A salesperson who tells a customer he doesn’t need to know the answer to his question is doing something stupid. Successful salespeople say and do smart things. Here are a just a few of the smart things they do.
They learn what successful salespeople do.
You may not know who Dan Ammann is. He’s the new General Motors Co. President. He’s made some strategic changes that have made GM better at responding to what customers want. One of the things he did was bring in 25 of the top sales leaders in the world to a workshop in Charlotte, NC. They discussed the tactics they are using in their home markets to drive sales, work with dealers and interact with customers. This was the first time that happened. Learning what successful salespeople do and replicating it is a smart thing to do.
There’s not too much that is new in sales. Sure, you may have new products, but successful strategies can be applied elsewhere. Are you asking successful salespeople how they are addressing some of your challenges? You might learn a better way to sell.
They manage their boss effectively.
Your sales manager, whether you sell on straight commission or not, is your most important customer. Successful salespeople use their manager effectively in their sales process. First, they work for their manager the way their manager wants them to. They are what I call “low maintenance” employees. They not only hit their sales targets, but they also don’t require a whole lot of unpleasant discussions pointing out how they’ve overstepped boundaries. Are you providing detailed reports if your manager wants them? Are you providing less detailed reports if that’s what your manager wants?
More important is that they use their manager to sell. You will improve your sales effectiveness when you make joint sales calls with your manager. You show your prospect his importance by bringing your manager to the call. Often decisions can be made without delay during the sales call. Certainly plan the sales call so your manager has a role during the call.
They think strategically.
Here are some statistics that you can use to be more strategic with your selling. The best times to email prospects are 8:00 am and 3:00 pm (Source: GetResponse.) The best time to cold call is 4:00-5:00pm. The second best time is 8:00-10:00am. The worst times are 11:00am and 2:00pm (Source InsideSales.com and Kellogg School of Business.) Thursday is the best day to prospect. Wednesday is the second best day. Tuesday is the worst day (Source: InsideSales.com.) 50% of sales go to the first salesperson to contact the prospect (Source InsideSales.com.)After a presentation, 63% of attendees remember stories. Only 5% remember statistics (Source: Chip & Dan Heath.) The most memorable part of a presentation is the last 5 minutes. 91% of customers say they’d give referrals. Only 11% of salespeople ask for referrals (Source Dale Carnegie.) 70% of people make purchasing decisions to solve problems. 30% make decisions to gain something (Source Impact Communications.)
I always say if it’s working keep doing it. If it’s not, then try something else. Doing the things that successful salespeople do is a smart way to sell.
Best wishes for your sales success!