Every business is built on a foundation of sales. If you often look at your salespeople and wonder why one or a few consistently outsell the rest of your sales staff, it might be because they have tapped into the tips and tricks that take selling to the next level.
Just like that infamous Glen Garry Glenross speech, selling is a closer’s game. The people that do it well are skilled, yes, and likely naturally talented. However, that doesn’t mean that hiring top sellers needs to be a guessing game.
The difference is the habits of highly effective salespeople. These habits appear to span across top sellers in every industry.
There are tricks anyone can learn from the top-performing salespeople and apply to their own sales process. These habits are universal and can apply to any sales situation (most of these habits could apply to anyone, actually!).
So without further ado, here are 7 habits of highly effective salespeople.
7 habits of highly effective salespeople
Habit #1: They get enough sleep.
Tired brains are slow brains. Your salespeople need at least 8 hours of solid shuteye a night or they’re not working to their highest potential. Working in sales means you need to be on your toes every second of a meeting or a phone call. That’s just not possible when you’re tired and working at half capacity.
Sleep is magical – it gives your brain a rest while also integrating ideas and thoughts that happened during the day. In addition to a bunch of good benefits of getting enough sleep, on the flip-side, a sleep debt leads to irritation and impatience in the short term and some scary health effects in the long term. So the first of 7 habits of highly effective salespeople is consistently catching that Zzzs.
Habit #2: They plan ahead.
A great salesperson knows that the next sale is never guaranteed. Even when they’ve met their quota, they’re planning ahead and scheduling meetings and calls to work on the next client. Laying the foundation for the next week and the next month is the key to meeting and exceeding quotas. In the same vein, they’re organized.
Closers don’t waltz into a meeting without a plan. They know the prospect and have prepared a sales pitch to speak to their unique needs.
Habit #3: They use the product themselves.
Highly effective salespeople not only know the product inside and out, but they use and love it. The best salespeople are also product ambassadors. They can sell the product because they would buy it and can translate that enthusiasm to their prospects. Plus inside-out knowledge of a product goes a long way to earning a prospect’s trust.
Let’s be honest – we live in the age of the Internet where we have access to thousands of reviews. Authenticity is a key habit for highly effective salespeople.
Habit #4: They meet people on a personal level.
Everyone has probably eye rolled at that hardcore networker that walks around parties with a business card seemingly always in their hand. Meeting people might be the first step, but connecting with people is the step that separates good salespeople from great salespeople.
It’s not just about connecting on LinkedIn, but having a genuine conversation. This habit of highly effective salespeople makes a prospect want to talk to them again (and often gives them an excuse! – “How did your kid’s softball game go?”)
Habit #5: They choose prospects carefully.
This habit is twofold: they keep a “perfect buyer” image in mind and evaluating whether a prospect is likely to move forward. Great salespeople not only know when someone might want to buy, but they also know when someone won’t.
Wasting time handholding someone who has no intention to ever make a purchase is a time spent that will never produce a return on investment (time they could be spending with prospects that will buy).
Habit #6: They listen well (especially to complaints).
A complaining prospect or customer is a great sign – it means they care enough to look for changes because they want to continue using your product. Great salespeople know this. What’s more – only about 1 in 26 unhappy people will take the time to complain.
Each complaint is a knowledge that empowers an organization to improve. Customer retention and improving services all hinges on the response. Great salespeople will not only take complaints in stride but go above and beyond to resolve the problem.
Habit #7: They are consistent.
The final habit of highly effective salespeople is that they’re consistent. Once they find a technique that works, they use it until it doesn’t work anymore.
Think about it this way: every experiment is a potential ‘no’, that could have been a ‘yes’ with a proven technique. If they have to experiment, they learn quickly and apply what works so they can reduce the number of casualties in the testing phase.
Overall, these aren’t just habits of highly effective salespeople, but habits of highly effective people. Period. Taking care of your body, being prepared, and genuinely connecting with those around you are good habits to take into any life situation whether it’s professional or personal.
The bonus is that the people that have figured out these secrets can use these ‘sales hacks’ to increase their performance at work and deliver outstanding results.
Some of these habits might manifest differently in different people or situations. Planning ahead might mean setting meetings or it could mean researching prospects before a meeting. Maybe it even just means picking out an outfit the night before so you reduce ‘decision fatigue’ the next day.
These habits can be applied in so many ways that they should be taken more as guidelines than specific examples that work in every situation. Ask yourself, “Can I be more consistent in the work I’m doing? How? Am I pouring effort into a situation that isn’t offering a return?” Then go from there.
Did we forget one? Do you have a favorite habit that you see your highly effective salespeople implementing? Let us know in the comments.
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