Salespeople need to build good habits to excel in their careers and close more deals. There is an abundance of training materials, books, and seminars to become the salespeople we want to be. In this episode, we will talk about moving from being a salesperson to becoming a sales professional.
Mark Evans has been a salesperson all his life, starting with his parents’ small business, practicing being a salesperson. After finishing college, he got back into sales. Now, Mark has a sales consultancy where he helps companies build their sales playbook. He teaches disciplined actions that can be used daily. These actions focus on the craft of selling long before the first meeting. This is the respect prospects deserve.
The key differential between salespeople and being a sales professional is the level they hone their craft and prepare for each meeting. A true sales professional won’t practice in front of their prospects. Sales professionals are intrigued by perfecting their craft. They are disciplined in their approach and practice their questions so that when it’s game time, they are at their best. They’ve put in the practice.
Level of preparation
The chef at a restaurant shows up hours before the kitchen opens to ensure everything is prepped, fresh, and prepared properly. They do this to offer their best to the customers.
The same should be true in sales. Even before you see your customer, do your research, identify your ideal customer, and understand the most current problems they’re facing. Have empathy for their circumstances and be ready with solutions. That level of preparation will uplevel you from salesperson to sales professional.
Facing the challenge
Yes, preparation takes time and effort. Mark employs a strategy with his clients called The Triangle: Three people come together for a meeting and take turns role-playing as the salesperson, the prospect, and the observer. As they take turns they practice various sales scenarios and objections while offering feedback.
Sales managers can help foster a culture of excellence by allowing time for practice and taking action toward sales goals.
Building good habits
Building good habits can be a challenge and with so many people working from home, there are even more distractions: Social media, household chores, binge TV, family, etc. For Mark, the first thing that’s necessary for building good habits is your end goal in mind.
Setting your big goals
As a sales professional, it would be beneficial to set five big goals and keep them with you. Your big goals can be a combination of personal goals, professional goals, and family goals. When you have your big goals, break them down into actionable chunks that you can achieve by month, by week, by day, and even smaller as it’s helpful for focus.
It is also good to have some level of accountability. You need to develop a scorecard for yourself to keep track of your progress. One tool that Mark suggests is writing out a check to an organization you don’t support. Give it to a friend who will deposit the check if you don’t achieve the goal in the time you’ve allotted. This can help you get laser-focused.
Be honest with yourself
It’s imperative for salespeople to be honest, especially to themselves. Examine whether or not you are truly willing to make the changes that are necessary to get to your goals. Are your goals big enough to make you change? Ask yourself what it’s going to take you for you to make a phone call when you don’t want to. Set a goal that inspires you and inspires the people around you.
Take action every day
Take daily action that will move you into daily habits. Mark suggests for salespeople to do The Power Hour. This is 60 minutes you dedicate to your goals. (If you can do more than one power hour, great, just work for 50 minutes and take a break or enjoy a reward for 10 minutes.) For salespeople, this 60 minutes could mean picking up the phone and prospecting. Just do it sooner than later because it’s a great launch to your day.
Sales managers, team meetings are important but consider setting aside one day a week where there are no meetings. Dedicate this day to allowing your team to concentrate on their projects and clients.
“Building Good Habits In Sales” episode resources
Work the power hour and really concentrate on your goals. You can also check out Mark’s book called Raise Your Standards: The Definitive Guide to Building Seven-Figure Sales. Reach out to Mark Evans via his LinkedIn or his website.
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