Tim Huffaker

Recently, I found myself shopping for tires and discovered the retailer had simplified the process for the consumer.

Even though the tire dealer carried tires from all the different manufacturers, each tire was given a rating of either good, better or best. That notion of ranking each tire, regardless of manufacturer, gave me pause to think about what I really wanted in a tire. I pondered the many different features and benefits. I considered tread wear and traction along with performance and price. I looked at safety and speed ratings and finally made my decision.

I’ve been pondering the similarities between salespeople and automobile tires along with the ranking of good, better and best. For business owners, there is a direct correlation between tires and salespeople. Salespeople are where the rubber hits the road. The success of any company is riding on the “tires of sales”. Which tires are your company riding on, good, better or best?  A question all salespeople should consider is, “which tire are you?”

Each of the features and benefits I evaluated in my tire buying experience has a direct correlation to salespeople. Tread wear could be directly related to years of sales experience and future commitment. Traction could easily compare to a salesperson’s ability to find new opportunities and close sales. Performance ratings could compare to the overall success of the salesperson and price could relate to the profitability of your sales. As you contemplate your overall performance as a salesperson, are you good, better or best?  

I have compiled a list of things every salesperson can do to change their performance from good or better, to best.

  1. Manage your time effectively. Embrace a time management system and use it every day to maximize your effectiveness. Effective time management is the keystone to success in sales.
  2. Selling is a full-time job. Begin your day early; work smart and hard all day long.  The amount of time you spend in the sales arena directly impacts your results.
  3. The best salespeople use their happy satisfied customers to generate referrals. If you are not asking for referrals you will never become your best.
  4. The only way to move from good to best is to focus your attention on the prospect or customer. Selling is not about you or your products; it is all about them and their needs.
  5. Find ways to create repeat sales. Look for other products and services you can provide in order to satisfy the needs of your customers.
  6. Good salespeople make lots of first contacts. The best salespeople follow-up with every contact without fail.
  7. A very effective way to move from good to better and then to best is by setting an agenda with every prospect. Never assume and never leave without scheduling the next step of the sales process.
  8. The best salespeople have passion about selling, passion about their products or services, and passion about helping people. Develop passion and you will become the best.
  9. The best salespeople are happy. They have learned to create balance in their lives. There is a time and a season for everything. When your life is in balance everything will be better, including your sales.
  10. Look for ways to help others. There is magic in doing good for other people. Every act of kindness or generosity will come back to you ten fold.

Every business owner should ask themselves the following two questions. “What type of salespeople is my company riding on?” “Am I willing to risk the safety and well being of my business and employees on the quality of salespeople in my organization?” The most effective way to take your salespeople from good or better to best, is to train them. Sales training is a seven billion dollar industry and there are many effective ways to provide training for your employees. Find a program that will work for your people, then pursue it.  No price is too high for the improved performance resulting from training your salespeople.