How does it feel when you’re at the top of your game?
Whether it’s sports, a hobby or work, when you’re performing well it’s an awesome feeling and the results are pretty spectacular.
Unfortunately, you don’t always perform at that level.
And when you’re not, it can be tough. Particularly in sales.
However, it is possible to reach the top and, most importantly, stay there – consistently hitting and exceeding your targets.
I’ve found mastering these three basic principles the key to achieving perpetual peak sales performance.
1. Discover Your Passion
If you’re passionate about what you’re selling, it’s incredible how much easier it is for people to buy from you.
And it’s not just that it’s much easier and more enjoyable to do something you’re passionate about, passion can also be contagious.
Take real estate for example. Don’t sell houses. Sell homes. Sell places where memories are made, children are brought up, parties are held, and love is nurtured.
See the difference?
The individual features, like 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and 195m2, are not exciting but the story you create is.
Ignite your prospect’s passion by enrolling them in your story – why you’re selling what you’re selling, humanise what you want them to buy, and connect with them on an emotional level.
Becoming passionate is an attitude and mindset.
Only you can choose to be passionate about what you’re selling and believe that your product or solution will make a real difference to your customers’ lives.
You can also choose to believe that you can be the best salesperson.
Selling is, after all, a race. There is a loser and a winner. Being passionate will help you win but it will also help you avoid making excuses when you don’t win a sale.
Instead, you’ll view the experience as an opportunity to learn.
One of my passions is helping people succeed in business and in sales.
I flunked out of school and was headed down the wrong path, but I was fortunate enough to discover things I was passionate about and turn my life around.
I eventually ended up in business, where I’ve both been very successful and hit rock bottom.
I’ve made so many mistakes and failed over and over again. But I’ve kept going, learning from the times I didn’t win and I’m now using my passion to help others avoid my mistakes and be successful.
2. Take Action
The next principle is taking action. A skilled sailor is not made by sitting on the shore. At some point, we need to push our boat out and act.
After I left school, I ended up working for my Uncle who was a bricklayer (the work was so tough I wanted to go back to school! But that’s another story…), before I was offered a building apprenticeship by one of his contractors.
My Uncle said, “Sharn, this is the best opportunity you can take. Get an apprenticeship. Get qualified. Become a builder. It will set you up for life.”
So, I gave it shot. And, three years later, apprenticeship in hand, I walked off the job and started my own building firm – which would grow to 25 staff and a turnover of over $25 million per year.
That’s the power of taking action.
There are three parts to action.
Planning or goal setting gives us focus and engages our RAS (Reticular Activating System).
Our RAS is the portal through which nearly all information enters the brain (smells are the exception; they go directly into your brain’s emotional area).
The RAS filters the incoming information and affects what you pay attention to, how aroused you are, and what is not going to get access to your brain.
We need to be constantly learning, about our trade, features, and customers.
Learning should never end, and we should open ourselves up to always learn more.
You can’t sell it if you don’t know it inside and out. You will relate better to your clients’ needs when you know without having to go away for too long the solution that will suit their situation, lifestyle and dreams.
And, by continuously learning, you become more confident and come across as more professional.
The final stage of action is exactly that – do it!
When you are sitting at your desk and are unsure what to do next, don’t get distracted by things you can’t control.
- If the leads aren’t phoning you. Phone them.
- If you haven’t heard from your prospect. Go visit them.
- Don’t wait 24 hours to follow up. Ask for your next appointment while you are with them.
It doesn’t matter the outcome, as by just doing something, you will move further forward. Imperfect action still gives you traction.
3. Own the Outcomes
E + R = O. The Event, plus your Reaction, equals the Outcome.
Too often we use the event as an excuse to stop or throw in the towel and the outcome is left to chance.
Or we react negatively to the event and the outcome is a negative one.
I ran my construction company for almost 14 years until the Global Financial Crisis hit and all I was left with was what I had when I started – the tools on my toolbelt.
Poor systems and processes and customers not paying their bills are what led to the company’s downfall. However, it was too late to do anything once the GCF hit.
The event was my company went under. I then had a choice about my reaction.
It was tough and I wanted to give up on everything. But I didn’t. I did my best to pay my creditors what I could and then over the next 7 years worked towards an MBA and focused on learning from my mistakes.
I utilise what I learnt in my current businesses and these are lessons that I teach others so that they can avoid the mistakes I made.
In sales, think about how you react to client objections and requests, and the impact your reaction (positive or negative) can have on the outcome.
The second part of owning the outcomes is responsibility and accountability.
We are responsible by default. Responsible to our employer, partner, franchisor and/or client. But often we miss being accountable.
The difference with accountability is being accountable assumes we are already responsible, but now we are going to report our actions to someone we trust who will hold us to account against our goals.
In order to reach the top and stay there, we need to have an accountability partner. Someone who will call us at any time and check in on our progress, someone who we regularly check in with to report how we are progressing towards our goals.
I’ve had a number of people over life who have held me accountable and this is a service we provide as part of our sales coaching.
Overall, mastering these three principles will help out-sell your competitors, get to the top of your field and consistently stay there: discover your passion, take action, and own the outcomes.
We have a number of events and programmes specifically designed to help salespeople and business owners achieve perpetual peak sales performance. Get in touch to find out more.
Sharn Piper – Partner, Attain NZ
Hi, I’m Sharn, and I love nothing more than getting that ecstatic phone call from a client who has just smashed their sales targets after a session with Attain.
Over the course of my career I’ve led numerous sales teams, built multiple successful businesses and learnt how to craft a sales process that is robust, repeatable and produces consistent results.
I love a challenge and have acquired a reputation for being quick to get to the core of the issue and find out-of-the-box solutions to unleash better sales. These skills have proven useful time and time again as I’m approached to boost the results of high-performing teams wanting to take business to a whole new level.
027 733 4333, firstname.lastname@example.org