As Bob Rotella told us at Pendulum Summit, major winning golfers obviously have a lot of talent, but more importantly they have a process that they follow to ensure they are successful and they practice it over and over to ensure they can perform consistently well. As Arnold Palmer once said “the more I practice the luckier I get.”
The same is true for master salespeople. Yes, there is an element of skill to becoming a great salesman, but like all skills they can be learnt, it just means that some people learn faster than others, but if you have the determination and discipline, these will more than compensate for any lack of skill. Becoming master salesman can be broken down into four simple stages:
First Stage: Understanding Sales
The first stage is to understand what selling is all about. Many people have the belief that sales is a bad thing because they hate being sold to and have probably had a bad experience of a bad salesperson in the past. People like to buy but they do not like to be sold to. If you change your sales belief to one of “professionally helping people to buy” then suddenly sales can take on a whole new meaning.
The Second Stage: Improve
The second stage is to improve your skill at sales, and like all skills there are two ways to do this and the best way is to use both. Education, via reading, courses, online tutorials and real life practice. “Just Do It” as NIKE say.
The Third Stage: Build Your Process
The third stage is to build your sales process. A framework we recommend to clients was devised by one of the best sales trainers in the world, Tom Hopkins, and comes from his book “How to Master the Art of Selling”.
This sales process involves 4 steps:
- Build Trust
- Find the Need
- Show How You can Help
- Hurry to a Close
The process has to be carried out in this order.
Step 1: Build Trust
If you have not built Trust with your prospect then you will never sell to them, and this is the feeling you get when you are being sold to.
Step 2: Find The Need
Need has to come before Help , because if we do not truly understand what the prospects needs and wants are then how can we be sure what we are offering to help with is actually the right thing. The only way to really know the need is to ask questions and listen. Have you ever met a sales person who launches into a speel about how wonderful their product is before they have asked you a single question?
Step 3: Show You Can Help
The third step is to successfully educate and communicate how your product/service can help them meet their need. It might be fantastic but if they do not understand then they will not buy.
Step 4: Close The Sale
Only when you have completed all three of the previous steps can you attempt to close the sale, but close it you must. If you work hard on steps 1-3, helping them buy will be easy and natural, but if you forget then all that work is wasted and you rarely get a second chance.
The Fourth Stage: Measure & Improve
The fourth stage to becoming a sales master is constant and never ending improvement or Kaizen as the Japanese call it. In your sales process, your main feedback source will be your Key Performance Indicators, such as conversion rate, number of transactions, average value of sale. So you need to constantly analyse these figures then set new goals and plans to improve them.
Sometimes you will need help to see what is going right as well as going wrong and this is why more and more business people are following the lead of sports stars and getting themselves a coach who can provide independent and professional feedback. As the old saying goes “you cannot see your own bald spot”.
If you want to build a great business you have to build a great sales process. Are you ready to take Action to become a Sales Master? If you would like to discuss how we can help you achieve this goal take a moment to request a call back below.
Tell Me More
Leadership & Culture
Learning & Development