartphone or whatever you use to keep your day compact and focused. You should be in charge of your day and not the other way around.
Now remember, you don’t want to finish first. So, take your time and go for the coveted last-place position and watch your sales numbers be at the top of the leader board.
Hal Becker is a nationally known speaker on sales and customer service. He is the author of numerous business books including two national best sellers “Can I Have 5 Minutes Of Your Time?” and “Lip Service.” Hal’s newest book on sales is titled “Ultimate Sales Book.” He can be reached at Halbecker.com.