Winning with Leslie A Monthly Newsletter Twitter leslielgroene Linkid lesliegroene
Leslie Groene Website Homepage May 2018, Vol. 154

Think About the Saying “April Showers Bring May Flowers”

Are you properly ‘watering’ and caring for your prospects so that they yield a crop?

The difference between good salespeople and great ones is staggering. Good reps hit their quota ... most of the time. Great reps don’t just consistently hit, they have blow-out months or quarters. Good reps earn their prospects’ trust and respect. Great reps earn their prospects’ admiration, loyalty, and referrals. Good reps can skillfully handle objections. Great reps preemptively surface those concerns and make them disappear.

If you want greatness the follow these rules of good sellers that will help you become one of the top-selling salespeople on your team.

Selling habits of effective reps

1) They set and stick to their ideal buyer persona.

A clearly defined buyer persona is crucial to an effective sales process. And a sales rep who sticks to that persona is effective in generating sales. Otherwise, a salesperson might fall back on spray-and-pray tactics that result in inefficient prospecting.

An effective rep researches the prospect to make sure they’re a good fit. They stick to their ideal buyer persona and know exactly whom they're selling to and why.

2) Their sales process is measurable and repeatable.

Low-performing reps let intuition guide them. High-performing reps use a process that’s optimized to move as many prospects as possible from “connect” to “close.” Low-performing reps are always letting things slip through the cracks. High-performing reps know the state of every deal in their pipeline, what actions they’ll take next, and when. Low-performing reps never analyze their results -- because they haven’t been tracking them. High-performing reps obsessively review their key metrics and adjust as necessary. To be extraordinary, you need a consistent process.

3) They know their product.

Being able to sell is half the battle. Understanding what you’re selling is the other (often under-appreciated) half.

In the old days, selling relied on charm and snake-oil tactics. But now that prospects have more access to information than ever before, they’re not fooled so easily. To gain their trust and add value to their lives, you have to truly know your product.

4) They execute fact-based (not feelings-based) pipeline management.

Effective sales reps don’t mark a deal as likely to close because the influencer likes them. They’re able to objectively review their opportunities, avoid happy ears, and come up with accurate sales forecasts.

5) They look for “hacks.”

Once a great salesperson finds a strategy or technique that works, they use it -- again and again and again and again, until it stops working.

This is smart. Reps are always working against the clock, which means the more time they spend experimenting, the less time they have for true selling. Plus, there’s an opportunity cost. Try one thing that doesn’t work, and you’ve missed the opportunity to use something that does.

I’m not suggesting you should never change up your approach. Just do so selectively, and get results ASAP so you can either implement the tactic or move on.

6) They practice active listening.

Successful salespeople are completely present when they talk to prospects. They’re not thinking about another deal, scrolling through Reddit threads, or sending funny memes to their team members. They’re engaged -- and as a result, their conversations with buyers are deeper and more meaningful.

Active listening may be one of the hardest skills to develop, since its human nature to care more about what you have to say than your prospect. However, it’s incredibly valuable. Not only will you build stronger relationships, but you’ll unlock information that’ll help you position your product as the best option.

7) They work extremely hard.

It’s 5 p.m. on the last day of the month or quarter. The B players have already left the office -- they’re at a bar nearby celebrating because they all met quota. The C players are still in the office -- they’re sending off last-ditch email attempts to prospects they haven’t engaged within weeks. The A players are in the office too. They’ve already hit, but they’re still sending emails, scheduling meetings, and making calls. And by laying the foundation for a great month before they need to, they always blow their goals out of the water.

8) They follow up.

Many salespeople fail to effectively follow up after sending a proposal. They don’t even know if the prospect opened their email. You need to know when and how to follow up. Create a strategy for each prospect of what tool to use to follow up with and when to do that!

9) They personalize their message.

Instead of following a script and approaching each prospect with a “one size fits all” mentality, high-performing salespeople are committed to learning as much as they can about a prospect to tailor their message. These sales reps understand the unique pain points their prospect are facing and can explain why their product is a good fit.

Focus Point

82. Get "nutrition" from varied activities.

My sister once told me, "Fill up your bean jar." What she meant was that I needed to keep my batteries charged by taking in "nutrients" from activities such as a good workout or hike, lunch with a good friend, attendance at a worship service or reading a great book. She wanted me to find people, places or things that would re-charge and energize me for my next client, job, adventure or difficult assignment.

Those of us who have families can view our familial responsibilities as opportunities for this type of recharging. Just look into those big beautiful eyes of your child, if you are so blessed; there is your joy for this moment!