Here are five signs you're well positioned to succeed at the art of selling:
1. Remember you're in the people business.
Lots of salespeople get caught up in what they are selling and forget that they're in the people business. Your customer wants to be treated personally. I was recently at a dental office that had clearly forgotten they were not in the business of teeth, but of making patients happy and comfortable.
Getting attention and maintaining your customers' interest is a huge problem today. But walk into any big-box outlet, restaurant or professional office and you might not even be acknowledged. Before I visit or work with any client, I remind myself, "This is a unique individual who deserves distinct treatment."
2. Focus on the results, not the effort.
The sales game is not one of organizing, planning or meetings -- it's about getting results. Sales people often spend time kidding themselves about doing busy work and don't get in front of customers who can buy their products.
Your success in selling is about getting results and that means getting your products into the hands of more customers. A great salesperson knows how to get the customer's attention and present their product or service in a way that causes the customer to buy. Don’t confuse results with efforts. You don't try to get an appointment -- you either get it or you don't.
3. Do the uncomfortable thing.
The best sales people I have ever known are willing to throw themselves into harms way. So convinced of their offer, they are willing to get in front of the tough customers, ask the hard questions and go for the close. Doing the uncomfortable thing is where the top performers live.
I always call my toughest clients first and keep calling on them long after everyone else has given up. Once a month, I make a list of our company's most difficult customers and create an attack plan on how to get those accounts. The first month we incorporated this strategy, I landed one of the biggest deals of my career. You can't bring the big deals home without getting into the deep waters where the big fish swim.
4. Wow the customer.
Great sales people look for ways to inspire a customer's emotional involvement and create the urgency to take ownership. When you wow a customer you make a difference and cause them to want to hold onto that experience. You can take any product -- even a boring one -- and make it a wow presentation.
I once showed a client the glass doors on a home by demonstrating how they would be hurricane proof, slapping on both sides to evidence their construction quality. This immediately got the customer's full attention and set apart the product and me from the competition. Average doesn't pay in sales. Wow them with your presentation, your dress, your belief in the product and the service you offer.
5. Ask for the sale.
This may seem very simple, but most salespeople never ask for the sale. This is hard to believe, but it’s true. We recently did a mystery shop on over 500 businesses and at more than 70 percent of them, the salespeople never asked us to do business. Regardless of your product, price or how professional you are, if you don't ask, you will only sell to those who are going to buy regardless.
I keep a tally of every time I ask a customer to do business with me. This keeps me focused and increases my sales.