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The Top 10 Constants in Sales

In an ever evolving world, this top 10 list must always be followed.

by Clay Pernell, VP of Sales & Business Development – ASPE, Inc.

The latest book I am reading, Drive, talks a lot about Motivation 2.0 and our need to move to Motivation 3.0 – in essence moving from traditional management/motivational models to updated models that more accurately reflect the nature of the modern workforce. A book that I have in my queue to read, The Challenger Sale, talks about moving from a traditional view of selling to a new non-traditional approach – in essence to reflect the modern client, how their buying style has changed and how we should approach them differently.

What I want to discuss is that although there are a number of new ways we should think/act across a number of spectrums, as the two books noted above bring to light, there are some things that we should keep as is – things that I consider as “constants.” And, there is no place better than our sales professional world to illustrate this point.

So, in this week’s sales tip, I want you to consider 10 “constants” that I believe you should never stop engaging in as sales professionals.

1. Prospecting. Prospect for new business every day.  The mode of how you prospect can be debated, the fact that you should prospect cannot.

2. Improving Your Craft. Professionals in many industries are required to regularly upgrade their skills – good thing for training companies, right?   Selling is no different. Make the time and invest in self-improvement for your craft.  Read books, follow thought leaders, take a class.  Always be learning.

3. Listening More Than You Talk.  This is a nod to a recent sales tip.   People, who listen more, learn more. The more you learn, the more effectively you can position your offerings.   Enough said.

4. Establishing Clear Call Objectives.  You must have a clear objective of what you want to accomplish in every interaction with your clients.   As you hear me often say “what is your motive?”

5. Creating Plans (Yearly, Quarterly, Monthly and Weekly).  Would you believe that many sales professionals don’t create business plans?  Big mistake.  You must be able to answer these questions: What sales volume do you want to achieve? How will you reach your targets? What daily, weekly and monthly activities do you need to execute to achieve your goals?   Without plans, you cannot answer these questions accurately.

6. Studying Your Products.  How much time do you spend studying and learning your products – in our case, our curriculum?  Do you know the key differences between similar classes? Do you know how each class will actually benefit a client?  This is all about credibility.

7. Asking Great Questions. Yes, I’ve mentioned this…more than once!  But the ability to ask great questions is the most effective way to truly understand your clients.   And actually, for them to understand themselves in light of what you are offering.

8. Adapting Your Approach.  Consider the personality style of your client once you have learned what it is. For example, is your prospect a 30,000 foot view person or do they like to know every detail?   Mirror your approach to fit their style.

9. Being Professionally Persistent.   Another saying that you’ve heard from me countless times.  It takes more persistence than ever before to get to clients, in general and prospective clients, in particular. You must be diligent and persistent.  You have a potential desired outcome – value – to offer the client.

10. Showing Respect. Treat everyone you encounter with the utmost respect.   This is a basic rule of life and it should carry over into your business dealings.   This is one of those, “everyone does this already” scenarios, right?   Believe me, it is not.   I had a recent experience with a local recruiter who was anything but respectful of me – suffice it to say, his organization will never win my business for placing candidates.

So, there you have it, 10 “constants” that I believe every sales professional should subscribe to. And, in my experience, you’ll never go wrong by sticking to these. What do you think?   I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Happy Selling!!

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