You’re reading this blog right now because you want to become better at sales. Whether you’re a seasoned sales professional, someone at the dawn of their career in sales, or a business person looking to learn how to become better at the vital —- of sales, you are already ahead of your competition for one reason; you are curious. You want to learn.
I write every single day about sales and the mindset necessary to be successful, as I have for over 2,500 days straight – there is a lot of information in this blog. But this specific post is a short list of eight things that you need to develop to be better at sales…
- Other-Orientation. If you want to become a better salesperson today, become more other oriented. Spend less time talking about you, your company, and your solution. Spend more time listening, and more time deepening your understanding of your clients needs.
- Patience. To succeed in sales you must be professionally persistent. This means that you are patient. Patience doesn’t mean that you take no action and wait. Waiting is never a great client acquisition strategy. Instead it means you play the longest of long games and professionally persist regardless of how long it takes to win your dream client.
- Discipline. No matter how smart you are or how talented you may be, a lack of discipline will cause you to produce poor results. A lot of what we do in sales is routine discipline practiced continually over a long period of time;things like prospecting, nurturing, and following up our all necessary disciplines.
- Optimism. You will never succeed at the level that you are capable of if you are pessimistic. I’m fond of the Winston Churchill quote, “Success is going from failure to failure or with no loss of enthusiasm.” Your attitude, your underlying belief system, and your mindset must be positive in order to succeed in sales.
- Business acumen. If you don’t understand your business and your company strategy you will never sell as well as your potential. If you don’t understand your prospective client’s business and their industry, you will never sell as well at as if you are at your maximum capability. If you don’t have a common understanding of business principles, and the vocabulary, selling will be very difficult for you.
- Confidence. In sales you are not subservient. You are not afraid or intimidated. You are confident in yourself, and comfortable in your own skin. A lack of confidence in yourself and in your company causes your prospective client to have a lack of confidence in you and your company.
- Candor (willingness to “go there.”) There’s this country song about no one wanting to die but everyone wanting to go to heaven. Everyone wants to be a trusted advisor; very few want to have difficult, candid conversations about what must happen to make change real. If you are not willing to “Go there,” you are not the partner many of your prospective clients need now.
- Writing skills. I prefer face-to-face communication over every other medium. After face-to-face, I prefer the telephone. But it does not matter what my preferences are, we are doing more and more of our communication via email and other written mediums. This means you need better writing skills.
Sales is a profession, but it is also a craft, and like all crafts it takes years of study and practice to become an expert. These 8 things you can work on will help you hone your sales skills as part of your continued evolution into a better and better salesperson.