As with any form of business or activity, one needs to think out the plan, to prepare the ground.
Before meeting or communicating with a prospect, the sales person needs to prepare him/herself.
Preparation is not just knowing about the product, or the company or the market or the prospect. All these are very important and we will discuss later along with other elements. Firstly however the most significant and over riding preparation to be accomplished is the physical, spiritual and psychological state of mind. The success of any sales situation has much to do with your attitude and the manner you will deal with the prospect. These elements can be split into 3 major segments.
- Health & Mind
- Excellence of Character
A good salesperson should seek to enhance those factors for him- or herself in preparation for a sale, as well as using them during the sales situation to help the prospect make a decision. Let us examine each element in depth.
Your physical, mental and spiritual health is important to provide yourself with the energy to be effective in sales.
Physical – Taking care of your health with good food and exercise, as well as avoiding the intake of toxic materials will help energy levels. The food one eats and the condition of one’s body has a powerful effect on the working day. In the same manner starting the day, having spent a night “clubbing” till early hours, makes for a very tired body and mind that is unable to cope with the intensive conversations that the day will bring. A night spent in casual fun creates the same feelings. There are many emotions and events away from the working day that will all have a bearing on the physical and in turn this decreases the opportunity to perform to a maximum.
Mental health – Negative self talk, abusive criticism from family or supervisors, and other factors can affect your mental or emotional health and well-being. A person with a lot of hang-ups is not very effective in selling. Bad relationships with a partner or family life will undoubtedly affect the attitude towards the work for the day and will leave the sales person unfit to be successful and work to an optimum level. The most contagious and fast spreading virus is being within and listening to negative communication. The sales person MUST believe in themselves and avoid toxic people and instead surround themselves with praise and positive waves. Phsyco Cybernetics, The power of positive thinking, and many other differing aspects of many motivational books can all be based on this one aspect. Think positive and successful (not easy to do and must be truly followed) and you will be successful. Many world tests have proved that top sports people use this method to achieve fantastic results – keep your mental state healthy.
One hears a question quite regularly when working with salespeople. The question heard in many guises is ” Why is he more successful than me” ” Why can he sell the better accounts” ” Why is he always top when I work a lot harder” The answer of course is in the attitude, for the balanced alternative question is How? How can I be more successful – let me look at what he does that I do not. The opposing attitude to a negative perspective of WHY is always the more positive and enthusiastic approach of HOW.
Be thankful for your blessings, whatever your religion or lack of it. Spiritual health can give you an added boost. A belief in fate or a belief in that someone watches over you, or to some a faith in their god will all provide a boost to the inner mind. The mind is a fascinating, undervalued, under used and very significantly the most least understood element of the human being.
I read recently the human uses only 5% of the full capacity of the mind. In the same reading it was stated that it was possible to reverse the flow of blood in our bodies by using the spiritual mind. Many miracle events occur by operating mind over matter. The spiritual mind can transform an average performer to a very considerable better one.
The best recipe for any successful sales person is starting the day with a health body, healthy mind and a positive attitude.
There is more communicated in the moment before one speaks than in the few moments after. Preparation is nine tenths of any occupation in life. Many people agree with that wisdom. They understand that taking short cuts and proceeding into a sales campaign without thought is a recipe for failure.
The classic line from Lao Tzu’s ” Tao Te Ching ” a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step is analogous to the process of developing character relationships and achievements and success. When however that first step is missed or jumped over without consolidation and preparation. the resulting effect, perhaps not in the first part of the journey but certainly in the later parts , will lead to a confusion, chaos, and more often than not, failure
The real world is dog eat dog and I need the money, I need the deal, but doing what is so important at the commencement of any form of sales communication , i.e. the preparation, is the only basis for obtaining sustainable results and success.
The three most important factors affecting the results of all sales and partnership situations are preparation, preparation and preparation. Not only will confidence be prevalent in the presence of the professional salesperson, but this attitude will also be reflected by the ‘participating’ receiver.
In professional sports, use of videos to prepare is used extensively throughout the world for one reason only–it works! IF, in the professional sports environment of billions of pounds, preparation proves so valuable, obviously preparation in professional sales can only produce equally successful results.
A hypothetical salesperson meets with a potential customer. After the customary small-talk, some probing questions are posed pertaining to the customer’s situation. A presentation follows relating features and benefits in an effort to generate interest. An attempt to close concludes the effort with some testimonials used as reassurance.
The ‘still-potential’ customer requests a call-back in three weeks. The salesperson dutifully records the date in a time-planner and merrily goes on to the next appointment. When the call-back is made, the sales- person is surprised at how hard it is to make contact or how little interest is now shown.
The reason the above-mentioned person is referred to as ‘hypothetical’ is because wishful thinking would have us hope this would not happen in the real business world. Unfortunately, this type of presentation is very common and damages the reputation and status of the true sales professional.
A routinely mundane procedure always produces mundane, mediocre and meaningless results. The fact that preparation and planning were lacking is so strongly evident that although the results speak for themselves, they are usually invisible to the ‘hypothetical’ and sometimes ‘real’ salesperson.
Were the qualifying questions pre-designed based on advanced knowledge? Which benefits were most likely to apply based on answers to the probing questions? What were the three most likely reasons which might prevent forming a potential partnership–and, the ‘best’ responses? What three major advantages to the potential client were selected to be outlined according to the company, services and individuals involved?
How much time and effort really went into planning every segment of the anticipated situation and their impending results?
Always remember, the most successful route to a successful partnership is a well-planned spontaneous presentation and that is not hypothetical.