I often get asked from what the “secret” is to being successful at sales. I wish it was as simple as just knowing a “secret”, because if it was, I’d write a book on it and retire. There is no secret. It’s a mixture of genetics, hard work and mindset. If you aren’t willing to fail 1,000 times and go to work everyday with the mindset that you’re job is on the line, than sales isn’t for you. Luckily for me, I’ve been surrounded with incredible sales people to learn who have taught me to avoid some of the mistakes they made. This group of people ranges from my father, my best friend, my mentor and my current colleagues. Below are the 6 things I’ve learned from them that make a great sales rep.
1. God Given Abilities: Just like Lebron James was born to play basketball, some people are born for sales. You need to have strong gut instincts on how to read people and you need to be a person who can easily build friendships. Simply put, some people got “it” and some people don’t. You need to love interacting with people and be a thrill seeker. Personally, I don’t know of a better feeling than closing a deal, and I live my life seeking the next thrill of closing a deal.
2. Commitment to process: Sales is as much of a science as it is an art. The most successful sales reps have a process that they follow. Whether if it’s the way that they qualify deals to find good prospects or if it’s the way they prospect, good sales reps create successful, repeatable, processes. It takes a while to define these processes, but once you do, you’re essentially shooting fish in a barrel.
3. Work Ethic: Sales people are the hardest working people in your organization. No if’s, and’s or but’s. Be prepared to work long hours and be prepared to do whatever it takes to be successful. Sales is a 24/7 job. When a client/prospect calls, money is calling, so you need to be ready to pick up the phone. Expect to regularly take calls on nights/weekends to accommodate your prospects needs.
4. Mindset: You need to be money motivated or accomplishment oriented. Sales is the most transparent job in any organization. Everyone knows how much money you make and everyone knows how well you’re doing. Personally, I’m accomplishment oriented. What that means is I care more about hitting quota than making commission (though I know that hitting quota means a lot commission).Great sales reps are also even keel at all times. You’re under the constant pressure of your quota, but you need to keep your cool through it all and keep doing your job.
5. Confidence: There’s no room for people with a low level of confidence in sales. People with low self esteem fizzle out quickly due to all of the rejection they face in sales. You need to believe you’re the best sales rep in your organization and approach every meeting with that belief. If you’re not confident in yourself, that means your pitch won’t come out confidently, and that means your clients won’t believe in you or what you’re selling.
6. Challenger: You need to challenge your prospects mindset. You need to be able to consult your prospect while selling them. The selling landscape has changed. Not only do you need to sell your prospect on your product, but you also need to sell you prospect on why what they’re currently doing is wrong. This can be intimidating, but prospects will buy an inferior product 100% of the time if you can sell them a better solution to their pain.
These are the 6 things I’ve seen to be common in very successful sales reps. Personally, I believe that point #1 is most important to a successful sales rep. Some people are born to do certain things, and the quicker you realize what you were born to do, the quicker you’ll find success.