Here are twelve simple, career-changing pieces of advice I have been sharing for years with salespeople. The list, which is the culmination of over a quarter of a century of experience, may be brief; but I’ve noticed that those who follow all twelve rules always seem to out-earn those who don’t.
Here they are:
- Always respond to customers and prospects within 48 hours. Why on earth wouldn’t you?
- Schedule sales appointments for early (8AM) or late (4PM). This is the single best time management strategy for salespeople.
- Follow through immediately on thank-you letters, letters of agreement, and internal paperwork. What message do you send to customers, prospects, and superiors if you are habitually late in these areas?
- Set two new appointments every day. If you do, you will not lack for prospects. Guaranteed.
- Strategize with your sales manager on a regular basis. Ask for help; and be ready to use your boss as an advocate within the target organization.
- Don’t kid yourself. I have never met a superior salesperson who made a habitof self-deception about prospects and customers.
- Create a sense of urgency in all your communications. This is your job, and no one else’s.
- Be honest. People won’t give you repeat business if they don’t trust you.
- Know ten client success stories. Be ready to share them at the drop of a hat.
- Decide on your opening question for the meeting. Don’t walk into the meeting without a plan!
- Decide on the Next Step you want and ask for it directly. This, too, is your job, and no one else’s.
- Always get the prospect to do something. Another meeting. A visit to a facility. A conference call. Something has to land on the other person’s calendar, preferably for a slot within the next ten business days.