What can you do to improve your sales immediately? What three traits do the greatest sales professionals embody?
“Every person in every profession is a salesperson. Approach sales as an ongoing learning experience. We are continually learning the little things that make our careers as sales professionals.”– Zig Ziglar
We have all encountered great salespeople over the years, but what leaves a lasting impression on us is the buying experience not the salesperson. Even though many sales professionals eagerly extol how great they are; sales professionals who last in their industry have these three traits.
1) They invest their time in a Mastermind group.
A Mastermind Alliance (a term made popular by Napoleon Hill in his book, “Think and Grow Rich“) is a group of people (usually 5-8 people) who help each other grow their businesses, achieve things personally, and hold each other accountable to their goals. They are top sales experts in their fields.
Dave “The Shef” Sheffield, motivational speaker and veteran of the sales industry says, “The Mastermind shouldn’t be comprised of people who are in the same industry, because it limits the diversity of ideas. There is a synergistic energy that blossoms when great minds focus on a common goal.”
Don’t wait until you are “successful” to join a Mastermind.
Morris E. Goodman was a young man lacking focus and direction who had dropped out of college. He was in the middle of a 13-week probationary period when he came across Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Ritch”.
He went from being an aimless young man to aiming high, taking action on his goals and surrounding himself with great people. In 1981, he sold nearly $15 million in insurance policies in one year ($29.83 million in 2018 dollars) and was a member of the “Millionaire Round Table”.
Goodman said, “One of his mastermind members was Ben Feldman, a legend in the life insurance business who had $50 million in yearly sales.” Feldman philosophy was “The thicker the proposal, the stupider the salesman.”
Goodman said, “That one sentence was worth millions of dollars to me. I streamlined everything. I’d come in with one idea, and three or six months later I’d come back with another. Selling, I learned, is about building relationships, and that takes time.”
2.) Create an amazing experience
Have you ever visited an Apple Store? It is an amazing exercise of what a buying experience should be.
My husband and I purchased a new iMac Computer online and had it delivered to our local Apple Store.
When we arrived at the store to pick up our new purchase, we were greeted by our sales associate who knew us by name. (Actually, Apple devices send a signal to the employees with a customer’s name when they are approaching the store.)
Everything from the greeting we received, to the pristine artwork on the box, to the fact that our associate delivered the computer to our car was designed to impress. When your buying experience is impressive enough, you build tremendous loyalty.
In your business, follow Apple’s lead and hire associates who have a positive attitude, are enthusiastic, eager to help your customers, and love your products.
3). Invest in your relationships and communicate with your “ears”, not just your mouth.
John Maxwell has a great “short course in human relations”: in his book, Relationships 101.
“The least important word: I;
The most important word: We;
The two most important words: Thank you.
The three most important words: All is forgiven.
The four most important words: What is your opinion?
The five most important words: You did a good job.
The six most important words: I want to understand you better.”
Maxwell says, “If you treat every person you meet as if he or she were the most important person in the world, you’ll communicate that he or she is somebody-to you.”
If you find yourself in a sales slump, heed the advice of the legendary Zig Ziglar and “Return to the fundamentals with a proper attitude”.
By embracing these three traits of excellent sales professionals you will immediately improve your selling skills.
Which of the 3 selling traits will you embrace first?