This ninth step is a bit different from the first eight, however, no less important. The actual step is:
“Practice, Practice and Practice some more.”
Most sales people look at this statement and say things like – “That’s not important.” ; “Situations never go the way a role play does!” or “I don’t have time to practice – I need to sell more!” DUH! These people don’t get it and it’s a terrible mistake. Practice makes things better, smoother and more natural. Let me discuss a few advantages and methods for getting sure fired results from PRACTICE.
The fourth step to becoming a sales superstar is having superior Industry Knowledge. Again, the top sales people understand this and use it as an advantage against the average sales competitor. I have seen many of the top sales people use this resource of knowledge to out flank a competitor or to show a customer or prospect a better method to improve performance – using their knowledge of the industry.
There are several reasons that a sales person should master industry knowledge particularly in the world of B2B sales. The four biggest reasons are:
The third step in the ten steps to becoming a Sales Superstar is Preparedness. The best salespeople are always prepared – like the boy scout motto. What is so important about preparedness? It shows the customer that you are ready to talk about important things rather than the typical push the sales agenda on the customer.
There are two primary issues covered by being prepared. The first is to have a call plan. The second is to do your research on a customer BEFORE arriving at their office.
Okay, one of my favorite topics is sales. Now I’m not one of these blowhards that tell you I started selling as a young boy and became an over night success. No, I missed that fast track! In fact, I had to learn how to sell. At first, I had no clue as to what I was doing, no plan, no guide, and most importantly – no understanding of how selling worked – selling well that is!
Then I attended programs at my first job – the banking industry – and we had a very aggressive business development priority. Now, I’m talking about bankers – some of whom felt selling was beneath them. I attended a required class (singular) and was told that I had to make three customer calls – face to face – every quarter! Talk about pressure – what you don’t know is amazing sometimes. Believe it or not I found my way into the top three for business development for several years. I now know this was a case of luck and really enjoying the customer interaction not selling skills or understanding the sales process.
I really did not understand selling until I went to a four day sales training program. It totally opened my eyes as to what could be and should be in the world of selling. I now had to learn how to sell well if I wanted to survive.
One of the key instructors also talked about the need for continuous learning. He referred to listening to tapes, reading sales books and other business books that related to things I wanted to understand. This was really a turning point in my sales career and professional career as a business advisor.