Operations

Publisher's Page: No Excuses; Make Selling a Daily Part of Your Life

Posted on June 1, 2003 by LCT Staff - Also by this author

What’s the one and only trait a person needs to be an exceptional sales person? Perseverance. Whether you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert, the only thing in sales that matters is going the distance. And that means spending at least two hours a day – every single day – prospecting. Make sure you connect with at least five existing customers, make sure you pitch a minimum of five qualified prospects and make sure you set up at least one good face-to-face sales call every day. If you are a people-person and give good phone, you won’t have to call quite as many people as someone that doesn’t come off as well. But no one who follows this very basic sales principal will fail. The most common roadblock sales people have is a fear of rejection. But isn’t that true in all aspects of life? We are, by nature, social creatures who want to be liked and accepted. Here’s the real truth on overcoming objections in sales: Objections are a sales person’s best friend. Why? Because objections, looked at another way, are merely questions that can lead to buying. Listen closely to the objections you are hearing instead of thinking about your exit strategy and you’ll close more sales . Here are some common sales objections and what they really mean:

“Your service is too expense.” Translations: You have not convinced me of the value of your service. You and your competitors all look the same to me. I’m listening, so start convincing me. How are you different and/or better?

 “Our budget has been slashed and we can’t afford your service now.” Translations: Help me prioritize my travel budget (right now your service is not a priority because I only see you as a frill, not a must-have) and I may buy from you. Give me reasons to cut something else out. I’m waiting…

“We’re happy with Brand X, thank you very much.” Translations: Do you understand what a pain it is to switch from one company to the next? And there’s the guilt thing: Brand X has been loyal. How do I know I won’t regret my decision to switch? Give me a compelling reason to make the leap of fate, an offer I just can’t refuse, along with some assurances or guarantees, and I’ll hear you out.

Also, remember that keeping yourself in sales shape is akin to doing stretching exercises before a long-distance run. It’s a must. Sales is often a psychological game and it’s important to be in the right frame of mind before tackling your calls for the day. I’ve found that calling three to five happy customers who I know well and have good chemistry with works two-fold: It lets those customers know I’m thinking of them and it puts me in a positive frame of mind. I then tackle new prospects.

I normally save unhappy or high-maintenance accounts for last because anyone that will bring you down should be dealt with after you’ve done your prospecting. It’s also important to remind owners who don’t have a sales force that your two-hour sales regime cannot be compromised, even in the face of the most hectic day. No matter what the calamity may be, your sales time is a daily discipline, just like getting exercise or drinking eight glasses of water. Don’t make excuses and don’t tolerate interruptions from your staff. It has never been more critical to focus on sales than in this new economy. Get your sales habits formed today. Here’s to the health of your sales effort and your company.

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