3 things that Guarantee Success and Failure in Sales

3 things that Guarantee Success and Failure in Sales

Sales are the backbone of any company. It’s a make or break. Full stop. 

That’s why I’m baffled when as a customer my calls aren’t returned, staff are rude or they ask me to e-mail my requirements when I’ve already made the effort to call them (that’s a particular pet hate!) 

It’s very easy to stand out to customers just by ensuring you have the sales basics in place- staff need to breathe, drink and eat customer service. I was extremely fortunate to work for what I still consider to be one of the best sales company in the world. Sales skills really do equip you for the business world and indeed for life when truly understood. I cannot think of a single other skill that can prepare you for the world as holistically as sales skills can.
So here are my thoughts of the best and worst practices in sales:

3 things that Guarantee Sales Success:

1) DISCIPLINE: Set times to make purely proactive calls. No business survives on reactionary customer engagements. Without discipline, a pipeline will very easily fall apart. Without strong pipeline practices in place, sales will be inconsistent and targets will be hard to meet and forecast. Filling your time with reactive calls means you are not in control. Manage the business, don’t let the business manage you.

2) EQ: You need to understand who is speaking to in a very short space of time! Gauge the level of detail the customer has an appetite for and understand their needs and gaps. How frequently you call specific customers should vary- there is never a one size fits all approach- the brick approach is ok for some products/services but ultimately a lack of versatility and sophistication will limit a salesperson's career.

Over time sales teaches you how to pick up and interpret the customer’s signals and then adapt your approach according. EQ helps you to connect the dots and identify opportunities that others may not see.

3) KNOWLEDGE: No one wants to listen to waffle! Being able to articulate USP’s and the strengths of your product and service concisely will carry you a long way. Strong product knowledge will impress your customers and will ultimately give you the credibility to close the sale. 

3 things that Guarantee Sales Failure:

1) KEYBOARD WARRIORS: The more time you spend off the phone, the smaller your pipeline- simple!

2) LACK OF INTEGRITY: Some salespeople consider themselves smart if they are able to close a sale through any means- even one that ends up cheating the customer. There is nothing smart about that. Integrity and reputation is everything. Nothing destroys a brand quicker than a lack of integrity.

3) CYNICISM: the half-empty approach sets you well on the road to failure. You need a thick skin to survive in sales but once cynicism sets in it will destroy your sales energy. Cynicism creates a mind block and you will fail to see opportunities that are right in front of you. 

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