At your last physical did your doctor tell you to eat less red meat? A physical will tell you how healthy you are and whether you’re doing the right things to be healthy. Here’s how to give yourself a sales physical to gauge your sales fitness and to predict your sales success.
Are you a visionary?
You’ll probably be competing with another supplier even if your prospect is a new business. The good news with new businesses who are your prospects is that they have a sense of urgency to buy. A new business needs a supplier.
Existing businesses already have suppliers. They don’t need to change suppliers unless they’re dissatisfied. Even with dissatisfaction, the amount of energy required to change suppliers is an issue. Recognize that and you realize why you have to be a visionary to be successful.
You have to be able to see the situation that could be improved for the prospect who thinks the existing situation isn’t worth the effort to change. Too many unsuccessful salespeople hear a prospect say, “I’m happy with my present supplier.” Then they give up. The visionary salesperson sees how the prospect’s situation can be improved. That’s how he continues selling.
Are you persuasive?
Now that you know what you want to improve and recommend, you have to persuade your prospect to share your vision and take action. I’ve seen customers adore too many nice-guy salesmen, but never buy anything from them. You will fail at selling unless you understand persuasion and influence fundamentals.
Start with an understanding of how to strategically build rapport, which is building trust. Trust is the foundation of influence. Surely you can sell without it. It will be harder and take you much longer. No successful salesman wants that. Learn the clues that your prospects are giving you and understand how to adapt so they feel comfortable with you. You shorten your sales cycle when you build trust faster.
Do you know how prospects buy?
Part of influence is reading the clues that prospects give you. These are the clues you should be using to develop your selling strategy. Do you think you would use the same selling strategy if you were selling to Donald Trump as you would selling to Mr. Rogers? I hope not, because they buy differently.
Trump is a controlled, assertive customer who buys based on facts and data. Could you imagine a salesperson telling Mr. Trump, “You are going to love this!” He will think you’re crazy.
Mr. Rogers buys based on opinions. He cares about people. You have to assure him that those he cares about will love your product.
You may think it’s acceptable to skip your physical, but in a few years it might catch up with you. I would hate to see a salesperson wasting their time because they don’t know the right things to do to sell more successfully.