“Ninety percent of selling is conviction and 10 percent is persuasion.” –Shiv Khera. Let’s be honest: you as a salesperson have to absolutely believe in what you’re selling. If you don’t believe in what you’re selling, then stop selling it. If you’re able to successfully sell something you don’t believe in, then just imagine what will happen when you start selling something you do believe in! As for the rest of us especially us entrepreneurs we have the conviction. We just need the skills. So, below are 13 Good Habits that you must have.
Habit Number 1: They Listen (But Not with “Happy Ears”)
In order to be a successful salesperson you have to listen! When you give a sales presentation, who’s doing more talking? You? The person you’re selling? If you’re doing all the talking it’s likely you don’t have enough information to successfully persuade them to buy your product or service. My recommendation is bake listening into your process. I start every meeting with introductions and I make the customer go first. Make it blatant that you care a lot more about them and that you want to start by “shutting up” and listening to what they have to say.
The more you listen, the more you know, the better you can sell. But don’t listen with “Happy Ears.” I have sat in a lot of meetings with “sales professionals” who always thought that the client was sold. You have to hear what the client isn’t saying and how the tone is. Lots of people will say what a salesperson wants to hear in order to simply end the meeting in a nice way without actually intending to buy. You know all of those leads that go cold for no reason? It’s likely that you’re not hearing what they’re really saying during the meeting.
Habit Number 2: They Know Their Value Proposition & Adapt
What was important to your last prospect/conversation may not be what’s important to the next prospect. If you’re truly executing Habit #1 of listening to your customer then you will be able to adapt your pitch. You need to know the value proposition of your product/service, but you need to highlight the aspects that are most important to the customer you’re talking with.
Habit Number 3: They Mirror Their Prospect
If your prospect wants to rush you and only has 15 minutes for the meeting, then you mirror them and you only have 10 minutes for the phone call. Take your time, speak at a normal pace, they may be rushing you, but don’t be rushed if you actually want to sell something.
If they’re using certain words in how they talk about your product/service then repeating back to them your product/service capabilities in their own words will reaffirm their belief that you have what they want.
Habit Number 4: They Aren’t Pushy
A persuasive salesperson knows how to get what they want, but it’s all about framing what you say to be more about your customer than you. The quickest way to turn off a customer is push them to do something that they don’t want to do. A good salesperson will start by listening, adapt their sales presentation, and simply help the customer in the selection of the solution that is in the best interest of the customer’s needs. Pushing someone to do something quickly or make a decision they are not ready to make is not in your best interest or theirs. Determine their objections, understand why they’re not ready, or what is holding them back, address them first, then go for a trial close if appropriate.
Habit Number 5: They Aren’t Patronizing
Be down to earth when interacting with your prospects. Your prospect is a person and they want to know that you are an expert, but at the same time if you have an almighty attitude then that’s a BIG turn off. Slow down. Take your time. Don’t talk above or below your customer, but meet them where they’re at. Ask what their knowledge level is on a topic when you’re diving into complex parts of your offering. For example we provide SEO services and there are some prospects that are at a 101 level and I take my time in a caring manner, explaining how it works in intricate detail, and I always wrap up by saying “Did you learn something today? That’s my #1 goal is to make sure that this was a valuable interaction, and when we do business together growing your education on this topic is a key priority for us so you can get the most out of this relationship.”
However, if my customer already has a good understanding of SEO then I can feel free to use the jargon used in the industry and rest assured that they’re following along.
Habit Number 6: They Ask the Right Questions
There are plenty of times that your customer will not come right out and tell you – This is what I care about, this is how you sell me, so you have to ask the right questions in order to learn what is important to them regarding your product/service in order to properly close them as a customer.
Habit Number 7: They’re Positive
It’s not “if” the customer is going to do business with them; it’s “when” the customer does business with them. They are constantly positive that the customer is going to choose them when they’re presenting their solution. Being positive has a natural effect on their customers, and they’re more enjoyable to work with in general.
Habit Number 8: They Always Set a Clear Next Step
Depending on the product/service you sell it’s very likely (especially in B2B sales) that you don’t close the deal in the very first meeting. So the salesperson knows that they need to keep the process accountable and set a clear next step. “I’ll review this and get back to you.” is NOT a clear next step. “I’ll let you review that over the next week and we’ll meet again to answer any question you might have on “x” day and “y” time is a clear next step.”
It is very possible that your prospect may not want to schedule their follow up call and try to push back, but you kindly let them know that you want to make sure that you can answer any and all questions they have, but your calendar fills up quick, so it’s best to go ahead and schedule the follow up call now. I find most prospects might push back on your request once, but if you rephrase it in such a way that shows them benefit they are unlikely to tell you “no” twice if they’re a legitimate prospect. If they refuse to set a clear next step the chances are they’re not going to buy, and you need to undercover what their objections are because something is making them decide that you’re not worth a follow up meeting.
Habit Number 9: They Ask For the Business
It’s not about shoving a customer into buying from them, but they’re confident in asking the question. They spend time building the relationship with their customer and ensuring that the product they have to offer meets the needs of the customer, and then once the rapport and value has been built they close the deal.
– Michael Knorr, Vice President of Sales