There is a mindset among sales winners. Sales winners work with clarity. The are premeditated in their thoughts and actions. They set a goal, take precise actions, then step back and measure those actions. A simple example, for instance. A Winner has a goal to earn $100,000. They calculate that it requires a certain number of leads to generate 1 prospect; a certain number of prospects to generate 1 appointment; a certain number of appointments to generate 1 proposal; a certain number of proposals to generate 1 sale; a certain number of sales to generate quota and commission. They prospect, follow up, present and close. They work all the time they are at work. Whiners show up barely on time, mill around the coffee machine, read the paper, check e-mail, make a few calls, go to lunch, come back,... you get the picture. They might actually put in 90 minutes of quasi sales related work in a day. Their results are meager at best and underachieving at worst. Sales management has a responsibility to nurture the winners and neuter the whiners by replacing them. Yes times are tough, and you can't afford a whiner on your sales team.
2. WINNERS FIND THE MONEY, WHINERS FIND THE DOOR
Sales Winners understand that they compete for a limited number of budget dollars that their prospects allocate for all the goods and services that they buy. The office products sales person is competing with the capital goods salesperson to a degree. The Sales Winner realizes that their job is to uncover the real business pain that a prospect has, and to demonstrate the value in the business results that his or her product or services produces. The Winner every time, will be the sales professional that best communicates the value of the business results produced. It's that simple. Whiners come back with excuses.... there is no money in the budget for our widgets... we lost to a lower priced competitor.... we couldn't deliver our product in time to meet this quarter's budget for our prospect. The Whiner lost because they did not communicate the greater value of their product or service over the competition, plain and simple.
There is a psychological reality that Sales Winners know and utilize... FEAR HAS NO BUDGET or BUDGET CONSTRAINTS. The Winner has the skill to deftly, subtly and professionally communicate the value of their products while causing the prospect to either consciously or unconsciously fear the negative business consequences of NOT purchasing. They don't sell ON Fear... they simple accomplish the goal of getting a prospect to understand both the positive business result of taking a buying action and the potential negative business consequences of NOT! It is a practiced skill.
Whiners may get lucky, get a few appointments, even make a sale here and there. But if they, and even more importantly, their sales manager, took the time to look at basic sales metrics, the Whiners find the door more often than the dollars.
3. SALE GAPS
There are many theories about market and sales gaps, product and service gaps and so on. Sales Winners understand that there are only 2 gaps related to successful selling.
The first is the WHAT GAP - what it is that is unique about me, my service and my company that will best result in delivering favorable business results as a consequence of buying? They don't get bogged down in overblown or overbearing theory. It is a simple matter of listening, questioning, confirming, educating and convincing prospects of the WHAT.
Then there is the WHEN GAP. Sales Winners innately know that the WHEN GAP is ALWAYS now. They prospect now, because they understand the metrics of prospects to sales. They prospect now because they just might fall into the middle of a prospect's buying cycle, gain an opportunity to make their pitch and close a sale. They prospect and sell now because competitors are scaling back and now is the time to work even smarter to be in the right place, at the right time.
Whiners make excuses. No budgets, wrong features, wrong pricing, meager offerings.. the list goes on. You can't tolerate Whiners in a sales organization. Sales drives your revenue and revenue drives your business. If your sales team is WINNING, revenue flows. If your sales team is Whining, your company is behind the revenue curve.
4. PROSPECT, PREPARE, PRESENT AND CLOSE
Sales Winners know the value of prospecting. Sales Winners realize that their prospecting begins with there closings. They often ask for 2 or 3 referrals from newly closed customers. Some Winners are so good at closing, they only sell by referrals from their customers. But they also know that by planning a prospecting strategy, their chances of identifying a prospect increase.
Sales Winners never make a cold call or a sales call without a goal and plan. The goal of every call is to move the prospect either to a buying action if the product can be sold over the phone, or one step closer to a buying action. That takes preparation and having a specific objective that results in the prospect having to take some action. They research their prospects, and their competitors. The present to the right people who can make a buying decision and sign the order. They identify pain points and tell stories about how other similar companies have used the product or service to achieve positive business results. They prepare questions to ask, as well questions to answer. They are probing, asking, listening, and confirming.
Sales Winners present. They present not just the features and benefits but specifically how their product or service will produce a measurable positive business results. They demonstrate measurable value. By questioning, listening, confirming and then closing, they win the sale.
What do Whiners do? They show up, and throw up. They complain because their product doesn't have the right features or price. They make excuses that the decision maker wasn't at the presentation. They are ill prepared, not respectful of their time, not respectful of your time, and certainly not respectful of their client's time. If your sales manager won't fire these people, fire your sales manager. That is the best lesson any Sales Manager, salesperson or CEO can ever learn.
Yes times are a bit more challenging now. Yes, budgets are constrained. Yes, you have to work smarter to win business. Yes, you CAN still win business! Remember, salespeople eat what they kill, and they need to hunt now! OR BE EATEN LATER!!