Having the right attitude is the difference between winning and losing. In sales, this is even more critical. Optimistic sales pros outperform pessimists by 57%. That’s even true when pessimists have better selling skill sets. (Forbes, Seligman)! People want to do business with those who are upbeat, positive and demonstrate that they like what they’re doing. Successful salespeople come across as positive, and their customers usually feel positive about them.
There can be a lot to complain about in sales; the leads aren’t any good, the industry is in a downturn, the comp plan changed for the worst. It’s easy to complain, but it gets you absolutely nowhere. Successful sales reps put aside all negativity and excuses, and make things happen. The leads are bad? Go out and find prospects yourself. The comp plan changed? Sell twice as much! No one has ever gotten to the top of any sales organization by complaining.
Why are 80% of sales made by 20% of salespeople? Because the winners sell to the prospects that the losers give up on. (Bill Corbin on LinkedIn). Here are some great stats that reinforce this:
92% of sales pros give up after the 4th call, but 80% of prospects say no four times before they say yes. (MarketingDonut)
50% of all sales happen after the 5th contact, but most reps give up after just 2 contacts. (InsideSales)
It takes 8 cold calls to reach a prospect. (Baylor University)
Stay vigilant. 83% of prospects who request info don’t buy for 3–12 months. (MarketingDonut)
70% of salespeople stop at one email. Yet if you send more emails, you’ve got a 25% chance to hear back. (YesWare)
96% of salespeople quit after four attempts, but 60% of sales happen after the 5th attempt. (Zig Ziglar)
On average, it takes 18 calls to reach a buyer. (TopoHQ)
It typically takes between 8-12 follow-up calls to close a deal, so sales reps who don’t hit those numbers are doing themselves and their sales careers huge disservice.
You can win a lot of business by persevering; likely, your competitors will give up before the deal even started!
It’s pretty obvious that asking questions about a buyer’s goals and pain points leads to better sales success. (Gong). Most salespeople do “sales presentations,” rather than determining what their prospect wants and why. As a result , their prospects feel neglected and disrespected, and the salesperson never really understands the buyer’s intent and goals. If we don’t ask the right questions, we will never be able to close the sale! Most salespeople neglect to determine the exact buying intentions of their prospects, including what their financial capacity is, when the purchase will occur, who the decision maker is and how the buying process will take place, etc. Therefore, they spend too much time and resources on things that don’t matter or on low probability prospects.
If you want to be successful in sales, you must use social media. Get active on LinkedIn. More than half of all corporate buyers use LinkedIn to support purchase decisions. (Social Buying Meets Social Selling). The facts don’t lie:
72% of salespeople who use social media in their sales process outperform their peers. (Jim Keenan Study)
Want to hit your quota faster? Social sellers hit their quotas 66% more often than those who don’t use social media. (Sales Benchmark Index)
54% of salespeople can track closed deals back to social media engagement (Jim Keenan Study)
Afraid social media will suck up all your time? 50.1% of salespeople who use social media spend less than 10% of their time on it.
90% of top-performing sellers use social media in their sales strategy. (State of Sales)
Unfortunately, 80% of all salespeople are not committed to sales as a profession. Curiosity, intelligence, and an agile mind are the biggest predictors of sales success (Harvard Business Review) but it’s just as important to be committed to lifelong learning. I cannot emphasize this enough. Read, watch videos, attend seminars, and never forget that the most valuable asset you will ever have is your knowledge. The more knowledge you acquire that can be applied to practical sales experiences, the greater the rewards and the more you will be paid. All truly successful, highly paid salespeople, love their sales career. You must learn to love your work and then commit yourself to becoming excellent in your field. Invest whatever amount of time is necessary to improve your sales career; pay any price, go any distance, make any sacrifice to become the very best at what you do. Either join the top 10 percent, or be prepared to not make money in sales.
Most successful salespeople spend more time planning than they do in sales presentations. They plan to make time, plan calls and plan all selling activities. Below-average achievers devote most of their time to making sales calls and very little to sales planning.
Successful salespeople set both short- and long-term goals and monitor themselves continually to make sure those goals are met. They are extremely time-conscious, realizing every minute is a potential for income. Less successful salespeople fail to set goals, which can lead to time management problems. According to the research, only about 3 percent of adults have written goals. And these are the most successful and highest-paid people in every field. They are the movers and shakers, the creators and innovators, the top salespeople and entrepreneurs.
Every salesperson has a sales goal that’s set by the company. But not every salesperson sets achievable daily or weekly goals for themselves. If you want to close a certain number of deals per month, it will take measurable daily activity to get there: prospecting, calling, pitching, and following-up. If you don’t get in the habit of setting smaller consumable goals, you won’t come anywhere near hitting the bigger ones.
Unfortunately, only 7% of salespeople respond within five minutes of a prospect’s inquiry (Hubspot) which means the majority of salespeople lack a sense of urgency. Being the first to respond (with value) can be the difference between winning and losing the business. Quick follow up doesn’t just mean responding quickly; it also means staying proactive in your communication—being on top of the customer’s business and keeping an eye out for new trends, products, or services that may impact the prospect’s business. This is where your competition is likely weak and you can easily get ahead!
63% of all sales interactions end with the salesperson not asking for the sale. (Zig Ziglar) Most salespeople close at the end of their sales process. Top salespeople start closing at the beginning of their sales process and continue to close throughout the process, as many as thirty times. The sum of all those commitments adds up to a relaxed, no-pressure close. So many times, I have seen a salesperson who does a great pitch, who listens, who qualifies the customers needs and matches features to needs, and then they negotiate a great deal that's mutually acceptable! But they forget to ask for the business! I remember once doing a follow up call to a deal we lost, and the buyer told me that the salesperson never asked for their business. He said that if the salesperson didn't feel confident asking for his business then why should he have the confidence to do the deal? Wow!
Invest time in improving your sales copy. The words you use in ads, emails, blogs, and webinars are at the heart of your salesmanship. For help with that, I recommend reading This Book Will Teach You How To Write Better by Neville Medhora. It’s very short (100 pages), but it’s a fantastic primer on articulating yourself in a way that moves product. With the right messaging, you can reach customers who would otherwise ignore you.
in this case the sales numbers can look deceptively good. But in reality, you’re not actually generating revenue. As I always preach, the most important statistic for any business is profitability. If what you’re spending to produce each unit is too close to (or heaven forbid, more than) its price, you’re spinning your wheels.
This can be a real killer for online retailers. In fact, I could easily pinpoint this as the leading cause of a failed online retail business. So many new online retailers come to us asking for suppliers for iPods, Blackberry phones, designer jeans and the latest blockbuster DVDs. If you already understand why these items are NOT going to be profitable for you, then you are one step ahead of a lot of sellers.
Market research, when done correctly, will help you accurately forecast how many monthly sales you will make and how much profit you will make on each sale. Market research is not simply taking a look around eBay at the ‘hot selling’ and deciding that it will be the right thing to sell. And it’s not selling something because you know a lot about it: It’s about crunching the numbers and finding a market that isn’t oversaturated. We’ve made this task automated and easy with our SaleHoo Research Lab, so make sure you use it!