Happy National Salesperson Day! Did you know such a holiday existed? Us either! That’s why we’re bringing it into the limelight: because there’s an entire day dedicated to honoring some of the hardest working folks in the game, and we thought it was about time that we recognize it.
And what better way to put National Salesperson Day on the map than to celebrate the knowledge and expertise of some of the best? I recently sat down with three reps and picked their brain about what kept them up at night. The result? Some great tips on how to take your sales game to the next level.
Here are the top 8 sales tips for reps, from reps:
Sales Tip #1: Go Old School
“Old school is back. The phone works. And people actually answer, because it rings so infrequently these days. Friday afternoon between 2 and 4 I can reach almost anyone. People are already punched out by then—their guard is down—so they’ll pick up.”
Sales Tip #2: Be Yourself
“Enough of those hokey, overly-professional, scripted sales calls. Just be yourself. Have a conversation. Don’t be so focused on proper business tact and being overly articulate. Genuine conversation tends to resonate more with buyers than the latter.”
“I inject a lot of myself into a meeting—whether it’s over the phone, during a demo, or face to face. I’ll talk about running, food, geography, movies, TV, sports—you name it—throughout my presentations. Somehow, at some point, I’ve connected with them outside of just a standard, robotic product features and benefits presentations. People buy from people. They know me.”
Sales Tip #3: Think Next Steps
“When I’m in a specific phase of an opportunity, I’m always thinking: ‘how am I going to move to that next phase?’ Before I get off the phone with my prospect, I always determine what the next step will be. You might often hear from salespeople that their prospect has ‘gone silent.’ I don’t often get that silence because, before I get off the phone with someone, we’ve already determined we have a call to discuss next steps on Tuesday, or to do a demo next Friday. I always have something lined up.”
Sales Tip #4: Check Your Ego
“In sales, there are always lots of sports analogies—you just can’t avoid them. And sales people tend to be very competitive as an extension of that. Leave your ego aside. If you want to be an A player, and other people are more successful than you, you should find out what’s making them so successful. And then own it. Adapt it to your own sales style.
“Be humble. Be open minded. And learn what you’re A players are doing. Replicate success.”
Sales Tip #5: Don’t Be Afraid to Be the First to Walk
“Reps spend a lot of their valuable time trying to qualify into an opportunity as opposed to realizing there’s not anything there right now. Save yourself some time. Put your effort into selling to those that can buy by qualifying people out of the buying cycle that can’t. The quicker we can do that, the better off we all are.
“Whether it’s a timing, price, or receptivity issue—just say: ‘You know what? Maybe this is not a good fit right now.’ That keeps the door open and also gets you on to something more relevant. Some deals will work out, some won’t—let it go.”
Sales Tip #6: Don’t Discriminate
“If you’re in a roundtable discussion with a number of different titles, talk to the entire audience—not just the C-level that’s in the room. To start the meeting off, try going around the room and getting the goals and expectations for each person. Then, at the end of the meeting or as a part of your follow up, you can go back and reference each person’s goal and ensure it was addressed. Confirm with each person that your solution is going to meet their specific needs.”
Sales Tip #7: Pick Up the Pace
“If you look back 15 to 20 years ago, you were taught to throw the suit on, sit down in the board room, do your pitch and, if you have the opportunity to go to lunch or dinner, that’s where you did the rapport building. There has been a shift. You only have a short window of time with these people; you have to blend the rapport-building with the sales acumen (See Tip #1). Doing business in general has been expedited. In this age, the expectation is that you’ll give quick responses for a more fast-paced deal.”
Sales Tip #8:
Swear at the Buyer Embrace Tongue-in-Cheek Banter
“This one’s 100% guaranteed: If you can get your buyer to swear first—not at you but with you—they’re gonna buy. Oh…we can’t publish that? I just mean…get your buyer to be a little more tongue-in-cheek. Once they’ve let their guard down in that way, you know you’re going to close the deal.”
Here’s to you, sales reps. Enjoy your day!