been in sales for more than 40 years now, and over the last 35 years I’ve
trained thousands of sales people and sales managers across the world. I’ve seen good times come and go for
sales people so many times now, and here’s what I’ve learnt.
During the good times, anyone can get great results
This includes what I call the “amateurs”. No skills or very few skills are required to take orders during these good times. These are the “Order Takers”, “Quote Givers” and “Product Oriented Peddlers”.
During these tough times, only totally professional sales people will do well
These are the “Problem Solvers” and what I like to call the “Friends In The Business”. These are the true sales professionals who have taken the time, and made the effort during the easy times, to develop their selling and negotiating skills.
They have focused on building strong relationships with their clients and prospects, by taking the time to understand the needs of their clients, and position themselves in their client’s minds, as true “Problem Solvers”. With many clients, they have also become their client’s “Friends in the Business”. These clients remain loyal to these sales people and will not make a move without calling their “Friend in the Business” for advice. This results the available business keeping on coming their way, even during the tough times.
So what are the “Secrets For Success” in sales right now?
If the available business is shrinking and clients are not buying as much, the successful sales person today are becoming more proactive with their prospecting. They are not waiting for business to come to them from their clients. Instead, they are prospecting amongst their existing clients for extra business.
They are also prospecting with new clients as they know that business from new clients will keep their sales figures high. This is where they take business away from other sales people.
If we look after clients, they will refer us to their friends and associates. The true professional don’t wait for this to happen, they make it happen by asking for referrals and then providing these referrals with exceptional service.
The true professional now seeks to find out as much as they can about their new prospects. They ask questions, they build rapport and trust, and uncover areas in their prospect’s business where they can save their client money, increase their revenues, or make their people more productive.
During the good times, so many sales people play “show and tell” with their prospects. They enthusiastically show prospects all they have to offer. The true sales professional however, now more than ever before, seek to understand their client’s needs and also uncover areas that their clients are not even aware of, where they can offer a valuable solution. Save money, make extra revenues etc.
It’s all about relationships
Today’s top sales people really look after their clients, hence their competitors have a very hard time getting business from these clients.
Develop the skills needed for success in these tough times
The good thing about skills is they can all be developed. It is time to upgrade your skills and that of your sales teams if you want to do well right now.