The best salespeople make their jobs look easy. They’re always developing their book of business, crushing quota, and just generally making the sales force look good.
While the specific details of a sales rep’s process might vary from person to person, all successful salespeople have a few standard methods in common:
They Do Their Research & Prepare
Successful sales reps prepare before every call or meeting. There is no winging it for these top players. They study to learn everything about the person or people they are to speak with and then use this information to effectively build rapport.
Take it to the next level: Leverage social media to research beyond the basics. See if there are any connections on LinkedIn that you share with your prospect. “Listen” to their Twitter activity to see what current events or articles they are interested in.
They Take Great Notes
Top salespeople take diligent notes during phone calls and meetings on important information. Not only do great notes allow you to recall what clients asked for and the promises made, they also can spark additional questions or ideas as you review your notes afterwards.
Take it to the next level: Post-meeting, see what you can use from your notes to specifically follow-up on for a chance for a meaningful conversation that’ll show your prospect you were listening.
This goes hand-in-hand with taking notes, which coupled together, is often referred to as dynamic listening. The best sales reps are excellent listeners. They go into conversations seeking to understand the prospect’s needs and challenges they are facing in an effort to help them.
Take it to the next level: Use key phrases that show that you are genuinely interested in what they’re saying. Confirm what you heard and communicate what you understood or need clarification on. Here are some key phrases you can incorporate into your dialogue:
“Can you tell me more about ____ …”
“What does that look like?”
“So you would like ____. Is that right?”
“You seem quite ____ about ____ …”
They Follow Up
80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls after the meeting, and 44% give up after 1 follow-up (The Marketing Donut). Imagine all the deals you may have missed out on by not following up more. Salespeople who strive for success know the importance of following up.
Take it to the next level: When ending a call, discuss your follow-up plan so your prospect knows what to expect. The plan should be multi-touch. Start with an email immediately after your conversation. In that email, reiterate the follow-up timeline that you and your prospect agreed upon and stick to it.
They Always Ask for Referrals
Many salespeople know the importance of asking for referrals but do not actively pursue them. Some fear that their customer will think negatively. Some just don’t know how to ask. One thing is for certain, though and that’s that top performers always ask. A sales call that results from a referral has a better chance at turning into a meeting than a cold call. People tend to trust those they already know and thus are willing to do business with either people they know or people they know of.
Take it to the next level: One of the best times to ask for a referral is when a customer compliments you. Start by making a point to ask for one during those moments.
If you’re interested in learning how social influences these successful sales behaviors, contact us for a live demo of PeopleLinx. We’d love to show how we can help you achieve your goals!