There are five things that determine your success or failure in the world of. And by the way, as long as you are in business, you are in sales. What do you call an attorney who can sell? A partner. If you are a dentist, you must convince people to come to your dental practice, convince them to visit regularly for check ups and teeth cleaning, and convince them to purchase crowns when necessary. If you are a teacher, you must convince your students of the importance of paying attention, the value of learning and the value of a degree.
So what are the five absolute keys to sales success?
1. Energy, enthusiasm and passion. If you are not excited about the product or service that you are selling, then your prospect will never buy. You must convey that energy throughout the sales process, especially when you are closing. I interviewed a candidate this week and felt such tremendous energy that I felt compelled to hire her on the spot. I have also interviewed candidates that had almost no energy, so I ask them if they can get excited about what they are selling or not. I tend to avoid hiring these type of people.
2. Hard work. There is no easy path to success in sales. When you start your career in sales, you must work harder than everyone else on your team. You can’t cut corners. It’s all about phone calls to make appointments, gathering information and solving problems, creating presentations with great ideas and closing. You can’t work from 9am – 5pm, but you don’t have to work 80 – 90 hours a week either. By the way, people who work 80 – 90 hours per week are either badly organized or just simply not effective.
3. Positive attitude. Every time I hire a new salesperson, I begin the training program with an exercise that illustrates the importance of attitude versus skill. The bottom line is that attitude trumps skill every step of the way. I would rather hire a young inexperienced individual with a positive attitude than an experienced representative with a less than stellar attitude. It’s tough to stay positive when faced with constant rejection, however, it is the key to success in sales. I remember a young rep coming into my office one morning and saying that she was going to see a prospect but didn’t think that he would buy. I told her to not bother going on the sales call unless she changed her attitude. If you think you can or you think you cannot, you’re right.
4. Integrity. I ask every candidate in interviews what they feel is the key to success in one word. The word I am looking for is honesty. There is nothing more important than telling the truth to your prospects and customers. If I hear a sales representative embellishing the truth , I will stop and correct them. If you tell a client that you are going to do something, then you just do it. Period. The key to establishing a long term client relationship is honesty because that is how you build trust and establish credibility.
5. Get in front of people. DO NOT rely on technology to make a sale. Technology prevents you from building rapport, effectively communicating, establishing credibility, creating long term business relationships. In actuality, technology is slowly destroying the art of sales. It’s easy to avoid an email. It’s more difficult to avoid a face to face encounter. It’s easy for me to get rid of someone trying to sell me something on the phone, it’s a lot tougher when we are belly to belly. Get out of the office and in front of prospects. Now.