Rules for Life

So, You Want to be in Sales?

Salespeople in movies and television are glorified, always depicting a lavish lifestyle while closing the big deals. Yes, it can absolutely happen for anyone, but it does not happen overnight. People can be naturally gifted in sales, but even Jordan Belfort “the Wolf of Wall Street” had to practice the basics. If you want to make six or seven figures as a salesperson, and you dream of whipping around a Lamborghini with a beautiful person in the passenger seat, begin your career with these four simple rules.

Before we jump into the rules, we must state that it is imperative to gain an understanding of what the definition of success is within the organization you work at. Study the top earners and figure out what’s paying the big bucks.

    What types of accounts are buying?
    How long do they buy for?
    What products do they buy?
    What does that sales cycle look like?
    Where are they getting the leads from?

This will help you shape your strategy. Once you have that down, there are four key sales principles that will ensure your success:

1- Fix Problems. Without dissatisfaction, there is no basis for a sale. It’s your job as a seller to understand what the needs of the prospect are. The only way to do this is by asking questions. So, calls/pitches/meetings should be filled with lots of questions coming from you. Once you understand their needs, you can move them to a close. The product you suggest to them should provide solutions to the problems they’ve communicated to you.

2- Stay disciplined. It’s very easy to let the stress of the job take you off course. Accept that it’s a rollercoaster, and never get too high when you’re winning, or too low when your losing. Discipline will help you do this. Have a routine that you go through every day. Organize your time for various activities throughout the day. You should have a set time to respond to emails, another time to do cold reach outs, and additional time for current clients, etc. Never stop prospecting.

3- Goal Setting. As part of being disciplined, set goals that are short term, measurable, and realistic. It will help you stay on course and self-correct when necessary. Instead of saying “I want to close a million dollars this quarter”, think of the things you’ll need to do to get there and make those your goals.

  • 60 reach outs per day
  • 10 in person meetings per week
  • ask at least 5 questions in meetings
  • always send follow ups within 48 hours
  • prospect for one hour daily

So on and so forth…

4- Ask for the Business. So many sales people go through the motions of prospecting and then the meeting and pitch, but fail to actually ask for the deal. Sure, the meeting feels nice and comfortable, and I’m sure the prospect really “likes” you and the product, but if they haven’t committed to any type of next step, your deal is dead in the water.

This does not mean you should ask someone to buy after a first meeting (although it happens in some professions). It means that, if they are actually serious about buying, they need to commit something to you, which you have to ask them for. Once this happens, you have to hold them to the commitment by following up with them. The commitment could be a proposal, a follow up meeting with key stakeholders, or a trial campaign. It should always include a time frame.

Whatever it is, make sure you aren’t afraid to ask for it. They know you are a salesperson and that it’s your job to sell them something. Don’t be uncomfortable doing your job! If you don’t ask them for a commitment, another salesperson will, and there goes your commission.

If you can nail down these four behaviors, you’ll get to the next level as a salesperson. Oh, and don’t spend your commission all in one place!

– Your Big Bro