A sales person will drive an extra mile, make the extra cold call, spend longer on that RFP, do a bit more research on her client, read the client’s annual report before walking into the conference, work as many hours or persistent days just to get the job done. The best salespeople, like the best athletes, move beyond required action and into the exceptional, whether going through sales training, putting added information in the database, or making more sales calls—they take the one extra step others ignore, forget, or neglect. The great sales person knows that in the sales race, there is only first place or nothing; no medals are awarded for second best sales person—only unemployment checks.
One of my sales teams went out bowling. A new team members had just started. Though we were all novice bowlers, this was her first time. In the first round, as we expected, she threw gutter ball after gutter ball. What I noticed, however, was that walking back to the seats she was muttering, “I’m going to win. I’m going to win” The second round, against all odds, she went from last to first. She took that desire to succeed mentality into her sales and lead the team and ended by becoming the first women sales manager of the organization.
You need to be the salesperson who never says die. Your sheer will may help push through what seem like impossible sales situations. Don’t “hope” for a sale to happen, “expect” it to. This self-fulfilling expectation, determination, and tenacity create consistent sales. Experience can sometimes destroy this belief and expectation. After years of experience, we again learn that determination can take the place of naivety. Those are the players you want around you to help you drive forward, and use as a model to help you succeed.
I think the best salespeople know their ratios, their sales processes, and follow their own system. But on top of that, the best salespeople need to be resourceful and creative. I abhor and run from the salesperson who says the word “can’t.” When the market’s turn, then they will be the first out the door. You need to find ways to gain leads, to find names, to open the door. I’m sure you’ve heard in your office sales people that say, “I can’t get to the decision maker.” I know that you would never use that, but perhaps you’ve heard others say it. And then someone walks up to them and says, “Have you called so-and-so and asked them for the person’s name. They play squash together.” Wow! That simple. Yes, it can be. The resourceful sales person with the desire to succeed will ask themselves, “What ways can I make this happen?” and then start implementing. No excuses.