Selling is the world’s most personal profession – but not in the way you might think. In fact, many salespeople are downright superstitious. For some, it’s the way they shake hands, others are fanatical about punctuality, wearing certain jewelry or using a favorite pen.
The list is almost endless. It may be the only time of day to call for an appointment, interpreting a customer’s body language, or what to order when having lunch with a prospect. Success is all about following a salesperson’s “personal rules.” Break the rules and something goes wrong.
While all such “personal preferences” are interesting and sometimes even helpful, there are certain “actions” that may reap far more robust sales results. Here are eight to think about:
• Every prospect isn’t a potential customer. “Reading” prospects correctly is essential to know how best to work with prospects, understand their needs and problems. The goal is not to “sell” the prospect, but to decide if, at some point, the prospect can or should become a customer.
• Invest in prospects. While salespeople talk about “building relationships,” their performance can tell quite a different story. Cultivating prospects isn’t limited to spending time with them or even learning more about their goals and problems, both of which are necessary.
Salespeople often miss what is always clear to prospects: prospects know you want their money. Most are not willing to say yes easily.
One way to help overcome what we call “the dollar doubt” is by investing in our prospects. And why not? We expect them to invest in us.
What should you do? It may be as basic as investing time in helping to solve a problem, conducting a test, creating a mock up or preparing a detailed report. If you do, you may pass the test.