The goal of all sales training is not just to teach solid selling principles and techniques, but to actually help participants increase the number of new accounts (products and/or services) they sell and improve their multiple sales ratios. Unfortunately, many sales and service industry professionals gain an intellectual awareness of the methods of selling from the sales training they receive, yet fail to improve their bottom line sales results by systematically using the concepts in their daily transactions. See my article, The Processionary Caterpillar Syndrome Costs You Sales?
There are a number of methods you can use to move beyond an intellectual awareness of sound sales techniques. By applying some of these ideas, you can begin to see a steady improvement in the number and scope of your sales transactions. These concepts can help any sales professional drill-for-skill the vital selling principles needed to become a sales leader. Really all it takes to be successful in sales is just a little practice and perseverance.
Give Yourself Permission To Succeed
To become a sales leader in any kind of business only requires that you give yourself permission to succeed. In sales, as in every endeavor in life, it is your attitude not your attributes that count. There is no reason you can not be extremely successful at selling your company’s products and services, if you make up your mind to do the job.
William James, a Harvard Professor and the man many view as the father of American Psychology, wrote in 1895:
“The greatest discovery of my generation is, that a human being can alter his circumstances in life by altering his attitude of mind.”
James also gave people a formula for achieving an altered attitude of mind. He simply told them to “act as if” they were already successful and this act alone could make them successful. If you act as if you have changed or act like a different person, according to James, you must change or become a different person. If a sales professional acts as if she can sell, her sales ratios and product account closings can do nothing but improve.
By releasing your “inner brakes” and seeing yourself using the sales and customer service techniques you have learned, you can become extremely successful in your efforts to sell your company’s products and services. If you want to consistently produce multiple sales transactions, just let yourself go and you will start to see the success you are seeking. You have the right to be successful. The only thing that can stop your improvement and ultimate success is yourself. Tell yourself that it is all right to produce outstanding sales results; and then, begin envisioning the success you expect to achieve.
Use Affirmations To Produce Success
To help you consistently execute the sales techniques you have learned, use affirmations to change the way you think and perform. Affirmations can also help release your internal breaking system.
We gravitate to our dominant thought patterns. By using affirmations (“I can,” “I am,” etc.), you can create dominant thoughts about specific sales methods that will help you to move away from your fears (the fear of failure or of looking foolish) toward successful sales transactions. Write down a series of positive affirmations about the sales process or a specific technique. Then read them over until you create the dominant thought patterns that produce success.
As we teach in all of our Sales Success workshops and discuss in detail in our published training material, it is vital to your sales success that you regularly affirm your selling skills and visualize successful transactions using the techniques you have learned. To succeed you must see yourself as one of your company’s top sales producers by regularly performing mental dress rehearsals for the position.
Repeat The Technique Until It Is Yours
As you are taught new sales techniques you need to practice them on the job as well as in your mind, until you can use them in each transaction without even thinking about their use. We call this level of sales proficiency “unconscious competence.”
Many sales professionals, try a new sales approach only once or twice before rejecting it out of hand or deciding that it will not work for them. True professionals; however, diligently practice a new sales concept until they can execute it without even thinking about it. This approach (going beyond an intellectual knowledge of a sales method) sets top producers apart and can be seen in their extraordinary closing and multiple sales success. It is also quite noticeable in their pay checks as well!
Role-playing at each new sales technique with a co-worker is a powerful way to gain the ability to consistently use these concepts on the job. Remember; however, that practice does not make perfect. Only “perfect practice” makes perfect. So as you practice with other employees, try to be as accurate as you can in the execution of a given sales concept.
Set aside some time each working day to drill in the sales concepts you have been taught. Take them one at a time and master each one. It might surprise you how much more you will enjoy coming to work when you become truly proficient in building sales and long term customer relationships for your company.
Saturate Your Mind
Saturate your mind with sales and motivational materials. As you do this, you will move from an intellectual understanding of the sales techniques to a daily working knowledge of the methods you need to succeed, and you will have more than just an occasional thought about what you are trying to accomplish. What is needed to help you change your behavior is a constant positive saturation of your mind by reading over the materials you have been given or the notes you have taken on the subject.
In his tapes, The Psychology of Selling, Brian Tracy tells his listeners that one of the best methods to increase sales success is to read then reread one of the best books on sales for 30 minutes each day. He feels this type of saturation will have a tremendous impact on the sales activity of an individual. Research from Stanford University indicates that you can learn more from reading the same book six times than you can from reading 40 books on the same subject.
Work Smarter Not Harder
Outstanding sales results come to those sales professionals who correctly follow and apply sound sales principles. They won’t do the work for you but they will lighten your load and give you an edge. All it takes to be successful at selling your company’s products is to want to improve the way you perform, see yourself using new selling techniques, give yourself permission to use the concepts and regularly practice them until they become second nature.
Best wishes for continued sales success,
P. S. If your looking for a tool that will help you to achieve the 9 to 12 impressions Stanford University researchers say are need to make a sale today, check out this site: http://instantsalesletters.com/go/Edge
About the author
VIRDEN THORNTON is the founder and President of The $elling Edge®, Inc. a firm specializing in sales, customer relations, and management training and development. Clients have included Sears Optical, Eastman Kodak, IBM, Deloitte & Touché, Bank One, Jefferson Pilot, and Wal-Mart to name a few. Virden is the author of Prospecting: The Key To Sales Success and the best selling Building & Closing the Sale, Fifty-Minute series books and Close That Sale, a video/audio tape series published by the Thompson Learning, Crisp Learning division. He has also authored a Self-Directed Learning series of sales, coaching & team development, telemarketing, and personal productivity training guides. Check them out at: http://www.TheSellingEdge.com/Book1.htm.
Virden teaches for the Center For Professional Development, Texas Tech University at Lubbock, Texas and in the School Of Entrepreneurship, J. Willard And Alice S. Marriott School Of Management at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. You can contact Virden at: Virden@TheSellingEdge.com. or learn more about him at: http://TheSellingEdge.com