Guest post by Ben Goldstein In theory, a sales process should make your sales reps more effective by focusing their efforts on…
Are you young and hungry? Or just hungry? This is for you.
Whatever you’re doing in life, the hard part is to get started and avoid falling into bad habits.
Whether you plan to become a sales guru or to use sales as a stepping stone for your next career move, there are things you just can’t afford not to know and implement.
Here are the essential sales tips you need to start committing to now!
1. Get in the right mindset
Take it from a millenial SDR rockstar: you need to keep a steady mindset. Being an SDR is tough but if you push through, that job will give you the mental stability to face everything.
How do you get into that mindset:
- Be relentless
A lot of people are going to reject you. A lot of people are going to knock you down, but if you have a tough mindset, then you’ll be able to push through and get those results.
As Marcus Cauchi puts it: don’t be emotionally attached to the outcome of any sale. Not only will it help you move on, it’ll avoid you getting manipulated and giving away concessions.
If you believe that your job is to present a product, you need to switch your mindset immediately, because your job is to listen. The talk/listen golden ratio has been found to be 43/57.
- Take criticism
If you want to move forward and rise through the ranks fast, you need to be as humble as you’re relentless and be able to take criticism.
2. Build a network, now!
Sales are all about relationships, so sitting in your corner is not an option.
This is 2018 and you’re not expected to take all your prospects to dinner or to a golf course. So what do you do? You take to social media and you start engaging, now! And not just to sell; connecting with thought leaders will help you learn and connecting with peers and managers will open a world of professional opportunities!
A couple tips to do this right:
- Bring value
Building a relationship is based on what you’re bringing to the table, not on what you want you gain from it.
Even if you’re just beginning, offering an influencer feedback on a book/article they’ve written, notifying them you mentioned them in an article you wrote, or complementing them on some content they put out is super easy to do and always much appreciated.
- Be consistent
Building a network takes time and relationships require maintenance, which is why you need to allow yourself to spend 15-20 min every day on LinkedIn to check updates, write a few comments and connect with a few people with a personnalized message.
3. Keep learning
When you’re working full time, it’s easy to get caught up in the job and to neglect to take the time to learn.
Is that your case? If yes, then stop and allocate some time to self-improvement!
And you know what? It’s free. Of course there are hundreds of very useful books out there and you should definitely spend a few bucks to invest in your own development but if money is scarce, there’s so much free content everywhere that there’s basically no excuse not to be improving a little bit every day.
LinkedIn is a great place to learn but feel free to check out a few of the best sales blogs out there.
4. Have a plan
Also, think long term. Where do you want do go? Do you have a business plan?
Set some personal goals, plan your tasks and execute!
5. Have a process
Before you can start executing, you need a process.
“Without process, it’s just madness.” And if Carson V. Heady is the one saying it, then you should probably believe it.
Of course, you need to be flexible and able to adjust the way you work but you should go back to your process as soon as possible.
Why? Because the process is what’s going to get you to the long term goals, what’s going to prevent you from offering those discounts leading to low-value sales relationships and most importantly, what’s going to prevent you from panicking when a deadline is approaching.
Just stick to the process.
Normally, it’s your manager’s job to integrate you in a process but in case you’re working with obviously incompetent people or dealing with a startup founder with not much experience in sales, you might have to take the matter into your own hands.
Just keep in mind that setting up a process takes time and trial and error. How do you get through this? Be relentless.
6. Use technology
Don’t start with this if you haven’t integrated the previous point or you’re just going to accelerate something that is broken. Also, automation’s role is to help you maximize efficiency on certain tasks, not do them for you.
In other words: you need to start by establishing the right process and ethics. Only when that’s done can you start thinking of a way to automate it.
That being said, what basic main functions should you automate?
You can hardly do a good job selling without accurate data. You can spend time manually hand-picking what you need or you can use Chrome extensions that gather data from LinkedIn and websites or updated databases.
Now that you have data, you need to get in touch with your prospects. You can send emails from your inbox but how much time are you going to waste emailing large lists? Also, how will you track your open, response, bounce and conversion rates?
Friendly reminder: in no case should you ever sacrifice quality to quantity. Automation has one job: automate. Personalizing emails is your job.
You can use Excel spreadsheets -it works- but I would definitely recommend using a more technologically advanced customer relationship management software to move deals along the pipeline and know where you stand.
Just don’t become obsessed with it, be a salesperson, be a leader, not a desk jockey.
7. Don’t sell, solve
Remember that your first duty is not to sell a product, but to solve someone’s problem, to help them alleviate a pain point.
As Daniel Disney sums it up: sure, in some cases, selling may be the best strategy, if it’s a small decision. But if you’re selling a complex solution or bigger/riskier investment, you need to focus on the problem. Why? Because what customers want is to be listened to, be offered solutions based on what’s been working in their industry and not feel pressure; they want to buy in their own terms.
If you go with that approach and drop the neediness, helping the prospect in order to deliver value and not just to close the sale, results will come.
Go for it!
The most common first job among billionaires is… you guessed it, salesperson.
And guess what else? They did everything that’s mentioned above in this article: they had an unwavering belief that they could do it, they had a vision, they had goals, they were organized and hell bent on delivering specific value.
And now, it’s your turn!
I just have a favor to ask you: if you know someone who could benefit from the advice you just read, go ahead and share this with them!