Being a Sales Professional requires not just a certain skillset, attitude or level of experience but an entire lifestyle, sense of dedication and a driven mindset.
It may surprise you but being a Sales Professional is not actually all about selling. Top performers don’t just sell, we build relationships and problem solve for our prospects and clients. We dedicate ourselves to building businesses one customer at a time and leverage our experience to help solve any challenges that may be impacting the progress of the next. To us, a problem is an opportunity to provide a solution, not a dead end!
We always put ourselves out there, ensuring that we have a presence in our prospects day to day lives. In order to be successful and progress sales, we show ourselves as the expert, the “go to” for guidance, regardless of whether that results in an immediate sale or not.
This presence can be developed through social media, networking, podcasts, cold calling, blogging, thought leadership or a combination of them all. It may take 1, 5, or even 10 years to build a relationship, but you can guarantee that the person we helped with no immediate benefit to ourselves will come back or refer our next potential customer.
At the end of the day, strong Sales Professionals will have a genuine interest in what we can do for someone else, as well as what they can do for us. More importantly, we’re proactive in helping them.
We never wait for a change in the economy, industry fortune or the circumstances of an inbound lead. Top sales performers are almost fanatical about our craft and we are constantly in preparation, plan and pipeline building mode.
In the words of Grant Cardone, “be obsessed!” There is no shame in following up with a prospect more than once, in fact it’s argued that an average prospect will need 8 touchpoints to convert. At the end of the day, a lost opportunity is lost ROI for ourselves and our clients. We hold ourselves accountable and set ourselves goals – our ambitions are always even higher than those set for us to ensure we always hit target.
As top performers, we hunt down those next opportunities and never give up. In a book I read recently, Richard Forrest, explains how opportunities are like icebergs – whilst 20% of buyers are already online, in buying mode, 80% of buyers are those that we must go and hunt down under the water line, unaware they even have a problem or maybe didn’t know there was an answer for the one they do. In order to reach that 80%, we have to pick up our spear (our phone), our shield (our objection handling) and hunt down that next opportunity.
Don’t be fooled, success is a long hunt and results don’t always come quickly. Top Sales Professionals dig and keep digging until we fully understand what a prospect needs, uncovering all of the issues and gathering the information that we need to make our solution a no brainer.
Opinion Piece by Simon Murthwaite, Leading Sales Director, Air Marketing Group