Top Ten Characteristics of Top Sales Producers (Part Two)

I’d like to thank many of you for your emails and comments regarding last week’s ezine article on the first characteristic of making a commitment to doing whatever it takes to be a top sales producer.

For those of you who are committed, you’ll find your sales and confidence will instantly go up when you practice the next characteristic:

Top Characteristic Number Two: Learn, practice and then automatically deliver the best responses and closes to 90% of the selling situations you run into day in and day out.

This is absolutely huge. The strange thing is though: 80% of sales people simply won’t take the time or make the effort to do it.

I’ve always said that the best thing about sales is that 80 to 90% of the objections, stalls, put offs and situations you run into day after the day are the same. The blow offs you got yesterday, are the same ones you got last month and that you’ll get next month – and next year.

Think about it: how many times do you hear this when you prospect or cold call:

From the gatekeeper:

“Will he know what this call is regarding?”

From the prospect:

“I wouldn’t be interested.”

“We already have someone who handles that.”

“Just email me something.”

Do any of these sound familiar? Of course they do! And I’ll bet you could add another five or seven, couldn’t you?

And how about when you close a sale? How about:

“We just aren’t ready to make a decision yet.”

“I’m going to have to talk to my partner/spouse/committee.”

“Your price isn’t in our budget.”

Are these sounding familiar? Of course they are! And, once again, you could easily come up with about five or seven more.

And here’s the point: There are only about seven or nine objections or stalls per selling situation per product or service. You keep getting them over and over and over again!

Now here’s the problem: Most sales reps don’t take the time to develop, script out, and then practice, drill and rehearse the most effective responses until they know them backward and forward and can deliver them automatically like a pro.

Instead, 80% of sales reps (and sales teams!) choose to ad-lib a different response – or worse, an ineffective response – each time they get one of these repeatable stalls or objections. This makes them uncomfortable when they get resistance, makes them give up easily, and makes them not want to cold call or call people back to close them (classic phone resistance).

It makes their sales lives a living nightmare…

The top producers, on the other hand, have taken the time to develop, memorize and then deliver effective responses to these objections, and so they easily handle and overcome them. They are not afraid of getting resistance, instead, they’re prepared for it. Knowing what’s coming and being prepared for it enables them to listen to what their prospect is saying, allows them to question the objection and find out what is really holding a prospect back.

And this makes them confident. This allows them to stay in the game and overcome stalls and objections when other sales reps fold and go away. This allows them to persevere and get the sale.

In addition, it allows them to do their job easily and without stress because they know in advance what’s coming, and they are prepared for it!

It’s like with the objection of: “I’m going to need to ask the boss.”

Eighty percent of sales reps handle this incorrectly by saying something like: “Well, when should I call you back?”

By doing it this way, they simply create a stall, and then they worry that when they finally do hear back from the prospect, the answer will be, “Well, the boss doesn’t want to do it.”

How many times does this happen to you?

A top producer, on the other hand, handles this very differently. She would say:

“I understand and let me ask you something. If your boss likes this and tells you to do whatever you think is best, based on what we’ve just gone over, what would you likely do?”

This is called isolating the objection, and based on what the prospect then says, the top producer will take the next effective steps.

This is what I mean by knowing what’s coming in advance, and then being able to effectively, confidently and easily handle it.

And that’s your assignment for this week. Start by making a list of all the stalls, put offs and objections you get with your sale during the various stages of contact. Then commit to learning, scripting and then practicing the best responses to them.

Once you’ve found the ones that work (and I recommend you script out three or four responses for each objection), spend the time practice, drill and rehearse those best practice responses until you can deliver them automatically.

I’m reminded of the importance of this when I recall an interview with Don Shula of the Miami Dolphins. He said that his players practice each move, each technique over and over again until they are automatic.

He said that if his players get into a game situation and have to think about what to do next, it’s too late. He said they had to be able to respond instantly, automatically with the best technique in every situation they get into.

It’s the same with you and sales.

If you are willing to do this – again, what 80% of your competition won’t take the time and effort to do – then soon you will enjoy closing more sales, making more money, and living a more confident and successful life as a sales professional.