7 Key Selling Habits All Sales Professionals Must Develop Improving these seven habits is the key to increasing your sales, your business revenues and your profitability.

By Brian Tracy

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Maskot | Getty Images

The following excerpt is from the Brian Tracy's book Million Dollar Habits. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | IndieBound

There are seven key selling habits you must develop as a sales expert. They are prospecting, establishing rapport, identifying needs, presenting solutions, answering objections, closing the sale and getting resales and referrals. They proceed in order. Habitually thinking about each of these seven elements of the sales process, and how each of them could be improved, is the key to increasing your sales, your revenues and your profitability.

Related: 7 Steps to Developing the Habits of Success

1. Find ideal customers

To succeed greatly in sales, you must spend more time with people who are better prospects. You must prospect and look for new business 80 percent of the time. You must be prospecting morning, noon and night. You must never relax in your prospecting efforts until you have so many custom­ers that you don't have enough time left in the day to sell and satisfy all the people who want to buy from you.

2. Focus on relationships

The second habit for sales success is the habit of focusing on the rela­tionship before anything else. You should focus on establishing rapport, trust and credibility with each prospect from the first contact. The most successful salespeople take as much time as necessary to establish trust with that client. They ask good questions and listen closely to the answers. They seek to understand the customer's situation and needs before they make any attempt to talk about their product or service.

The rule is this: "If the customer likes and trusts you, the details won't get in the way of the sale. If the prospect, however, is neutral toward you, or even worse, negative, the details will trip you up every step of the way."

Related: 2 Negative Habits You Must Break Now

3. Identify needs clearly

The third habit of top salespeople is that they make a habit of asking questions and identifying the real needs of the prospect relative to what they're selling. Most prospects aren't aware that they can improve their life or work situation when they first meet you. This is the reason prospects often say things like, "I'm not interested," or "I can't afford it," or "We're quite happy with our existing situation or supplier." The more questions you ask about the customer's situation, and the more you link your product to those needs, the more open the customer becomes to learning about your product or service and eventually buying it.

4. Present persuasively

The fourth habit developed is the habit of making excellent, logical, well-thought-out presentations of the fea­tures and benefits of their product. If you've identified a prospect who can benefit from what you sell, established a comfortable level of trust and rapport and identified their needs clearly, the presentation is where you show the customer why it makes excellent sense for them to act on your recommendations.

5. Answer objections effectively

The fifth stage of excellent selling is the habit of answering objections and resolving concerns in a confident, competent manner. You do this by thinking through all the objections that a qualified prospect might make, then develop logical, complete answers to each of these objections so you're prepared if and when they come up. The very best sales professionals have developed completely clear, "bulletproof answers" so that when objections arise, they can be put to rest quickly.

6. Ask for the decision

The sixth part of selling is developing the habit of asking the customer to make a buying decision. No matter how good your presentation or how high the level of trust and credibility that exists between you and your customer, there's always a moment of stress or tension at the mak­ing of a buying decision. Your job is to move quickly and professionally through that stressful moment by asking for the order in a confident, professional manner and then wrapping up the sale.

Related: The 7-Step Formula for Goal Setting

The very best sales professionals plan their closes in advance. They watch for buying signals from the customer, ask questions to make sure there are no lingering objections and then ask clearly and straightforwardly for the customer to take action now.

7. Ask for resales and referrals

Finally, top sales professionals develop the habit of asking for resales and referrals from each customer. They know that every person they talk to knows at least 300 other people by their first names. They there­fore give good service to their customers and ask for referrals to similar prospects.

The habit of thinking in terms of resales and referrals is the key to high income and high profitability. The most successful salespeople and companies have high levels of repeat business and a continuous stream of new customers that come from referrals from their satisfied customers.

Related Video: What Every Top Selling Online Course Has In Common

Brian Tracy

Chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International, Speaker and Author

Brian Tracy is chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International. He is the leading coach on the topics of leadership, self-esteem, goals and success psychology. Learn more at BrianTracy.com

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Business News

He 'Accidentally Discovered' a Semi-Passive Side Hustle in College — Now He's on Track to Make More Than $500,000 This Year

When a lack of funding put a stop to Zach Downey's pizza vending machines, he stumbled upon another lucrative idea.

Business News

Apple Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over iCloud's Alleged 'Enormous Structural Advantage'

The lawsuit asserts that cloud storage on iPhones would be "better, safer, cheaper, and more prevalent" without Apple's policies.

Business News

Jason Kelce Officially Retires from the NFL After 13 Seasons With the Philadelphia Eagles

Kelce officially announced his retirement from the league after 13 seasons in Philadelphia on Monday afternoon.


The Rules of SEO Are Changing — Here Are 5 Powerful Strategies to Help You Rank in 2024

Do you need help to rank well on Google due to new algorithm updates? Discover five SEO strategies that work in 2024.

Business News

Here's How Much Amazon's Typical Customer Makes, Plus How Much They Spend on the Platform Per Year

A retail snapshot from data company Numerator paints a picture of who shops at Amazon and where they usually spend their money.