Sales Tips for the Optimal Salesperson

This page is dedicated to helping you become the best salesperson you can be. These one minute sales tips will help make you more effective and earn more money. Each Tip is a single actionable nugget designed to move you toward effortless high performance … In short to become the Optimal Salesperson.

Born or Made2

Are You Confident Enough To Be Humble?

Confidence in your ability and in your solution is necessary to be effective in selling. However, confidence can be interpreted as arrogance if you are not careful. When you are in the discovery phase of the sales process you need to be humble enough to ask questions with a sincere curiosity to understand the perspective of the prospect. Anyone can uncover the intellectual aspects of the problem that the prospect has, assuming that they have one. Only a person with the humility to understand that they do not know how this problem or situation affects the prospect personally will be effective at uncovering the real compelling reason to buy. Humility is required to refrain from prescribing a solution while they seek to understand the personal pain of the prospect. An ability to anticipate the problems the prospect might have coupled with the humility to ask questions, is essential to earning the trust of the prospect and truly qualify the opportunity.

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Declaring Your Honesty is Not Always the Best Policy


Honesty in a salesperson is to be expected. However when a salesperson utters the phrase “to be honest” before making a statement or answering a question it throws up a red flag in the mind of the prospect. He or she thinks “wait, what about the other things she told me, was she being honest then?” In most cases this is just a verbal tic. You say it without thinking and without meaning it literally. Sometimes it is just a way of being apologetic about what you are going to say. But in any case just eliminate it from your vocabulary. It may not be easy, but earning trust is hard enough without throwing questions into the prospects mind needlessly.

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Never Say “Trust Me”


Trust is important in Sales. However, one way to way to hinder your ability to develop trust is to use the phrase “trust me”. the immediate reaction of most people when they hear that is to ask themselves “why is he saying that?” the best way to develop trust is to be honest and authentic. Have a conversation with the prospect and you will develop trust naturally. Trust is something you earn. It grows over time. It is not something you have to ask for. And if you have to ask for it, your prospect may become suspicious of your motives.

Image courtesy of: purplejavatroll

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Look For Personal Pain

Salespeople who only focus on the problem the organization is having can miss the factor that is most likely to motivate the prospect to take action or to authorize purchase of your product or service.  Prospects are motivated by personal pain more than merely a problem that needs to be solved. Personal pain can be defined as how the prospect feels about the problem at hand. The first step is to understand the problem of course. the second step is to uncover how the problem affects the person you are talking to. but the most important step is to get the prospect to share with you how he or she feels about how the consequences of the problem affect their life. A company may be less efficient because of an outdated CRM. However consider two separate situations one in which the VP of Operations is focused on upgrading the manufacturing equipment and another in which the President has just informed him that the slow CRM is costing thousands of dollars in lost sales and told him his job is on the line if he doesn’t get it fixed. In which case does the CRM salesperson have a better chance of making sale? Yet most salespeople fail to uncover the real motivation and focus on show how good the CRM system will perform. The winner will be the one who gets to the real issue – the VP’s job security.

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Is Prospecting a High Enough Priority In Your Day?

It is never a crisis to make a sales call. No one ever gets a call saying “I was on your list to cold call today. You didn’t call and I am ticked off about it.” Sales calls get pushed down in priority because proposals, internal meetings, management reports, and even lunch present themselves as higher priorities during the day. If adding new prospects to your pipeline is important to you, then put prospecting time on your calendar and don’t move it, don’t cancel it and don’t forget it. Treat it like an appointment with your biggest prospect – It just may turn out to be just that. 

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The Only 4 Outcomes You Can Accept

Eliminate wasted time and increase sales by recognizing that letting prospects “think it over” is not an option.  There are only four acceptable outcomes for any sales call. You either get a “yes” which is a great outcome. Or you get a “no” which is not as great but not as bad as it sounds. You can get the prospect to agree to a clearly delineated action to happen at a specific time in the future. This is also OK they explicitly agree to a specific action at a specific time. Tacit (unspoken) approval of vague actions at a nebulous future date are not acceptable.  If you don’t get one of the first 3 acceptable outcomes then you must get a lesson in what you did wrong. If you don’t learn from your mistakes you are bound to repeat them and you will stunt your growth as a sales professional. If you get  enough lessons and apply them on subsequent calls you will eventually master the profession of selling and become the optimal salesperson and achieve effortless high performance.

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Call higher in the organization

Call higher in the organization. The higher the person in a business, the more pain within the organization they are aware of. If you call on someone in a particular department, they may only be aware of the pain in their department. Your product or service may not connect with their pain. However, the president of the company may know of four or five other departments in the organization who could benefit from your solution. The higher up you go in the organization, the less objections you may encounter. Why? The executives are aware of more problems your solutions can solve that are prevalent throughout the organization. There is another reason for why you should call higher in an organization? Your own courage and strength. It’s easier to call on a clerk or an assistant. However, calling the chief executive officer requires more confidence and self-assurance. Call on people at the top of an organization – you’ll be more successful.

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Use the words “yes and” instead of “yes but”

Use the word “yes and” instead of the words “yes but”. As soon as someone hears the phrase “yes but”, they get their backs up. Those two words sound confrontational. Intimidating. You are about to challenge them. Contradict them. Their defenses are immediately constructed. Does something a prospect said need to be challenged? Use the words “yes and” instead. For example, a client says they require 5 years of experience but you’ve only been in business for 3 years. You can say “yes it’s important to be in business for 5 years and it’s also important to have the right expertise.” You just opened the door to talk about your expertise, downplaying your lack of experience. The prospect isn’t intimidated by your challenging him or her. Use the words “yes and” to convey to your prospect you are in agreement AND you have more expertise to share.

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Do Something Different

Do something different. If you are getting a less than desired result by doing the same thing time after time, do something different. Change something in your approach to prospects. Ask a different question than you usually do. Try a new approach on one group of prospects and another new approach on another group of prospects. Which approach has better results? Don’t worry about the success of your change. Change in and of itself may be all your selling needs. It may boost your confidence or give you excitement about selling again. Do something different – something is certainly going to change.

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Be Curious

Be curious when the prospect says something you don’t understand. Many salespeople say “I don’t know” when they are asked why a prospect responded in a certain way. “I don’t know” doesn’t close deals. In fact, saying “I don’t know” about something a prospect has said is an excellent way to lose a deal. Your prospect has a real pain deep in their mind. Something frustrates them like nothing else does. You have to find what that real pain is. Unfortunately, the prospect isn’t going to say “Here is my real pain.” They are going to hide it from you – either deliberately or subconsciously (perhaps because they don’t know what it is themselves). You have to be curious. You have to ask questions. If a prospect says something odd, that’s an open door to explore deeper into their thought process. You explore by being curious. Ask questions. Find why on earth they just said the thing they said. Curiosity is the first step to asking the right question to get you to the real pain.

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