I can’t even tell you how many people have told me that being a top-performing sales person is a gift that you either have or you don’t.
Now, while it is true that some sales superstars are born with a natural ability and a style of personal confidence that makes selling happen more easily for them than for most, the ability to close sales — even big sales –with ease and consistency is far more a factor of mastery than of magic.
Sales skill can absolutely be taught and top performers excel because they have learned, practiced and mastered what works. What you might see as an effortless, graceful innate ability is truly the byproduct of having mastered 5 SIMPLE STEPS.
Step #1 – Preparation
Top performers take the time they need to plan their time with the customer. They embrace the opportunity and don’t want to waste their own or their customer’s time. Which means they never show up harried or stressed or scrambling. They arrive in time to take a breath, say a mantra or play their theme. They have all the samples and tools plus the mindset they need to rock their appointment.
Step #2 – Expect the Unexpected
Top salespeople refuse to get thrown off their game. They accept that homeowners can be unpredictable, scared, stubborn (even rude) just as easily as they can be willing, friendly, open and inviting. So they aren’t rattled by off-the-wall requests or common objections. Objections are a natural part of the buying process; top performers see them as an expression of interest and powerful buying signals.
Step #3 – Systemization
A proven, step-by-step sales process is a huge part of sales success. Top salespeople know that systems make sales. They recognize that ‘winging it’ makes the consumer wary, overwhelmed and unprepared to commit. That’s why they work out the exact steps they need to lead a consumer from evaluation to payment and have practiced their steps with so much discipline that they could pull it off in their sleep.
Step #4 – The Ask
Top performers know that the decision to purchase contains some tension and they don’t back away from it. They’re confident they will provide the best service and solution to the consumer. They ask for the sale, then maintain their composure and honor the silence until their prospect has had a chance to think and answer. Silence is golden because it allows space for a thoughtful decision to be made. When you fill up the silence with nervous chatter, you rob it of the gold.
Step #5 – The Analysis
The last step of the most successful sales professionals is analysis. Top performers are continuously reviewing and improving their own performance. Because they have a step-by-step system (see #3) they can look at each stage, evaluate what went well, figure out why certain elements may not be working and identify what can help them be better. Hence the saying: a novice practices until they don’t get it wrong and a master practices until they always get it right.
Knowing these steps and following them will quickly bridge the gap between average sales performance and top sales success. The good news is that, with the five steps of top performance to follow, a high level of excellence is truly within reach for any sales person, regardless of where they start.