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Psyche of a High Performing Sales Person

If we study the Psyche of all High Performing Sales Persons, we will be able to understand that there exists many common characteristics. Not all Sales people are born. Some are trained as well. Everything can be learned, practiced, fine-tuned and excelled.

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Let’s take a look and find what are the characteristics that sets the High Performing Sales Persons apart:

  1. Goal oriented [Long term]: Those who have set goals tend to achieve more than those that don’t have any goals.
  2. Possess Objectives [Short term]: They take series of smaller steps that are measurable, show progress in each step and confidently move towards their Goals.
  3. Communication: They are great communicators.
  4. They don’t give up ever. Call it Perseverance, if you will.
  5. They focus on achievements. They measure time in terms of achievements and not in seconds / minutes. What did you achieve today?
  6. They qualify customers before spending time and effort. So this is one important trait to learn. If you eliminate the customers who are not going to buy, you are getting closer to those who are going to buy. Ask tough qualifying questions. You will not regret doing this.
  7. Organizational Politics helps the High Performers and they are naturally the blue eyed boys of the top management. If you cannot sell yourself internally how are you going to sell to your customers?
  8. Accountability: They are accountable to their Managers and to their Organization.
  9. They meet the decision makers and work with them.
  10. They don’t leave anything to chance. No place for any ambiguity.
  11. They question themselves, why will the customer buy and why from them. They find the answers for these questions.
  12. They are good at developing rapport.
  13. They are in control of the situation.
  14. They are optimistic, enthusiastic and flowing with energy always.
  15. They are receptive to new ideas.
  16. They are truly professional.
  17. They believe in having fun in the process.
  18. They need to get their adrenaline pumped up before they start working on a project.
  19. They dominate.
  20. They always have an emotional appeal.

Learn, imbibe and excel.

Happy Selling !! Happy High Performing !!

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Open Ended Questions to ask your Prospects

First of all, what is an open ended question?

An open ended question is one that cannot be answered with a simple “yes” or a “no”. The person who is answering has to answer in his or her own words. These are questions that begin with a how, when, where, what, why. On the contrary, a closed ended question is one that expects a “Yes” or a “No” as an answer. Also, a set of options to choose from as a response is a closed ended question too.

They say, to start a conversation with a stranger in a railway station is to talk about the weather. “The weather is nice today, isn’t it ?” is a conversation starter. Tried and tested practice. Though it is a closed ended question, it is a conversation starter. So, you start with a closed ended question and gradually move on to open ended ones. That way, you don’t force the respondent to start thinking right at the beginning itself.

In Sales situations, you normally tend to ask: “Before I start, may I know who are the others who will be joining us for this presentation/demo?” That is a closed ended question. But starts the conversation. And eases the situation. It shows the client that you are human too. And then you follow-up with something like this: “Before the others join us, why don’t you tell me how are you currently solving this problem?”

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Why open ended questions?

  • Sales is largely dependent on your questioning capability.
  • Unless you ask questions, you will never understand what is going on.
  • Your right questions will lead you to the issues which will lead you to solving those issues which in turn will lead you to business.
  • Closed ended questions do not reveal much. Some may be answered in the affirmative and some may not be. But the conversation ends with closed ended questions.
  • To continue with the conversation.
  • To uncover the mind of the customer.
  • To qualify your prospect.
  • To get more information.

Well, I am convinced that I should ask open ended questions early in the sales process. But, how and where do I start?

Good that you have started asking open ended questions already. Now let’s look at what to ask:

  1. Start with something like this: Can you tell me what are some of the key industry trends in your industry?
  2. How do you keep innovating?
  3. What are some of the key challenges that you are facing?
  4. How did you achieve that?
  5. What makes you unique?
  6. What makes your clients stay with you?
  7. What do you do for achieving total customer satisfaction?
  8. What is your process for collecting customer feedback?
  9. What in your view is the biggest client acquisition ever? And why?
  10. Where and how do you find your clients?
  11. Who do you think is your closest Competitor and why?
  12. Where do we go from here?
  13. What are your suggestions for us?
  14. What can we do to help you mitigate those risks?
  15. What is your evaluation criteria?
  16. What is your process in such a scenario?
  17. Why would you want to buy this?
  18. What made you talk to us?
  19. What would make us look even better?
  20. How can we help you?

This is just a sample. Write your own set of open ended questions in your own words. You may want to write one set for each prospect you are meeting since no two sales situations are similar. But remember not to over do it. You have to invest time and energy to do this exercise. It is neither necessary to do this in one sitting nor it is possible to do it in one sitting. You need to get involved, invest time and energy and do this exercise with love.

Happy Selling !! Err Happy Questioning !!

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20 steps to becoming a “Trusted Partner” of your customer

Why should you become a Trusted Partner of your customer? Because, that is the only way you can do business with him/her. Trust can win you business and keep you in business. Old school techniques in Sales do not pay off anymore. So, things like smooth talking, hard persuasion, piling on the prospect, under-cutting, anti-marketing, pushing your product without knowing whether the prospect has any need for it or not and many others do not work anymore. So, what is essential today is to earn trust and respect.

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So, what will help you become a Trusted Partner of your customer?

  1. Forget targets. Forget Metrics, Deep analysis, Demographics, Your Business Plans, Your KRAs etc. These don’t mean anything without customers to serve.
  2. Focus on your Customers – past customers, current customers, past prospects [those that didn’t buy from you], current prospects and the target industry that you serve or want to serve.
  3. Understand them well – their Industry, their challenges, their road maps, their business plans etc.
  4. Use a Consultative Sales approach.
  5. Do not be short sighted. Do not focus just on the deal on hand. Instead focus on helping the customer.
  6. Have an outlook that sets you apart from your competition. May be [may be] your competitor is just focusing on the deal at hand, does not show care and concern for the customer, looks at it as just another transaction, is inhuman etc. Fix these things. You have won the Trust already.
  7. Use every opportunity to serve them well. You will not get a second chance to make a first impression.
  8. Share knowledge. Willingly.
  9. Think that there is a solution to all the problems your customer faces. There is. Go find that solution.
  10. Be a part of their team. Give your sweat and blood.
  11. Stake everything you have to solve the customer’s problems.
  12. Show extreme seriousness when you deal with their problems.
  13. Have a systematic approach. Let the customer know before hand how you are approaching the problem.
  14. Break the steps to solve the problem into series of smaller achievable steps. Show progress at every single step.
  15. Involve your top resources on the job.
  16. Invite your customers to your office, introduce them to your gems, show how you work, show what level of professionalism, commitment, ethics & love, you and your colleagues have towards work.
  17. Let your customer see some of your works that are truly remarkable.
  18. Show you are committed to solving their problems.
  19. Don’t ever sell.
  20. Customers are looking for these everywhere – a sales person who delivers on his promises, a product/service that is a fit for them, a product/service that they like and one that is going to increase their profits, a partner who can be trusted and loved. Will you deliver all these and more?

Then, You are that Trusted Partner of your Customers.

Happy Selling !! Err, Happy Partnering !!!