Habits of Highly Successful Sales Pros at Claritysoft
13 Things Highly Successful Sales Pros Do Everyday
At Claritysoft, we’ve worked with thousands of sales and service professionals, and one mantra always holds true: more activity equals more sales. The best sales people are networking consistently, contacting more leads and persistently follow-up with prospects. But we wanted to dig deeper into the habits of highly successful people to discover how to be a sales pro.
From the experts and the evidence, we’ve pulled together the daily habits of successful people so that you can make your sales sizzle. Some of what we found is common sense, but some tips about how to be successful in sales may surprise you.
#1 Balance Empathy with Drive
According to business leaders David Mayer and Herbert M. Greenberg, a good sales person has at least two qualities. They are empathetic and have a “need to conquer,” also known as ego drive.
Salespeople with empathy for their buyers can put themselves in the buyer’s shoes, understanding their problems and needs and adjusting to them as necessary. Because they can persuade from the buyer’s point of view, it makes sense that this ability would help them to be more successful than others who lack these insights.
But empathy is only part of the equation. The best salespeople also see the sale as a conquest. They are driven to close deals—it feeds their ego, making them feel good about themselves.
The ability to empathize and ego drive work synergistically. The salesperson who wants to win the sale will use all his skills to make it happen and that includes empathy. Because he is so driven to make the deal, he is unlikely to let empathy become sympathy, going so far to the customer’s side that he’s unable to negotiate a win-win sale. So, one skill reinforces the other, enabling someone with both abilities to use each of them appropriately.
#2 Ask Great Questions
Good sales professionals ask questions to qualify leads early in the sales process, so they don’t waste time. Great sales professionals, however, look further down the road during the qualification process. They ask questions that help prospects better understand their challenges and how to approach the decision process. While their potential customers gain value out of this process, so do the salespeople. That’s because the answers provide a roadmap to the sale. An understanding of the prospect’s needs enables the salesperson to tailor a solution to meet them.
#3 Listen More Than Talk
We tend to think of salespeople as having the gift of gab. Adam Grant of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, however, debunked the myth in a psychological study. He found that the most successful salespeople are not fast-talking, gregarious extroverts. Instead, they are ambiverts who fall smack dab in the middle of the introversion and extroversion. As such, they have qualities of both introverts and extroverts. “The ambivert advantage stems from being assertive and enthusiastic enough to persuade and close, but at the same time, listening carefully to customers,” said Grant.
As the saying goes, “we have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” And that’s what the best salespeople do—they spend more time listening than talking.
#4 Mirror the Conversation
Perhaps mirroring the conversation is an area custom made for the empathetic ambiverts. According to Erika Andersen, founding partner of Proteus International and author of Growing Great Employees, you should observe people first and then modify your behavior so it is similar to theirs. It makes them feel more comfortable.
For example, if a buyer is introspective and quiet, you don’t want to be loud and overbearing. Adjust your behaviors to those of your prospects and buyers, becoming soft-spoken and slow or loud and fast depending on their demeanor.
#5 Zealously Adopt Technology
The best salespeople know they cannot afford to squander time. So they use technology such as CRM systems to help them stay on top of tasks, complete them faster and manage their pipeline.
#6 Always Feed the Pipeline
In sales, there is a tendency to be short-term oriented and get wrapped up in the latest hot deal. The best salespeople, however, have their eye on the future. They feed their pipeline, networking and making new connections. They understand that what they do today will pay off tomorrow in sales opportunities that never dry up.
#7 Follow Up with Steely Persistence
Top salespeople nurture leads, making sure none leak out of the sales pipeline. They know that while about half of the leads captured fall into the “not ready yet” bucket, some will purchase in the future. Also, those leads are about twice as likely to become customers if a company representative stays in touch.
#8 Set Priorities Every Day
In Jennifer Cohen’s article “10 Morning Habits Successful People Swear By,” she suggests reprioritizing your to-do list in the morning to tackle the task you least want to do first. It alleviates the stress and the rest of the day flows more smoothly. “You will feel a sense of relief and be more ready and willing to tackle any trivial task that follows. Besides, the morning is the time when you typically have the most energy and feel the most rested,” she says.
#9 Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity,” said Seneca, a Roman philosopher. It’s still true today. So, if you’re looking for a little sales luck, prepare. What steps should you take? Use this sales call preparation guide to get started.
#10 Avoid Multi-Tasking
Sales strategist Jill Konrath wrote about a study conducted by Harold Paschler on multitasking. The results? It’s simply not possible. In fact, he showed that when faced with multiple tasks the brain capacity of a Harvard MBA plummets to that of an eight-year-old child’s.
#11 Defend Against Distractions
Here’s an excellent way to add hours to your day. Dump the distractions. Jill Konrath recounts that diversions squander over two hours every day. Each time you’re interrupted by an email notification, phone call or office mate stopping by, it can take you from 5 to 25 minutes to get back into the groove. There are several ways to reduce distractions, helping to maximize your productivity.
#12 Keep Commitments
If you say you are going to do it, then do it. If you want people to trust you, it’s that simple. And given that trust is a critical component to winning the sale, you want to build it not break it. In the article “7 Habits of Highly Effective Salespeople,” business turnaround expert John Treace writes, “When top salespeople make promises, they keep their commitments, reinforcing to clients that they can be trusted.”
#13 Ask for Referrals
Last but not least, the best salespeople ask for referrals. While satisfied customers are a fantastic source for new leads, so are new clients. They can open the doors to new networks. Once you make it a habit of asking for referrals and see the rewards you reap, you’ll wonder why you kept this tool buried in your toolbox until now.
That’s how to be successful in sales. Don’t try to tackle everything at once, but gradually add these sales winning techniques and you’re sure to conquer more deals.