The sales industry has a reputation for being intense and cut-throat. A dog eats dog arena where only the strong survive. If that is true, then what does it take to be the top dog who outlasts all of the others? We have often heard about tips for highly successful people and the like, but what are some of the lesser known secrets of successful sales people?
They get enough sleep
Yes, there are those rare individuals who can get about 5 hours of sleep a night and still function, but they are the exception, not the rule. Plus, while they may be able to make it through the day, they may not be the most effective or pleasant. We are not necessarily saying that you need a full 8 hours, but we all know that we perform best when we are well rested…and well fed for that matter. Remember to take good care of yourself when you are not working so that you can be the most effective when you are. The better you feel, the more enthusiastic and productive you will be.
They are well educated
We don’t mean that they have an MBA from Harvard. We mean that they educate themselves in the school of life. They are well informed about the products and services that they sell and truly understand how they address a need or solve a problem. Successful sales people also stay up-to-date on business environments, industry trends, and current events. It is not enough to just comprehend your product, but you must also understand how if fits into the larger industry. Find out what works best for you—articles, podcasts, Internet research, daily papers, video tutorials—and maximize your learning.
They build relationships
The best sales people don’t just pitch a product and move on. They cultivate relationships with leads and prospects before, during, and after the sale. Building a relationship means getting to know your contact and other people in their organization, listening to what they need, caring about helping them, and offering viable solutions. After you close a sale, don’t just walk away. Follow up and ask how things are going and what else you can do to help. Sales success involves more than just closing the deal.
They are creative
How do you respond when someone tells you “no”? Well, that depends on how creative of a sales person you are. Good sales and interpersonal skills can only take you so far. Creative professionals look at a negative response as an opportunity to try something new or different. Remember, people want solutions, so think of unique ways to present a positive resolution for your customer. Don’t be rigid; think outside of the box for presentation ideas and creative approaches.
There’s tons of advice out there for sales people, but we decided to focus on the less obvious habits of success. And, while these tips are directed towards sales pros, they can apply across many industries. I mean, who wouldn’t benefit from a great night’s sleep?! If you are looking for more solid advice, check out this post with tips for success or this one on how to improve sales with inbound marketing.
One not-so-secret tip to succeeding in sales is via buyer personas. Download this guide on creating and mastering personas.