Techniques and styles among the best of the best vary from one sales champion to the next. If you study sales at all, you’ll find that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of best ways. However, there are constants in our world. I once sat in on a conversation between two of the most successful sales champs I have ever known. Their styles were as different as their personalities. Because of their success, many tried to follow their example, only to fall woefully short of their level. And while these followers certainly had the right idea (find someone who is successfully doing what you want to do and follow them) they were only scratching the surface. The real success comes from deep down. So while these two great champions disagreed on many tactics, they found common ground on a number of issues. I call these the “5 Pillars of Sales Champs.”
1) Sales champs seek to understand. They do not take their products and services on the road without first seeking to understand their market. This means they need to know all about their environment, including their customers, their industry and their competition. Many salespeople get caught up in the moment and rush off to peddle their wares. They have a carefully constructed plan based upon their environment. When you work from a plan, you can constantly stay on top of where you are and where you need to go. You can take smart, calculated action. Champs are always questioning. They question each call, each presentation, and each tactic. Did it work as well as I imagined? What went right? What went wrong? In short they do a post mortem on each action and look for ways to improve. They know that change is constant and the ability to adapt is a key part of their success. Sales champs understand that just because a door is locked, they may be able to go in through the window. But they also understand when to stop wasting time and when to move on.
2) Sales champs are bulldogs. When a champ knows that their product or service is good for their prospect or client, they do not give up. This is not the same as pestering a prospect with something they don’t want or need. When you really believe that what you offer will make your prospect’s life better, you owe it to them to keep plugging. When sales champs know they have something of value for a prospect or client, they do not give up. If at first they don’t succeed, they really do try again and again. They learn about the situation, the potential customer and the customer’s company. They come back with new ideas and are not easily defeated. This trait alone will guarantee you some level of success, provided you learn new things and bring value with each contact. When prospects see how tenacious you are and how much you believe in what you are offering, they, too, will get enthusiastic about what you have to offer.
3) Sales champs follow through. Sales champs always deliver what they say, when they say. For a prospect or a customer, there is little that will repair the damage of a broken promise. Once a promise is broken, it is extremely difficult to regain that trust. A sales champion makes a commitment and then sticks to it.
4) Sales champs know their priorities. Sales champs don’t just say, “I have to make some calls today.” Through practice and dedication, they develop an ability to look at their list of tasks and set priorities. They do whatever is necessary to keep thins moving forward so that they can end each day with a sense of pride and accomplishment. Sales champions generate massive activity and get massive results.
5) Sales champs know their attitude makes all the difference. I saved the best for last. Without the proper attitude, none of the other items on this list will amount to a hill of beans. Sales champs know they have a helpful product or service and they are confident in their ability to deliver. From time to time, even champs may lose heart…but only for a short period of time. Eventually action will replace any negative feelings. If champs don’t get a prospect today, they make a plan for getting them in the future. They study their failures to make certain that they don’t happen again. Sales champions are positive individuals and refuse to let the world get them down. If they are unable to change their situation, they change their attitude about it. Sales champs are conquerors.
Do sales champions embody each of these attributes every hour of every day? Everyone struggles from time to time. However, to be a champion requires that you overcome adversity on occasion. So either you can let it get you down and blame external circumstances for your struggles or failures, or you can take control of your future and become a true Sales Champion!