Before we even hit the road as sales professionals, we have to check our “equipment.” That's our attitude toward selling. I call it “The Three P's of Selling”: passion, pride, and perseverance.
First, you have to have passion for what you do. That's what drives you every day. It's what nobody can stop you from doing. It's what doesn't feel like work. You need to be passionate about your products and services, your clients, about being an entrepreneur and about selling.
When I was in America, as a high school student from Germany, I learned a lot about American entrepreneurship. American entrepreneurs are passionate, innovative, creative, fast-moving, driven by their belief that anything is possible. They would rather try and risk failure than never try at all.
German entrepreneurs tend to be more diligent, but they move slowly and are less spontaneous. “Paralysis through analysis” is how Germans are often described.
Of course, this is simplifying it a bit, but it describes what I love about American entrepreneurship. It's this passion, the desire to be in the fast lane, to be the first to take the chequered flag.
Be passionate about selling: that's what we're here for! We love what we do, and that's why we're good at it.
Second, you need a healthy amount of pride. Be proud of what you're doing and what you have to offer. Selling is not some “shady business” – after all it's what brings in your company's money. We're not “snake oil salesmen;” we strive for a deal that benefits both our clients and ourselves. It's important to operate on an even footing, rather than subjugating ourselves to the will of our clients. “The client is king,” alright, but you need to know where to draw the line. It's our pride which earns us not only self-respect, but the respect of our clients.
Third, you must have perseverance. Most prospects don't buy after the first call or contact. In fact, in most cases it takes quite a number of attempts to win over the decision maker. But most sales professionals give up too easily. From my experience as a sales professional and entrepreneur, 50% of sales professionals call or contact their prospect just once. Only 7% don't give up after three calls. On the other hand, as little as 2% of prospects buy after the first call or contact, whereas 80% of prospects buy after 5 to 10 calls.
Therefore, what salespeople need is polite perseverance. Keep at it. If you want to be better than the average salesperson, you need to try harder than average. For me, personally, I think that's exactly where my German discipline comes in handy. Nobody arrives at victory lane without constant, deliberate practice. In time, diligence will always surpass talent. Work hard, don't give up, keep your motor running, and you'll make it to the finish line.
So before you hit the road, make sure to check your “equipment,” your attitude toward selling. Don't forget to bring “The 3 P's of Selling” along for the ride: passion, pride, perseverance. With that equipment you can go anywhere you want.
Your attitude toward selling is vital to your success, it's a basic necessity. Just like your car, if there's one thing you do to keep your car running, you change the oil on a regular basis. Your attitude is the oil for your sales engine. Keep it fresh and it will keep your motor running!
By Martin Limbeck is an international sales authority and sought-after keynote speaker, dubbed “The Porsche of Sales.” He helps sales professionals seal more deals. Martin has trained and inspired audiences in sixteen countries for more than twenty years. The Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) has been honoured as Top Speaker of the Year 2014, International Speaker of the Year 2012, and Trainer of the Year 2011 and 2008. He teaches at Reutlingen European School of Business, Steinbeis University Berlin, and St. Gallen University, and is the author of several bestsellers. His latest work is NO Is Short for Next Opportunity – How Top Sales Professionals Think.