We desire to be stellar salespeople. But what are the common characteristics of superstars? Some traits deal with internal factors such as personality style and thinking patterns. Other traits deal with things that can be replicated such as behaviors and activities. Here are five common habits that top performing salespeople do on a consistent basis.
1. Stellar salespeople do things this year to make money next year
It’s been said that for most people, long-term planning is who they’re going out with on Friday night. Top performers plan and prepare for long-term success by engaging in activities that won’t pay off until later. Call it delayed gratification or an intelligent work ethic. Either way, they are constantly building and expanding their sphere of influence, network, referrals, and contacts to draw new customers in the coming year. When entering January with a referral network twice the size from the year before, making sales quota is the least of their worries.
Reflective question: What are you doing right now that will pay off next year?
2. They enhance the sales process
Stellar salespeople do not view the sales process as a rigid “ABC123” system. Instead, they play to their strengths and enhance the steps where they know they shine – like presentation skills or negotiation. Even great sales processes can provide insight on what to do in every scenario. That’s why top performers constantly develop their selling skills and then bring those skills to the sales process to maximize results.
Reflective question: What new sales book have you read lately?
3. They are honest with their sales manager about their developmental needs
Many underperforming salespeople have a contentious relationship with their sales manager. They spend much of their time making excuses for lackluster performance. Not superstars. Instead, they are open and honest about where they need help. They are an open book. They’re also quick to utilize the expertise and resources their sales manager can provide to help them improve performance. Instead of a boss/employee relationship, top performers have a true partnership with their sales manager which yields them exceptional returns.
Reflective question: What is the nature of your relationship with your sales manager?
4. They prioritize their activities
Everything is not important. Top sales performers don’t say “yes” all the time. They know when to say “no” and when to say “not now”. Sticking with the essentials drives them to their personal goals – far above the goals the company has set for them. They are willing to turn down another offer to attend a leads group if they know they have not had success in the past. They stick to what works and evaluate how to expand on that success.
Reflective question: How disciplined are you at saying “no” to things that do not move you towards your goals?
5. Stellar salespeople draw from external sources of motivation
Motivation is desire and action coming together. Stellar salespeople know that motivation can sometimes run dry. They continually consume from different sources what they need to maintain a level of peak performance. Some simple examples are motivational books, videos or seminars. They also spend time with people who are at least equally, if not more successful. They get inspired, challenged and encouraged by them. In addition, they don’t allow the wrong kinds of negative influences to zap their motivation – negative people, toxic news stories, or self-defeating thoughts from the past.
Reflective question: What resources do you utilize to keep you at peak motivation?