That is certainly the misconception. And you are right, many of them do. But SUCCESSFUL sales professionals listen more than talk. In fact, sales educators suggest that successful sales professionals should spend 80 percent of their time listening. But to listen, you must put your customer/prospect in the position to do all of the talking. How? Ask questions. But not just any questions. You need to ask the RIGHT questions for sales success.
There are five key points to asking the right questions.
It never ceases to amaze me how many business owners I meet who don’t have a documented sales process...and then complain that their salespeople are not performing. What exactly is a sales process, and what are the features that make it definable?
As you progress down the path of your business career and achieve more “success”, you should find that spending the appropriate amount of time on your business contacts becomes more challenging. Naturally, as your business grows, so do the number of your contacts. In a typical 50-hour work week, spending equal amounts of time with everyone is impossible; it would still be unachievable even if you work flat out for 24 hours day, 7 days a week. You need to reach out to your contacts and clients in a manner that is practiced like the promotion-relegation system in European Soccer.
I love goals. I love challenges. The New Year is one of my favorite times of year because I get tons of magazines out along with scissors, glue and poster board or a big journal book and I start vision-boarding my next year. I love having a clear vision of where I want to be, but I so many times forget to look back at my accomplishments. This year I am adopting a practice for assessing my year and clearing a pathway to head into an even more successful 12-month term.
Ok, raise your hand if your company has a sales plan. Ooooh, oooh, we do, we do!!! Any one else? Any one? Bueller? Bueller? (I might be dating myself with the Ferris Bueller's Day Off reference but it is one of the best movies ever made in cinematic history!)
If you raised your hand, great! Your company has made the first step toward sales success…assuming you are following it and assuming you review the plan at least quarterly. If you didn't raise your hand then you have a bit of work to do. So, let's get started.