I always use this time of year to reflect but when I sat down to write this I couldn’t help but look back on sitting down this time 12 months ago forming our plans and goals for the coming year, none of us had the slightest inclination of what was about to unfold and none of us had heard of Covid 19
The last 11 months have been something of a roller-coaster and whilst there have been many companies and individuals that have been badly impacted by the events of 2020, successful businesses have been forced to close their doors never to reopen again and as a result, some great salespeople have found themselves without jobs through no fault of their own.
But in stark contrast, I have witnessed some truly incredible performances from sales teams, I’ve worked with teams that have struggled to adjust to working remotely and working from home, but I’ve seen them coming through and embracing the challenge and thriving within a new virtual selling environment.
I’ve seen sales teams working within markets that have been decimated by Covid, they’ve seen their enquiries drop but almost 90%, they’ve lost 40% of their accounts and yet through determination, hard work and adopting new strategies and approaches, taking themselves out of their comfort zones they’ve hit their targets, I’ve witnessed a team achieve a record month after coming out of the first lockdown.
My experiences of working with these sales teams this year has really highlighted what I’ve believed for some time that sales teams that succeed consistently have some common traits and habits in common
They're confident and they’re certain
To make a customer believe in your product you have to believe in your product, you have to be confident not only what you are selling but also confident and certain about what you are saying, now more than ever buyers need to feel confident and certain about the decisions they make and if you can confidently explain how your product or service is going to solve a problem and provide a buyer with the confidence of the value it will deliver for the customer, then your customer is more likely to trust you and work with you.
Sales teams that perform consistently have a unique ability to cope with difficulty, to overcome challenges and obstacles that stand in the way of their sales achievements they take rejection and in their stride and rather than allow it to demotivate the they use it as a channel to develop their skills and approach.
They provide insight and value to their clients, not just a sales pitch
Most customers today are much better informed and educated before reaching out to a provider. Salespeople that simply real off specs and product data or a generic pitch are failing to engage with their buyers , sales professionals that have a consultative mindset that can identify customer needs and has the ability to tailor a custom solutions to fit their needs along with some real insight into their market and what their competitors are doing will always outperform their competition.
Persistence in today’s market is critical provided it is delivered in an intelligent and respectful way consistently, positive persistence helps the team to open opportunities and gain interest from their prospects. It helps teams to communicate to their customers that they can offer a solution, a product, or a service to solve their problems or to fulfill their needs, today more than ever it can take half a dozen attempts or more to get a response or to have a discussion, the persistent salesperson is reaping the rewards.
They're focused and they don’t get distracted by what’s happening around them
Teams that are still achieving their targets throughout this year all have one thing in common: focus. They don't get distracted by irrelevant messages, they aren't worried about office gossip or media doom and gloom. They just understand what needs to be done to continue to be successful, every action they take is designed to take them closer to their targets and their goals.
I have optimism and a lot of positivity for 2021 not just because of the hope pinned on the vaccines that are being rolled out but more based on the fact that businesses and sales teams have learned to adapt and become resilient.
That just leaves me to sign off and wish you all a safe and enjoyable Christmas and a successful new year
About the author
Paul Routley is a highly experienced sales trainer and one of the country’s leading sales authority, with over twenty-five years’ experience in sales and sales management, starting out in sales at the age of 17 and working his way up from trainee salesperson to sales director, working for some of the world’s largest and most well-known companies along the way.
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