Sales Tip Of The Month: Don’t Short-Circuit Your Sales Career

By: Doug Rooker
Vice President, Sales

Strategy 77 in sales guru Stephan Schiffman’s book, 101 Successful Sales Strategies – Top Techniques to Boost Sales Today, reads “Don’t Kid Yourself.” In my experience, this important “commandment” points out six common bits of self-deception that have short-circuited countless sales careers. Be sure they don’t zap yours.

  1. “That’s a good prospect.” Remember, the only true prospect is someone who commits specifically to work through the ENTIRE sales process with YOU. Anyone else should be considered an opportunity that you may want to turn into a prospect.
  2. “I have enough prospects for now.” What? Never! The vast majority of salespeople have fewer active prospects than they think. And if you fall into this empty period, it could take weeks or even months to grow your business prospects to an optimal level. Remember, prospect daily to support your ongoing sales goals.
  3. “That meeting went pretty well.” Are you sure? If the person you met with didn’t agree to meet or speak with you at a specific date or time in the future, it didn’t really go that well at all!
  4. “I can make this person do what I want to do.” The key to success in sales lies not in interpersonal manipulation but in gaining access to people and asking pertinent and intelligent questions that get a critical percentage of them to act when you make a recommendation. Translation: you can’t make someone do something he or she does not believe to be in his or her best interest.
  5. “I should be able to close this.” Should. Might. Ought. Conditional language is a real tip-off that there’s a problem somewhere in your sales strategy. If there is doubt, there’s trouble. If the prospect doesn’t want the sale to happen as much as you do, don’t count the sale!
  6. “I’ve got this job down.” Hero to zero can be a mighty quick trip in today’s economy. How? By neglecting personal and professional development. Keep learning. Keep growing. Keep asking, “How can I do better?” Then, be sure to listen to the answers
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