My last blog “A Super System for the Salesman” defined a system for successful selling when in front of a potential prospect or customer.
Although using the APPCOM system will give you that focus and structure, there are also a set of principles and strategies that will move you from that hum-drum mediocre sales career into a more supercharged career.
I absolutely love Jeffrey Gitomer’s Little Red Book of Selling.
It has become my bible and he covers some of these topics and much more in his book. I would advise strongly that if you are interested in becoming a very successful sales person or even if you are veteran, then buy this book.
As with everything in life there is no quick fix or magic potion here, just a series of common sense values and standards that have been used by successful sales people for generations.
- Make mistakes, take risks and be brave – I recently reposted a blog by Lisa Blackwell, “The Power of Mistakes”. In it she talks about the value of making mistakes and how most people learn more from their mistakes than their successes. It’s a great opportunity to learn and develop. We all have made mistakes and I can certainly list myself as having made many. It’s important that we approach mistakes and risk from a growth mindset. In one of my previous blogs “Everything is Possible with a Growth Mindset” I talk about how a growth mindset makes you concerned with improving whereas a fixed mindset makes you concerned about how you will be judged.
- Nothing happens until you take action or do something – You may be the most intelligent person on the planet, have the best idea or plan, be super prepared, but all of that is useless unless you take action. If you wait for something or someone else to act, it is likely that you will be unsuccessful, or you will be unable to control the consequences. Take action even if you have only 80% of your plan ready. Come back for the other 20% later.
- Believe you can – It all starts out with belief and having that positive attitude. It’s amazing how often sales people make bold positive affirmations publicly and yet privately they are completely the opposite.
- Create the environment – Your work environment impacts your mood, drive and performance. If you work in a dreary office setting with unfriendly workers, its likely you won’t feel motivated or confident to speak up. That’s why creating a productive work environment is critical to your overall success.
- Surround yourself with like minded individuals – In order to successfully transform our careers, we often have to transform our lives and have the support of the people whom we choose to have around us. Be smart and know that a good work environment starts with hiring the right people. Make sure your group are professional and team players. The same idea translates to those who are already in the office. When employees work with toxic workers, they are more likely to become toxic themselves. Do not tolerate corporate terrorists.
- Always be learning – Almost every salesperson, or at least every salesperson over age 40, has seen the movie Glengarry Glen Ross. In it Alec Baldwin plays a “tough love” sales manager brought in to motivate the office. One of his favorite mantras is “Always Be Closing”. In other words, a salesperson is never off the clock. We should apply the same concept to learning. Whether you’re right out of college or a seasoned business professional, there are always new things to learn and ways to improve ourselves. Education never stops. Take responsibility for your own destiny.
- Plan for the new day the night before – If you plan your next day the night before you’ll be amazed at how much your overall productivity skyrockets. When you plan ahead for the next day, you will set yourself up for everything to run smoothly. You’ll be able to make the most of your day, your day will be calmer, more productive and you won’t spend time getting frustrated or wasting your valuable time. More importantly, you’ll end up having way more time. Plan your goals and make a list of what you want to achieve. What do you need to read or know before the day starts?
- Be the go-to person for answers for your prospects and customers – The more valuable you are the more you will get rewarded. Give first, become known as a resource not a salesperson. Your value is linked to your knowledge and your willingness to help others. Have the answers your customers and prospects need. The more you can solve problems, the easier path you will have to sales success. Prospects do not want facts, they want answers. In order to have those answers, you must have superior knowledge about what you do.
- Stay alert for opportunities – As you move through your day today, remember that opportunities for growth and movement in new directions are always all around you. Because many of us are so “outcome-focused” and goal-driven, our minds are tuned more toward getting things done, than staying open to receiving those seeds of opportunity that surround us. It is vital for us to sustain a positive attitude. Attitude allows you to see the possibilities when opportunity strikes—because it often shows up in the form of adversity.
- Set your goal and stay on track. Do not give up – Success is not always achieved by the fastest, the smartest, the richest or even by the most capable people out there. Life has taught me that success goes to anyone that simply doesn’t quit. Action will help you achieve your goals. Inaction is a dream crusher. Own your goal, don’t talk about what you are going to do, talk about how you are going to make it happen.
As you see none of this is complicated but it’s amazing how few people are willing to execute these principals.