I’ve noticed a few things about those people who are the best of the best in sales after all my years of working with salespeople. These top performers aren’t necessarily any smarter than other salespeople. They are different in other ways. Why not see how you compare with these very successful salespeople to see if what you’re doing will lead you to sales success?
They are numbers driven.
The best salespeople are numbers driven. Don’t be alarmed if you weren’t great at statistics or calculus. You don’t need to be a statistician to be a numbers driven salesperson. By numbers driven I mean that they have the ability to quantify their work.
When these salespeople talk with a prospect they are able to inquire about the prospect’s current performance. While they are learning about the prospect’s current situation they are able to translate the impact of the situation into a percent or dollar amount. Here’s what I mean.
When a manufacturing prospect discusses his current situation the sales superstar asks about downtime. He asks about how many days a week, month or year the prospect is experiencing downtime. He asks for a value of each hour of downtime. He quickly calculates the numbers of hours and the cost of downtime for the prospect. He quantifies the prospect’s problem– the downtime. It’s only when a problem is quantified that a prospect could be motivated to do something about it. A downtime problem costing $1000 might be easy to ignore. A $25,000 downtime problem can’t be easily ignored.
Every great salesperson is able to quantify the prospect’s or customer’s problem. When the problem is quantified you magnify the customer’s pain and make it impossible to ignore and do nothing. Remember, your competition is not always another supplier. Your competition just might be the customer who is satisfied with leaving things the way they are. Doing nothing is always your competition.
They know how to get people to pay more for products and services.
You know that when you are in sales the objective is to make a profit. After all, how long would you be in business if you lost money on everything you sold? Not long. Great salespeople know how to get customers to pay more for their products and services. Many salespeople have pricing authority. They can discount what they sell—or not. The sales superstars know how to get the customer to pay more. They don’t discount.
First, the superstars believe in their own value and that they’re worth it. They see their role in the sales process as part of what they’re selling. Their expertise, experience, willingness to work more than 9 to 5 is all part of what they sell. They believe that customers should pay more when they buy from them. Why not? After all the customer is getting more than just a product or service. It’s like being a top athlete. Top athletes get paid more. That is why the top salespeople are less likely to discount, not more likely. With fewer discounts these sales superstars have a more profitable business.
Indirectly these top performers make it harder to lose their business to competition. These top performers document the cost savings they deliver to their customers. No, they don’t discount their products’ price. Instead they demonstrate ways to reduce customer costs, avoid customer costs or increase their revenue when their customers buy from them. Getting back to their numbers driven approach, they document and quantify the value they deliver. This documentation is proof of performance. It makes it much harder for a competitor to say that he can produce the same results. Many competitors don’t have proof of what they deliver.
You can become a sales superstar. You might have work to do to become one. Winston Churchill said, “We are all worms. But I do believe that I am a glow-worm.” You can be one, too.