The higher you go in the hierarchy, the greater the decisions you will see made there. The greater the decisions, the bigger the budget, the orders, and the revenue potential. The more expensive a product or a service is, the easier it is to sell, because fewer are the people who make the decision to buy it. That is why a top salesperson is only too happy to make contacts. He is not afraid of position or hierarchy.
What else can we say about the top sales professional? She has an average of four customer appointments and makes about twenty calls to clients every single day. She has at least ten to fifteen years of sales experience under her belt. She is not easy to lead because she already considers herself at the top of the heap. Is she really at the top? It doesn’t matter, because in any case that’s where she’s heading.
Find you own way to sell
Every consummate salesperson has forged his own path in the selling process. It isn’t a question of possessing the right formula. What they all have in common is a well thought-out, practised, tested structure with which they conduct the sales pitch in order to close the deal. None of these approaches is beholden to a norm. Let me be clear: I don’t want you to sell exactly as I do. Rather, I would like you to sell in a way that allows you to achieve the best possible results – and in a way that makes you feel comfortable.
In the last thirty-five hundred years, clients’ objections have not changed a bit. And they will not change in the near future either. A top sales professional knows them all by heart: No time, no interest, we already have our trusted salesperson, it’s too expensive, we’ve got everything we need, we’ve just signed a contract, and so on and so forth – they’re always the same.
Not only that, a top salesperson also knows the answers to them. Within half a second she has already decided which method she should employ to be successful.
Know when to stop talking
She can also live with the error of striking the wrong tone on occasion, because she is always pushing the envelope a little more than the average salesperson. In all the business transactions that have been made, I would bet that there are more failures, flops, and flounders than successful deals. Some salespeople continue to talk the client’s ear off long after he has stopped listening and is on his way out. Or worse, the client might be all for the deal and call it off only because the salesperson will simply not stop talking.
Top salespeople are not the client’s tour guide. They are not his guardian, his host, or his caregiver. They are not there to educate the client about the product or parade a series of memorised operating instructions. They are not conveyors of knowledge or informational anaesthesiologists. They don’t offer techno enlightenment, fun-fact symposiums, or complimentary product feature massages.
Check your attitude
Instead, they use their time wisely. While others are already at home watching “Dancing with the Stars,” they’re still at work. They are willing to go the extra mile for the customer. They do more than is expected of them. They are diligent, even if that doesn’t sound particularly glamorous. They are as keen to learn as first-graders and are all on the quest for the decisive phrase in a sales pitch, the Rosetta Stone. The question is: Does it even exist?
Top sales professionals also have high self-esteem. They never whine. In fact, they can’t stand it when the average seller whines. It turns their stomach.
They are always well-prepared and well-dressed, according to their industry, of course. A classy watch, an elegant pen, a nice suit, a fine shirt, an exquisite tie, immaculate shoes. They are always hungry – for success. Whoever complains that a coconut has a hard shell has never experienced true hunger. Steve Jobs was spot on when in 2005 he gave his legendary, enthralling commencement address at Stanford University, ending with the words: “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”
By Martin Limbeck is an international sales authority and sought-after keynote speaker, dubbed 'The Porsche of Sales' by the press. With his best-in-class German Sales Engineering approach, he helps sales professionals seal more deals. Martin has trained and inspired audiences in twenty-one 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, including NO Is Short for Next Opportunity: How Top Sales Professionals Think and Why Nobody Wants You to Get to the Top...: ...and How I Made It Anyway.