Wouldn’t it be great to learn the secrets of successful selling just as you begin your sales career? You would save the time from making mistakes and you would avoid the disappointment from your failures. Yet, it’s not realistic to expect that there are a few key secrets that make salespeople successful. There are instead some concepts to understand and implement that will prepare you for what to expect in sales. You’re more likely to be successful when you are prepared. The same is true for experienced salespeople.
Know what to expect
You may think that your sales call preparation includes doing the research about your customer. You are right. You want to learn the critical information you’ve determined about them that makes them suitable to be your prospect. You may have determined that location, building size, age of business, job title, customer age, or another demographic or criterion are part of your key research. You might even determine that a psychographic, or how someone thinks, is important for your sales success. Perhaps you want to work with risk-takers.
No matter how much information you think you need to gather, you’re only half right.
Most salespeople forget that prospects have the same easy access to information that salespeople have today. Just as you can quickly gather all kinds of relevant information about a prospect, your prospect is researching you. Are you ready?
What would a prospect find on line about you or your company? Is your LinkedIn profile professional and does it communicate your competence or your company’s competence? It must or your prospect is unlikely to take the time to meet with you. Even those salespeople who are new to sales can include endorsements on LinkedIn that speak to their company. New salespeople, with guidance, might comment on other sites to demonstrate their expertise.
To think that your prospect knows nothing about you before you meet would be making a huge rookie mistake.
Be an effective time manager.
The most limited resource for selling is time. Some would say money, but time is money. It’s the same thing. New salespeople need to learn quickly that all prospects and accounts are not equal. You can’t spend the same amount of time with your smallest account as you do your largest account. Learn to organize your accounts by priority early in your account management.
Once you organize accounts in groups from high priority, medium priority, and lowest priority your job should be to determine the amount of time you can spend with accounts in each group. Your challenge is to determine the least amount of time you can spend with each group to generate the most sales. One thing to consider is that the amount of time you determine at the beginning of your sales career should be ideally reduced as you become more experienced. Always be looking for ways to serve customers in the most efficient way. You don’t make sales based on the time you spend. You’re getting sales based on your selling skill.
Learn to say no.
The person who you have to say no to is yourself. Too many new salespeople make sales calls and do other types of sales work that is a waste of time. They should instead have told themselves no. What do you say no to? Making sales calls to prospects who are clearly not your ideal prospects.
What can you do? You must be clear about who your ideal prospect is. Make a pact with yourself. You will only call on viable prospects. Determine the characteristics of your ideal prospect. How big are they? What revenue do they need to have? How many employees does your ideal prospect have? Be as specific as you can so you know who is and most important who is nota prospect for you. You don’t get credit for how many calls you make. You get credit for how many sales you make. People who are low probability buyers from you will never help you reach your sales goals. Stop wasting time on them.
It’s no secret that the best prepared salespeople do better in sales. Knowing what mistakes to avoid will help prepare you for a successful career in sales.