In this post I am going to offer sales personal development tips you can immediately put to use. You have to get good at managing the peaks and valleys that are just a part of selling! Sales is TOUGH. Okay, that is the bad news. Here is the good news – top performing sales professionals are among the highest earning professionals. It is not uncommon to earn solid 6 figure incomes in sales and some even crack 7 figures! So what makes the difference?
Sales Personal Development Tip #1 – Know Your Numbers
What if I told you I know a couple guys who only win 3 in 10 tries. Many of you would go “wow – that is pretty bad” or even “losers!”. Then I tell you they are major league baseballs players and their batting average is 300. Does that change your perspective? By knowing your numbers or averages you are better able to mentally deal with what a win or a loss actually means. For me a NO just gets me one step closer to my next YES. I do not win all the time and I do not lose all the time. My goal is to always improve and increase my averages but the reality is that is a long term process.
Sometimes I get on a hot streak and close 6 or 7 in a row and then sometimes I lose 6 or 7 in a row. Here is what is comes down to. By knowing your numbers you actually create an internal expectation that you will hit those numbers consistently. This allows you to plan what you need to do to win enough to hit or exceed your targets. As a minimum I recommend you track the following numbers
- Prospecting to Appointment Number – how many ‘calls’ to get an appointment.
- Opportunity Number – how many appointments to find an opportunity
- Closing Ratio – how many opportunities to close a deal. If you want help closing check out this blog post.
Sales Personal Development Tip #2 – Learn from Every Loss
You should use every loss as an opportunity to learn something. Don’t be ‘bitter and twisted’ when you lose. Ask the customer for feedback on your proposal or solution. Do a ‘post mortem’ on the whole process. If this was a small opp do not spend a lot of time. If it was large or strategic you might want to dig a bit deeper. Was it price? Was it you?
Sales Personal Development Tip #3 – Apply the Lessons Learned!
Now this sounds a bit condescending but it is not. Have you heard the adage that “Knowledge is Power”? While it is not. It is only when you apply knowledge that you create power. There is a huge difference between knowing and doing. I know I should not eat junk food but I do it anyway.
Knowing is theoretical and Doing is practical. The only way you can improve your sales performance is to apply the lessons you have learned to your next activity. When you win, figure out what made the difference and don’t just do it more but try to improve on it too! Make continuous improvement part of your core values and then live that to the best of your ability. In a recent blog post I wrote about how to reduce your rejection rates – check it out here.
Sales Personal Development Tip #4 – Never Give Up!
I know it sounds trite or corny but it is as true as the bad cliches suggest. Winners never Quit and Quitters never Win. What does not Kill you makes you Stronger!! Etc, Etc. The emotional roller coaster of the peaks and valleys of sales can wear you out but only if you let that happen. By adopting a perspective that climbing out of the valleys is the path to long term sustained success you set yourself up for great rewards. The way to make that climb is to adopt Tips 1 through 3 above.
Sales Personal Development Tip #5 – Be Thick Skinned or Suck it Up!!
This is really all about controlling your emotions. It is okay to be upset or be bummed out when you lose a deal but only for a few minutes and not for a few days. You really do have to be thick skinned to survive and succeed in sales. If the pain of rejection or failure is greater to you than the pleasure of success then you will either quit, be fired for performance reasons or be miserable. Zig Zigler, a renowned sales trainer, used to say it is your Attitude and not your Aptitude that determines your Altitude!
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