Once upon a time I wrote a couple of articles about how to sell more cars. In one of them I talked about how to sell cars and in the other, how not to sell cars. It wasn’t a pop at car salespeople and it is wasn’t me taking a crack at the industry. They were just light-hearted observations based on my experiences when buying cars.
They were meant to be a fun and valuable read for anyone in the industry and, certainly, many car manufacturers saw things this way and I picked up a few gigs, most notably, a series of keynote talks with Jaguar, working alongside Jason Dawe (Ex Top Gear) and Penny Mallory (top rally driver, don’t challenge her to a race!).
But not everyone was pleased. One troll decided to jump out from under his bridge and tell me that I could not sell a car if my life depended upon it. I laughed. He growled. I realised the error of my ways in even talking to him and that was that. But it reinforced something that I already knew, some people prefer to attack anyone in the near vicinity who seems to be doing okay instead of helping themselves.
Selling has changed over the last few years. Business has got tougher and although markets have picked up and business is more fluid again, things have changed. And because things have changed, salespeople have had to change too. We have to be better. We have to be more focused. We have to add more value. We have to be professional in a way that we’ve never been professional before.
I know that many people don’t want to hear that. They want to blame something or someone else. If you watch football or any sport, you will see this a lot… teams losing and then players and managers blaming the weather, the pitch or the referee. If I was managing a team, the first thing I would teach them is that the only comment they can make after a game is about what they did or did not do and what they could do differently next time.
I don’t want to hear about the blinking referee, the wrong kind of grass or the wrong colour sun. You will get some good refs and some bad ones. You will have some poor luck and some amazing luck but, crucially, you cannot change the ref and you cannot change the weather. You can only change yourself.
The same is true in selling. You can only change you. So here are 5 quick tips for success in sales…
1. Be the best you can be. Lift your game. Give your all. Be at a “10”. Kick some ass. Take no prisoners. Put whatever cheesy moniker you like on it but when it comes down to the wire, the top salespeople feel, look and act like the top salespeople. Funny that.
2. Work on your mindset. The best salespeople believe that they are the best salespeople. They believe that they can make sales. They believe that there is business out there. They believe that they add huge value for their clients. What do you believe?
3. Think BIG. Martin Luther King said, “I have a dream.” He said a lot of other stuff too but do you remember that? No? Me neither. That’s because people love people with dreams. They’re motivated, they’re inspired and they’re full of passion. And funnily enough those kinds of people make great salespeople and great leaders too. People want to work with them. People want to buy from them. People want to spend time with them. What’s your dream?
4. Know what works and what doesn’t. A lot of the old sales-isms have changed. If there was an “ology” in sales it would have morphed a lot over the last few years. The world has changed, business has changed and selling had to change too. If you’re too pushy, too self-centred and too quick to talk about your solutions then you’re going to get canned. Find a way to be more genuine, more humble and to add more value and you’re in. Simple.
5. Manage your time, don’t let time manage you. In the words of my mate Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” And that was 1986! It’s worse now. If you’re investing your valuable time and energy on the wrong activities, then you’re not going to get the sales results that you want and need.
A lot of people want to make sales complicated. Heck, a lot of people want to make life complicated… but it’s not. It’s simple. Living it however can be another thing entirely.
If you want to make more sales, if you want to be more motivated and proactive, if you want to create a value based, sale culture in your business then today is the day to get on and do that.
By Gavin Ingham, sales speaker, executive coach and an avid seeker of sales excellence. He is the author of several books including “Motivate People”. Gavin helps businesses and sales professionals be the best that they can be. If you want to know more about creating the mindset of a sales rockstar then make sure that you have joined my free newsletter. He is also a speaker on sales and mental toughness
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Copyright Gavin Ingham 2015