Most salespeople are mediocre at best as they struggle to find success in doing those things they believe will generate sales.
The vast majority of sales managers promote the mediocrity of salespeople by focusing on reaching the goal without ever teaching the salesperson how to reach the goal. Now I know we all hire professional salespeople, or at least the best we can find. However, salespeople are pretty much on their own to learn their trade. Only a handful of universities offer a degree in sales and the majority of all salespeople never planned on a career of selling. Here are three principles that will help every salesperson improve their performance and come closer to reaching perfection.
- Commit yourself to an attitude of excellence. No one has ever achieved their best effort without first having a desire to be the best. You are not born with your best effort. You may have natural talents and abilities, but your best performance is the result of your best effort in learning, practicing and applying what you’ve learned. Three books I believe are essential study for every salesperson who has the desire to be the best are: “How I Raised Myself From Failure To Success In Selling” by Frank Bettger; “How To Win Friends And Influence People” by Dale Carnegie; “Socratic Selling” by Ken Daily. Wanting to be the best is never achieved without practicing to be the best. Practicing perfectly, every aspect of the sales process, is necessary to perfectly applying the sales process. The steps for achieving excellence are: attitude, learning, practicing perfectly and finally, application.
- Begin each day with preparation for the excellence you desire. Nothing of value happens by chance. All things are the result of either our action or inaction. Take control of your sales activities by taking action. I worked with a salesperson several years ago who would be considered mediocre by any scale. Cliff never planned or took a proactive approach to selling. In fact, one day he explained to me the excitement of selling was the anticipation of the unfolding of the day’s events. He would sit in his office and read the Wall Street Journal while waiting for a sales event to unfold. He was an average “order taker”, and a dismal sales generator. He accepted the title of a salesperson but did nothing to prepare for each day other than showing up to the office. No planning, no preparation, very little activity and minimal sales. To be successful at selling you must plan and prepare for each day. If you are going to have half a chance at reaching any level of achievement, you must plan for achievement.
- Get the most out of every minute of every day. Success is achieved by those salespeople who maximize every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year. Time is our most valuable resource and success in selling requires maximizing the use of our time, all the time. The average salesperson spends less than four hours each day in the sales arena. You will never deliver your best results working part time at selling. Your sales effort must be consistent. Top sales performers maximize their time every day, not just some days. A consistent pattern of very good performance will out shine those who have incredible days mixed in with a lot of average days. Create the habit of maximizing your performance every day.
Through the application of these principles, you will improve your performance and move closer to sales perfection. If you don’t strive for perfection it is guaranteed you will never reach it. You may not be perfect at selling today, but you can become perfect in your effort while perfectly practicing and applying the correct principles.