Ok so “selling behaviors” might not register with you, great salesperson. Maybe it’s an archaic term. So how about selling tasks or selling activities or just stuff we do to close more sales. Whatever you want to call it these are the things we do every day over and over to become the best salesperson we can be. In the last post I encouraged salespeople to focus on behavior and not be preoccupied with attitude. So what are the successful selling behaviors?
In all aspects of life, we do the same things over and over and over again. In the kitchen, we cook, eat, clean up and do it all over again. A fisherman baits his hook, casts into the water, trolls the bait, hooks the fish, reels it in lifts the fish into the boat with his net. Then does it all over again. Salespeople prospect, qualify, close, follow up, ask for referrals and do it multiple times a day. And they pause periodically to measure how they are doing.
The Major Tasks Of Successful Selling Behaviors
Fundamental successful selling activities never change. We prospect, qualify, close and follow up. And do it over and over again. Great salespeople dedicate time each week to prospect for new business. They understand their market and the needs of the businesses in that market. Prospecting to great salespeople is looking for companies just like their best customers. Once a salesperson finds a good prospect with a little interest, they begin qualifying. What level of interest does the decision maker have in solving the problem? Are there sufficient funds committed to the project? If the salesperson gets a positive vibe from the buyer, they move on to the close. So we schedule time each week to prospect, qualify, close and follow up. But what are the tasks associated with each selling behavior?
Great salespeople look for those potential customers who resemble your best customers. What business are they in? Which of the products you sell do they use? Is it a seasonal business? If so when is the best time to sell to them? Then search for other companies with similar needs. Which might just be divisions or other locations of your current best customers.
“Top performing salespeople spend far more of their time researching their industry, learning about their competitors, understanding trends, reading about ancillary things that affect their industry and being thought leaders and consultants in their space …” — Sahil Mansuri, CEO, Bravado. The LinkedIn State of Sales Report 2021, May 19, 2021. Jonathan Lister,VP, Global Sales Solutions & Canada Country Manager at LinkedIn
Think of the process of prospecting as define the customer segment, identify good prospects, research each prospect, contact the decision maker, get a meeting, ask good questions and listen attentively. When done right great salespeople will know to continue qualifying.
Ask good questions to find out whether they have a problem you can solve, if there is a budget to make the purchase and above all be selling to the one who can make the decision to buy. Great salespeople get to “no” fast. They don’t spend a lot of time with customers who don’t have a current need nor the interest in making a change. And most importantly the prospect can’t or won’t pay for the value you bring. But when a salesperson understands why the prospect said “no”, there is an opportunity to go on selling,
I always think of lyrics from the Kenny Rogers ballad, The Gambler:
“You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run”
Make sure you are investing your limited time in the highest probability prospects.
The one thing I learned in my 45 years of selling is when I worked my selling process (build rapport and trust, find the pain, discuss the budget, all while dealing with the decision maker) the close just happened. Yes there were times I had to ask for the order. And there were clarifying discussions with other influencers on the buying team. Great salespeople know prospecting and qualifying done well wins the order.
This is a task associated with every step in my selling process. After every prospect or customer contact there is a follow up. Sometime simple as a thank you. Maybe a complex document illustrating the answer to a question. Or a request for a referral to a colleague of theirs. An important follow-up is to existing customers asking for feedback on your company’s performance. Great salespeople know follow-up is a successful selling behavior.
Yeah, There Is Other Important Stuff Too
Keeping selling activities high is important. But there are other activities which support that goal. Sales meetings with your colleagues is a place to share tips and tricks to improve the closing ratio. Time spent learning the features and benefits of new products and services is valuable. Keeping the CRM current minimizes the time spent on researching customer and prospect. And there is that “administrivia” stuff as my mentor Jim Wilson called it. Reports to management so they can understand what’s happening in your territory, expense reports to keep the money flowing. Company meetings to maintain relationships across departments to get assistance when you need it to help you close sales. The supporting tasks to successful selling behavior are balanced by the customer contacting activities by great salespeople.
Really, Successful Selling Behavior Is As Easy As Managing Your Time
Great salespeople reach their goals because they are passionate about controlling their time. They understand the calendar is the best tool for making sure all the priority tasks get done. Every task is given time on the calendar. Prospecting, meeting with clients, follow up, skill improvement all planned out. Salespeople realizing they have limited time and energy make every moment count. To be protective of their time, great salespeople avoid distractions. When asked for help they may respond: “I don’t have time on my calendar right now. Let me see when we can meet.” A firm but friendly put off. Great salespeople are clear on what it takes to achieve their goals.
What You Can Do Right Now For Successful Selling Behaviors
- Detail your personal selling process
- List the tasks associated with each step
- Commit time to successful selling behaviors