In sales, everyone is always looking to get an edge. Sometimes it’s an edge over your competition, and other times it’s an edge over your own previous performance. In any case, salespeople are always looking to grow. The outcome is black and white; either you hit the goals you’ve set for yourself, or you don’t. The only question is what you are doing day to day in order to get there.
Of course, there are lots of big things salespeople (and their leaders) can do to ensure better performance and growth. You can find many of them on this blog. But there are also small adjustments that you can make immediately that are going to help your performance. And if you incorporate them into your routine, they can only help. Oftentimes, it’s just a matter of remembering to do them everyday. Here are five small adjustments you can make today to close more deals:
1. Pump yourself up before calls/meetings
Enthusiastic and optimistic salespeople generally close more deals because their attitude is contagious. A prospect would rather deal with a happy, energetic person than a morose and sleepy one. So before you sit down to make calls or go to sales meetings, get yourself in the right state of mind. Different people have different methods. Some like to listen to music to pump themselves up, use positive-self talk, or even change their posture (which has been proven to affect confidence). Whatever works for you, spend a few minutes getting yourself ready before the important parts of your day. This small adjustment can make a huge difference.
2. Make a priority checklist
Lots of us are guilty of coming into the office every day and winging it, instead of planning out our day beforehand. This can work for some people, but having a checklist of the things that move the needle can be a helpful way to make sure that you’re using your time effectively. Think about the activities that make the greatest difference for you. They’re likely to involve prospecting, pitching, and follow-up. If you write these activities out every morning (or even the night before) and then spend your day working your way down the list, you’re likely to see an huge difference in your closed deals.
Leading sales trainer Jeb Blount, author of Fanatical Prospecting, has a great bit of sales advice that doesn’t take months to implement. It’s called One More Call, and it’s simple – when you’re ready to pack up and go home for the night, pick up the phone and make one more call before you leave. It might not sound like a big deal, but this one call could make a huge difference if it ends up turning into a deal. Try it, you just might find that this “bonus” call picks up and wants to talk about how you can help.
4. Put yourself in the prospect’s shoes
You’re probably thinking that every salesperson should already be doing this, and you’re right, they should be. But most aren’t, because we’re in a constant battle to get out of our own heads. Try making it a point to put yourself in the prospect’s shoes before every sales call and meeting. Really think about their concerns and their needs, and what they want to hear from you. You’ll be surprised at just how much of a difference this adjustment will make in what you ask and in what you say.
5. Just listen
Most salespeople understand that listening is one of the things that sets great salespeople apart from mediocre ones. But it still seems to be a difficult concept for many of us to stick with. Whether it’s because some people love the sound of their own voice, hate awkward silences, or simply think that continuing to talk on and on will interest the prospect and close the deal, not being able to listen is a killer in sales. So today, try pumping yourself up before calls and meetings, make a checklist of the most important things you want to get done, make one more call before you leave, put yourself in the prospect’s shoes, and, throughout it all, make sure that you listen to your prospects. You’ll quickly begin to see the impact that a few small adjustments can make over the long-term.
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