To Be a Better Salesperson, You Need to Be Flexible
The better you adapt your sales behavior to the sales situation, the more sales success you’ll enjoy. But there are certain rules you can’t break, if you want to avoid missed deals, dings to your reputation, or dismaying sales setbacks.
The Top 10 Sales Commandments to Be a Better Salesperson
Here are 10 sales rules – let’s call them the “10 Commandments of Sales” – as compiled by our sales microlearning team and prospecting and leads consultant DEC International to be a better salesperson:
- Thou Shalt Not Take the Competition’s Name in Vain
People distrust people who try to smear others. And why would you even bring up the competition unless you have to? Which might be the case if, for instance, a buyer asks about a competitor or you’re trying to unseat a competitor to get the sale.
But even then, quickly get back to your unique value proposition and how you can help the client to meet their objectives.
- Thou Shalt Not Procrastinate
Sales opportunities are fleeting, and if you don’t grab them right away, they may elude you. In fact, according to HubSpot, 80% of sales require an average of five follow-ups in order to close the deal. However, 44% of sales reps follow up with a prospect only once before giving up. After four follow-ups, 94% of salespeople have given up.
- Thou Shalt Shut Up
Many sales people love to hear themselves talk, but when you’re talking you’re learning nothing about your client. Try to listen twice as much as you talk. And remember, hearing occurs in our ears and listening, or the way we translate what we hear, happens in our brains.
- Thou Shalt Build Trust
Your customers don’t even have to like you – as long as they trust you. Trust is built by keeping all of your commitments and working consistently on their behalf. And remember that while it takes time to build trust, it can be destroyed in an instant.
- Thou Shalt Prospect During Good Times
When your pipeline is full, it’s easy to neglect what filled it in the first place. Don’t stop consistently prospecting for new target clients.
- Thou Shalt Think about Tomorrow
Nothing stays the same. Devote regular time to thinking about how your market is likely to change in the near future, and what you will do differently in response. Effective salespeople make the time to reflect and think strategically.
- Thou Shalt Not Rely on Luck
Luck happens when preparation meets opportunity. Do the hard work necessary to be prepare for each and every sales call.
- Thou Shalt Not Put all Thine Eggs in One Basket
Don’t overly depend on any specific deal coming through. While chasing everything definitely does not drive higher growth, ensure that sales reps effectively pursue all qualified target client prospects with energy and determination.
- Thou Shalt Not Accept Buyer Excuses
Buyers will often procrastinate, for various reasons. It’s your job to handle objections and to keep asking the difficult qualifying sales questions that will either move the business forward – or let you know that this sale isn’t going to happen so that you to move on quickly. You never want to have the second best poker hand.
- Thou Shalt Not Blame Others for Thine Own Lack of Results
Own your failures when they occur and learn from them. Focus on what is in your control, seek feedback from others, and strive to continuously learn and grow.
The Bottom Line
According to a recent McKinsey study, a high-performing sales force can boost its share of a customer’s business by 8 to 15 percentage points. Are you doing what it takes to be a better salesperson?
To learn more about becoming a better salesperson, download 30 Effective Sales Questions More Important than Budget