You've been there. It's 4:00. You made every sales call on your schedule. You weren't just an order-taker today. You sold stuff.
A sense of confidence, an energized "I can do this" feeling fills you up like the rush you get when you tee-off a perfect 250-yard drive. Now back to the branch to claim bragging rights. Maybe. Just ahead on the right, are the offices of a customer who wasn't on your call list today. That's the owner's truck parked outside. Do you stop, or keep on going to the branch? Or, do you just call it a wrap and head for the house? After all, you've had a successful day.
You deserve a little rest and relaxation. What would you do?.I won't bore you with stories of sales reps who did stop and who walked away with big orders that they might have missed if they'd just kept driving.
I'm not even going to load you down with statistics and hypothetical math equations. "Let's see. One extra call per day times a twenty percent probability of a sale, divided by, blah, blah, blah?".
You've heard the stories and you weren't impressed in the first place. Maybe you didn't even believe them. Believe this. If you do make that extra call a day, it will make a significant increase in your salary every month. Even an extra call a week can make a noticeable difference in your next paycheck.
Guaranteed.And that's just one of the habits of highly profitable salespeople. You know them. They lead the branch in sales and profits. They drive expensive trucks, win the top awards, and seem to have all the luck.
But, the highly successful salespeople know that luck has little to do with it. They apply a set of habits that their less successful counterparts are either unaware of, or too lazy to use.As the saying goes, there are no born salespeople. They had to acquire the habits in on the job training.
Some of the habits they acquired at great expense. Others they stumbled on by accident. Fortunately, you can benefit from their experience and knowledge by following these seven habits of highly successful salespeople.Habit 1: Make one more sales call. For the next thirty days, commit to see one customer per week beyond what is on your call schedule.
It doesn't have to be at the end of a day. Unless it throws you behind schedule, make the call while you're in the area. You never know when you'll stumble upon an opportunity. Keep a record of these calls. Make it simple.
Make a check mark in your planner if you get an order. Write a "P" if you felt the call was productive. Write a "B" if you thought the whole thing was a bust.
Habit 2: Take Risks. Pursue opportunities that others say are beyond you. Take a chance on the long shot. Leave your complacency zone. Go outside your circle of friends and your regular contacts.
New friends can lead to new opportunities. Spend some time and money on your education. Look for workshops and seminars.
Highly successful salespeople don't wait for their company to provide training. They take responsibility for their continuing education.Habit 3: Be trustworthy. Long-term relationships result from long-term trust.
In the beginning, you have to furnish evidence of that trust. That means displaying trustworthy qualities such as dependability, punctuality, and accountability. Over time, consistency supports the evidence. Be dependable in the small things as well as the large. Follow through, keep promises, and take ownership of every interaction with your customer.
Habit 4: Ask the Right Questions. Three months after receiving a promotion to outside sales, the man behind my promotion began to have regrets due to my lackluster performance. One day in a heart-to-heart (you know, the talk before they fire you) he came right to the source of the problem. "Mike, I don't think you're asking for the order," he said. He was right. I thought all I had to do was show up and customers would give me an order just for being present.
It rarely works that way. Many sales people are afraid of "being pushy." They think they're asking when they say, "You don't need anything today, do you?" or "Guess I can't talk you into buying something.
" This attempt at homespun charm may have worked in Mayberry, but you'll starve to death in the real world. Use simple open-ended questions.Habit 5: Listen Interactively: Ah, yes, the difficult art of listening.
Listen with empathy to understand the speaker's words. See things from the customer's perspective. It better prepares you to offer your customer a more personalized solution.
Listen respectfully. Leave yourself out of it. Don't try to "mind read" by anticipating what the customer is going to say. Pretend as if your livelihood depends upon what your customer says.
Oh yeah. It does!.Habit 6: Act enthusiastic and you'll be enthusiastic. Many skilled and knowledgeable salespeople fail because they don't have any spark or excitement in their performance. It comes across to the customer that they simply don't care. Maybe you feel it's not in your nature to show enthusiasm, but the good news is that "feeling follows action.
" The next time your morning begins with a flat tire, and the neighborhood dogs have turned over the garbage can and scattered trash all down your street, instead of saying, "It's going to be one of those days," try this instead. Find a secluded place, pump your fist in the air and shout three times, "Act enthusiastic and you'll be enthusiastic." You'll be amazed at the difference it makes in your day.Habit 7: Go the Extra Mile.
Many salespeople talk about great customer service. Few deliver. The stories are legendary: the hardware salesman who mowed the customer's yard after he sold him a lawnmower. The deli manager who delivered a hot meal when a customer discovered an item missing from her order.
The rental car employee who has a cold drink waiting in the cup holder. The extra mile is about action, not words. Exceeding your customer's expectations is a sure way to earn their loyalty..Mike Dandridge md@theperformancepro.
com Mike is the founder of High Voltage Performance, a consulting firm that specializes in designing customer experiences for the industrial marketplace. He is a keynote speaker and a seminar leader with 25 years experience in electrical wholesale distribution. Dandridge is author of, The One Year Business Turnaround, a book based on his years in wholesale, containing a year's worth of ideas for improving your customer service. You may reach Mike at 254-624-6299. Visit his Website at http://www.
highvoltageperformance.com. Subscribe to his blog at http://www.businessturnaround.blogs.com.
By: Mike Dandridge