The key trait for sales success

I was out for dinner having some noodles last Sunday night with family and friends. One of the people I was having dinner with has been tasked with finding 3 sales people to assist her in a new business venture. She asked me how she might identify great sales people.Photo Attitude

Now you know as well as me that the average performers are easy to find. How do you really find someone that will make a real difference? I found myself racking my brain. Searching for the one trait that over and above will make the biggest difference to sales success.

I was thinking; confidence, adaptability, interpersonal skills, relationship builders, problem solver, change em bracer, etc.

Then it struck me. What really makes the big difference when it comes to success in sales? Just two simple words.

Follow up

I’m convinced that the high performers have worked out that most things that are being sold will not be purchased right away. No matter whom you are selling to and how quickly they make decisions. People need time. They need to discuss with others. Just because you are selling doesn’t mean they are ready to buy now.

If you have sales people on your team who know how to follow up properly think about the amount of business they would bring in.

There is a fine line between great follow up and becoming a stalker.

Most sales people who do follow up tend to follow up too soon and with too much eagerness.

Their failure to have a proper follow up plan costs them dearly. They get caught in that dreadful cycle of meaningless call backs and leaving messages that get you nowhere, fast.

So how can your team become better with their follow up skills.

Here are 5 tips:

  1. Train them properly in what is great follow up and what is being a pain in the arse!
  2. When their successful follow up process wins new business, highlight it to all the team at a sales meeting. Catch them doing things right.
  3. Regularly provide with them fresh reasons to be calling their prospects.
  4. When you employ new sales people explain to them that their success will not be immediate and that’s OK with you. Give them a realistic timeline of when you expect results by and why great follow up will be critical to this.
  5. Audit them and possibly their prospects occasionally to check on how they are following up. Are they sticking to the process or have they forgotten about it?

Here’s an idea for you

Next time you are looking for a new sales person, go shopping for something. Ask for 5 quotes.

Notice which of the 5 people selling to you has the best follow up process. If you like them you might just offer them a job.




Posted in Sales; Tagged Sales, Sales Management; Posted by Steve Herzberg

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