I was a successful salesperson for many years. Eventually, I moved into a leadership role. It was a different world when I sold. It was the days of landlines and faxes. We set appointments strictly through cold calling; there was no lead funnel. And our sales techniques were too often based on psychology and not on our customer’s needs. Like I said, it was a different world. However, there are 6 things top salespeople do that transcend era.

Top Salespeople Use Good Time Management

Top salespeople understand that time is the rarest commodity they have, and they protect it. The best salespeople delegate tasks that others can and should complete. They plan their week and their day. The most successful sales consultants limit distractions and understand the difference between an urgent fire and an important task.

“Time management is crucial to getting more value out of your projects and improving the quality of your life. To improve your use of time, you must be brutally honest in analyzing your time usage. Interruptions at any time — especially during the “golden hours,” before deadlines are met — should be limited. Determine your most important times of the day when interruptions are frowned upon.” — Time Management.

Top Salespeople Solve Problems

The days of old-school sales techniques that included telling the customer what they should purchase, which was usually what the business needed to sell and had little to do with the customers need, are fading fast. Thank goodness. The best salespeople understand that if they want to build a long-term relationship with a client, they must know the client’s needs, wants, and problems and then offer solutions that work. Because salespeople who over promise and then under deliver do not build relationships with clients. When commitments aren’t fulfilled it’s usually one and done.

Top Salespeople Come Prepared

When a first-rate sales consultant meets a client, they’re ready. They understand the industry as well as the client’s culture. They know the needs and wants of the customer, understand their problems and concerns, and they have answers and solutions. Top salespeople have the collateral materials they need, a presentation prepared, and they’ve memorized the names and positions of the key players. They’ve done their homework.

Top Sales Set Activity Based Goals

The top sales people set goals based on objective criteria, and then plan activities to improve; they understand you cannot do a goal you have to do activities. They recognize activities to continue, stop, improve, and restart. Because goal setting directs behavior, not results. Although the goal must focus on measurable objective criteria, activities achieve goals. “Goals should include clearly defined objectives and an activities plan.” — You Cannot “do” a Goal

“A poorly written sales goal would be to set a goal to sign up more customers. That’s not a well-planned goal; it’s a wish. What’s missing is how. For example, in this scenario, it might be to cold call five new prospects per day and set two appointments per week. And then follow up these activities with training and tools to achieve the goal, such as the manager travel with the salesperson to appointments, the manager conduct cold call training once per week and talk with each salesperson about their activities daily.” —  Why Smart Goals are Dumb

Top Salespeople Believe

Top salespeople believe in their company, product, and service. And if they don’t, they fix it or leave. Because a belief in your business and its customer service is a constant of enthusiasm.

“I was once VP of operations for a mid-size B2C company. Our products were not the cheapest in a very competitive marketplace. Because of this, a salesperson would occasionally question the pricing, which if not addressed, would lead to a loss of belief in the product, service, and company. I easily believed in the product because the price included a higher-end product, a nationally recognized award-winning service department, and outstanding employee installation crews. The company attracted and kept the best employees because, in an industry that was primarily sub-contractors, they offered full-time, year-round employment, competitive wages, and full benefits. I never hesitated to explain to a customer, or a salesperson, that part of the price was taking care of the employees who would take care of them. Have you done your research? Is your lack of belief justified?” — Do You Believe in What Your Selling?

Top Salespeople are Positive People

Top salespeople are optimists, but it’s more than that. The best sales consultants are glass half full folks who like to help people. They not only treat their customers well but also their teammates and vendors.

A positive outlook makes any salesperson more likable, more attractive, and it just makes sense that it’s a healthier way to live. “For most of my adult life, I’ve believed one’s outlook affects one’s health. My unscientific observation has been that pessimistic people have more illnesses and ailments than the folks who see the brighter side of life. I wholeheartedly believe part of the difference is self-fulfilling, and some of it is the harm negativity does to the human body. Fearful and negative thought processes release molecules into the body that are detrimental to one’s health, don’t they? Yes. They. Do.” —  How Negativity Affects Your Health

Are You a Top Salesperson?

Are you at the top of your game? If not, the five points listed above are a good beginning. Manage your time productively, solve client’s problems, set activity-based goals, believe in what you’re doing, and maintain a positive outlook. If you do those things, you’ll be at the top of your game. If you’d like to discuss sales leave me a comment. Have a great day.

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