What separates the top performers from the runner-ups?
I think that everyone can sell more effectively, no matter what level they are at. I personally work on my skills every single day and learn from others.
I’ve put together a 7 Day Sales Bootcamp email and audio series that will help you up your sales game very quickly. You will see over the next while that I am going to be shifting my focus into helping people become sales heros. I want to see those of you who are passionate about what you do be able to get the results you deserve. So take action and join me. I got your back! Look for upcoming webinars and training I will be launching too.
I want to help those of you understand that you can do more than you think you can as long as you are willing to do the hard work to make selling look easy.
I will be releasing the email series as blog posts as well over the next while, but wanted to get the content out for you here and you can get each one faster over the next few days. Click here or the image below to sign up for the program. Hey, if you have not signed up for my blog, why not? Get on it.
Note: Each of these 7 lessons I have also recorded the audio for. The audio goes into deeper detail, so take some time to listen by clicking the play button below above or here. This one is about 20 minutes.
Before we run through the first tip, I want to give you an overall premise for your sales advancement.
Regardless of your experience, never stop learning.
My name is Joe Girard and I have been training sales people for more than a decade, helping them shift into “crazy results” mode. I love working with all levels of skills and especially when experienced sales reps tell me that what they learn actually makes them feel like they are starting new again. Because every day should be treated like a new learning opportunity.
The biggest lesson I have for you is that you can do more than you think. You just have to be willing to take action.
The trick is that there is no trick. No matter what business you are in, these fundamentals are the same. Worldwide. I have worked with private jet companies, spiritual coaches, personal trainers, education, funeral homes, and manufacturers of military submarine parts. It’s all the same – customers make decisions in predictable ways and you just need to map out a process to increase the frequency of your success with them. In an authentic way. Sounds simple, but it takes work and you must commit to learn.
While there are many complex ideas out there, we want to make sure we keep things simple.
There are three areas I focus on:
- Understand how people make decisions by learning psychology and behavior
- Build a tested, repeatable series of best practices
- Work on pushing yourself constantly to learn and grow in your abilities and mindset
So here’s lesson one: What the Sales Masters do Differently
When you think about a salesperson, what do you think of? If you’re like most people, you picture a cheesy car salesman, right? Well why is that?
The reason is that sales amateurs try and get us to do things for them. They try and manipulate us into a decision and they use tricks. But most often they just don’t know what to do and they TRY and sell you. And when we are put in the position of a customer like that, we feel icky. When you imagine yourself selling, do you cringe thinking about making people feel that way? Me too.
In the world of selling, there are amateurs like what I’m describing, there are pros, and there are masters. And most likely, you’ve met a sales master or two and probably didn’t even know it. Why? Because real selling is hidden.
Real selling is about genuinely connecting with your customers and caring about THEIR problems. It’s about seeking out ways to help them uniquely solve problems and working them through solutions.
My goal is to help you get to that next level.
Note: in the audio, I go into a bit of a sales history lesson too and you learn about how buying and selling has changed)
There is a ton of work that needs to be done to get to the top at any profession. And there is no university you can go to to get your education. It’s a combination of experience, real world application, and making sense of a ton of opinions.
Here are the 10 rules you should follow…
- Take 100% ownership of your results. No excuses. It’s too easy to blame the market changes, your price, or the weather. There is a reason that only a small percentage of salespeople are consistently at the top. And it’s not luck.
- Be relentless in your pursuit of learning. Regardless of your experience, always be developing your skills. You are in the “people business” and there will always be changes. The top performers consistently invest more on on books, seminars, and coaching. They seek out mentors and others who inspire them to push further. Always be testing, evaluating, and improving. On every aspect of your business. We will cover this more in lesson 2
- Don’t pre-judge. Often, when you meet a potential customer for the first time, you may try and categorize them as to whether they will be able to make a purchase. It’s human nature. You may be tempted to make up reasons why someone wouldn’t buy from you like they can’t afford it, it’s the wrong time, or they won’t be able to make the most of their purchase. The truth is that sometimes those customers that seem like they wouldn’t buy often turn into the best customers and those that looked great initially, turned out to be terrible. Go through your process completely before you find ways to eliminate a customer. In lesson 4, we will be talking about how objections don’t exist.
- Help people buy, rather than sell to them. In keeping with the previous point, remember that buying should be an exciting activity! Have you ever been somewhere and ready to buy, only to be turned off by the salesperson? The most hilarious example is the car sales guy. I have bought a number of cars in my life and each time was really exciting. I recently had a car stolen, and was actually pumped up because I love car shopping! When your customers come to see you, do you make it fun and about them? Do you find a way to make the act of getting your product an enjoyable one? Get excited FOR your customer and you will see your conversions go through the roof. Can you tell engaging stories and get them excited about being the hero? We look at this in detail during lesson 5.
- Provide insights and value, not just information. A great joke about having kids by Jim Gaffigan goes like this: “What’s it like having your fourth kid? Imagine you’e drowning, and someone hands you a kid.” Are you causing your customers to drown more or are you helping them swim? Your customers need help solving their problems not looking for more stuff to make sense of. Recent studies show that customers today are about 60% of the way through the buying process before speaking with a salesperson. If you wait until they are ready to buy, you may be simply competing on price or selling them something that isn’t exactly what they need. Get good at providing insights and educating your customers, especially before they even know they need a solution. In lesson 4, we will cover how the brain actually processes information and where most conversations fall short.
- Develop credibility and get known for something. If you get good at educating and providing insights, make sure that your reputation precedes you. Can you demonstrate that you have what it takes to help our customers? Does your website reflect your thought leadership in the eyes if your customer? Do your testimonials speak to the needs of your audience? Are your claims believable or just marketing-speak? And if someone was to refer their friend to you, what would they say? If you can’t answer that, you have work to do. Lesson 6 goes more into this in detail.
- Be 100% authentic as fast as possible. Here is something that works awesome for me. Every time I have a call, I just review to see how fast I was REAL. How fast was I genuinely interested? Did I care about that customer right away, or did I try and ask a bunch of questions or sound smart? Remember what Maya Angelou said, “People don’t remember what you said or did. They remember how you made them feel.” Do that self check and see how quickly you are truly yourself with your customers. Have you ever been in a state of flow when selling? In lesson 7, I am going to show you how to make that happen more frequently.
- Play the long game. It takes time to develop a sales system that works for you, a reputation that precedes you, and a referral machine that brings excited pre-qualified leads. If you re serious about your business and success, take the time to map out your goals each quarter. Where will you grow, what will you focus on, and what do you need to learn? It takes time to create sustainable change, so be patient.
- Adopt the mindset of “I don’t need the business.” Humans have a weird psychological association with money. Research shows that when we think about money, subconsciously we become more selfish and distance ourselves from others. It’s science, yo! So rather than thinking about how you will get money from someone else, think about seeking a value exchange with the other person. What can you give them? How can you help? What can you have them do other than give you money? In lesson 3, we will talk about selling in stages and getting your customers to make micro-commitments.
- Take action on ideas. Get out of your comfort zone and get to work. While most of this may seem like common sense, remember that knowing and doing are two separate things. Over these next few days, will you just read the ideas or will you commit them to action? Will you test them?
Now for today’s homework, your challenge at day one is to just take a few moments and write out your goals. Keep them simple. Maybe just choose one thing you want to improve over the next 90 days.
Last year, I made a commitment to blog every day for 90 days to build MY credibility and thought leadership. That one decision helped land me almost six figures in new income.
If you want to map out your goals for the next 90 days, you can also download my 90 Day Sprint guide here. It may help you structure your plan a bit better and its only $9.
I also have a free sales process ebook you can access here (no optin required)
Like I said, I am here to help you…if you’re serious about taking action.
Next post, we will dive into strategy and talk about focusing on process improvements, rather than results. I want to show you how to actually split test absolutely everything you do and have fun testing your entire day!
Here are some related posts from my blog that go into more details on some of these ideas:
- Develop the mindset of “I don’t need the business”
- Why high achievers struggle with excellence
- Action over mind over matter
- Build a strong business: stop chasing and start helping
- Customers can smell your sales breath
If you like this post, join the 7 Day Sales Bootcamp free email and audio series to get all 7 lessons.