Simple: Mediocrity does not sell; meritocracy does.
So here are a few qualities that separate the top sellers from the average or less-than-average salespeople.
They listen. Beat it! Top sellers are powerful listeners; and they don’t listen to respond intelligently – they listen to listen; to gather insights; to get a perspective – an angle with which they help the buyer deduce the rationale behind why they should change from the status quo.
They are problem solvers and accelerators. Top sellers have a knack of discerning the loopholes or the undercurrents of their buyers’ status quo. They are incredible ‘sales doctors’ – they have an aspirin for their buyers’ pain point. And they don’t just alleviate the afflictions, but also accelerate the sales process by giving a realistic perspective on how to tap the opportunities that are camouflaged in their problems.
They are investors. Yes – they heaving invest in their personal development;to become better communicators and enablers in speeding up their buyers’ decision making with ease. They are voracious readers (especially of non-fiction) and they pick up information very fast. To be on top of triggering events; such as, a merger or an acquisition, divestiture, hiring of new vice president , product launches, or any other event, top sellers understand trends while being anticipatory in their assumptions – so that they can strike a meaningful conversation (that sells!) with their buyers.
They are social media mavens and passionate evangelists– Refer to Jill’s cracking the LinkedIn sales code – and you will feel blessed in reaping the rewards of being social while reaching out to your target prospects. While being social is critical for salespeople, but top sellers understand the importance of quality over quantity in building relationships with their prospects. They understand that today’s buyer- be it buyer 2.0, 3.0 or even 6.0 in the near future – completes 60% of their buying process before they even contact a seller. (Based on a finding by Joe Girard in his book, Insight Selling.) And that is why top sellers ‘proactively’ participate in their prospects’ conversations – be it a community, an industry blog, a white paper or simply curating content and sharing with their prospects.And in turn, this activity positions them to be an expert in their buyer’s mind.
They take failures as accelerations! Jill reinstated this in her book Agile Selling: that failures are nothing but learning experiences. And to that I will add: know your limitations. And accelerate. Top sellers play with multiple options to find the right, circumstantial fix to their buyer’s pain points. Hence, they don’t take failures as impediments; instead they unearth the real lessons, which they apply in other situations. In short: they just don’t give up – they get grittier with every passing failure!
They’re helpful and useful. I will borrow what Jay Baer wrote in his book, Youtility, that to be useful is to be full of use – literally! Top sellers are marketers. No I don’t mean to sound confusing; I am talking ‘selling’ in its truest form. Yes, top sellers know how to market themselves and pitch without an intention to sound all pomp and show and instead be immensely helpful with their prospects. They love their prospects – just like they are dating them. And pampering them while being corrective (when needed).
They are masters in managing their time and energy. Brian Tracy is undoubtedly the biggest inspiration especially when it comes to time management. He has written top-selling time management books and has also launched audio books on this topic. He mentions in one of his audiobook – Personal Success made simple – that top sellers are masters in goal settings. They prioritize their day based on the most important to the least important tasks to be completed. To add to that, top sellers invest 80% of their energy in 20% of must-get-it-done tasks. They are excellent in their work-life synthesis. And that is why they are super-productive!
To sum it up: just be relentless – and you will never look back!