Tip of the Month for December 2003

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If your year-end resolutions include brushing up on sales techniques, read on. High achievers in any sales force share certain key characteristics.
The best sales people:

  1. Are passionate about their work. Sales reps. who have fun and love their jobs attract success. Good attitude is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  2. Are motivated and organized but willing to be flexible in their approach to customers. They respond not only to the business needs but also to the personal style of the prospect –and adapt their approach accordingly.

  3. Listen...to learn. Great sales people do more listening than talking in the early stages of the sales process. They take time to prepare specific questions to get a good idea of both the obstacles and the opportunities facing the client prospect. Armed with good, solid information about the client company and their competition, they have the ammunition needed to develop a targeted solution-based (see #4) sales approach.

  4. Sell solutions, not products or services. High achieving sales people show client prospects how their product(s) can solve the customer's problems. Show a prospect how you can help grow his or her business, and you'll close the sale.

  5. Focus on the customer. Good sales people know that it is not about how great the product is, or what the sales person has to offer. It's all about the terrific benefits the product delivers to the customer.

  6. Invest the time to stay current. Top performers read the trade publications and know their industry inside out. They stay current with products and trends, and know what their competitors are doing. Most importantly, they monitor publications for stories and articles about their prospects.

  7. Plan the work and work the plan. The best sales people figure out a plan of action that works for them. They don't waste time on marginal prospects. They see their customers and qualified prospects regularly, and they generate valid business reasons to meet with them.

By incorporating these traits into their efforts, your sales executives can put some added zip into their sales figures in the coming year.