It seems that there are some people in the sales profession, who no matter what they do, don’t seem to succeed. They provide excuse after excuse for their failure. Quite often they view their job as a job rather than a profession. They don’t understand the need to expand and hone their skills since they are not being paid directly to do so. They fail to realize that the skills they learn in one job are readily transferable to another. This lack of a clear perception is easily seen in the following factors:
They don’t invent or generate new ideas.
Ideas are generated from enthusiasm and the creativity which stems from the excitement to help a prospect to solve a problem.
They neglect details.
Successful sales people understand that it’s the little details that can kill a sale. They spend a great deal of time and attention to assure that the “t’s” are crossed and the “i’s” are dotted.
They don’t put their ideals before the order.
A successful sales person is in it for the long haul. Ethics and integrity and the ensuing reputation is all they have to sell. We all want the order, but not at the price of the loss of our personal reputation.
They don’t try to excel or improve.
A successful sales person learns from their failures and constantly seeks ways to improve themselves since this will clearly translate in additional sales and commissions.
They don’t use the resources available to them.
We all have a wealth of resources to help us in the performance of our jobs. Many come from our employers, many are on bookshelves, in the library, or on the Internet. We all have access to this wealth of information, but the successful person uses them to create knowledge which they apply to their professional lives.
They’re counting on good luck to help them.
Successful sales people understand that luck has nothing to do with it. We all get our share of opportunities, but how many of us are prepared to fully take advantage of them as they come our way.
Success in the sales profession comes from hard work and persistence and is determined by the individual who adequately prepares themselves in three key areas:
- Customer Knowledge – This means completely understanding the customer. This would include their wants, needs, desires and expectations. Unless a sales person clearly understands a customer, they are unable to craft a unique sales solution which differentiates them from their customer and maximizes the strengths of their product to solve the customer’s problem.
- Product Knowledge – The sales person must fully understand how their product and service operates and how they stack up against the competition. Without this knowledge they will find it difficult to sell in today’s hyper competitive environment.
- Competitive Knowledge – The sales person must know who their opposition is and develop strategies to counter them.
It should be noted that the top ten reasons why sales are lost include:
- Lack of punctuality.
- Blatant misrepresentation.
- Lack of empathy.
- Lack of listening skills & monopolizing the conversation.
- Lack of planning & pre-call preparation.
- Inadequate product knowledge.
- A condescending attitude toward the prospect.
- Concentrating on yourself or product rather on the needs of the customer.
- A lack of closing skills.
- A lack of enthusiasm and negative body language.
As you can see luck has nothing to do with success in the long run and a lack of luck is often used as an excuse for not performing. You can’t discount the fact that lucky things and opportunities happen. But it is the prepared sales person who is best suited to take advantage of them as they occur.