Habits of the Successful Salesperson

businessman meditating on dollar bill

“The chains of habit are generally too small to be felt until they are too strong to be broken” – Samuel Johnson

If you were to follow around the most successful salesperson you know for a week and then do the same with a failing salesperson, the differences would be glaring. It boils down to successful habits. What you do habitually in small incremental actions adds up to huge differences in results by the end of just one week.

Recently, I was visiting a dealership where some of the salespeople had attended a recent sales seminar that I had conducted. One of the attendees of my seminar was their top salesperson. He has been in the business for only a year and a half, but is selling over twenty units a month with a large portion of the sales coming from referrals and business from his database of customers.

The salesperson was showing me his daily plan and the system he was using to produce the success he was achieving. As with most things it was not rocket science, but rather simple in nature and just required habitual execution. The eye opener was in observing what many of the very veteran people were not doing and the lack of results they were getting as a result of bad habits.

It’s very simple to discover the foundations of success. You can break success down into the categories of goals, game plans, execution, review, and attitude. All of these items seem to be intertwined. One tends to beget another.

Do you believe in yourself and do you have faith in your actions? Successful people may have, as the song says, “moments of doubt and pain”, but they still keep believing they are worthy of success. Successful people take action based upon their beliefs and keep at it.

Try this checklist.

#1 – Do you have written goals for you and your achievements for the week, month year, five years, and even your life? If not, stop making excuses and sit down and write them out. Your brain is a natural goal seeking computer, so use it.

#2 – What is your daily game plan on how you will spend your time? How will you break down your day based upon the following: Self education, practice, customer acquisition/marketing, customer follow-up, face to face selling time etc?

#3 – What are all the ways you market yourself? “Lead generation equals dollar creation.” I had expressed in my seminar that all salespeople should have refrigerator magnet business cards and personality based business cards with pictures or caricatures, call to action for information utilizing both sides and different ways to enter your marketing web such as your own website, social media sites etc. All cards should also offer something informational for free. The top salesperson had already created the business card tools and was using them to get results. One is a horrible number in sales. If you rely on one method to acquire customers you will experience uneven to bad results.

#4 – What are your personality driven methods to follow up and engage with customers? The top salesperson was using a software program to follow up sequentially with all sold customers prospects, unsold customers, and referrals. He had a game plan and executed. The top salesperson is a not young man born in the computer age and has no outstanding technical skills, but yet has set up his own CRM system that benefits him and is open to using any and all technology that benefits him. I showed him a simple but robust email system to add to his plan and he immediately invested in it and began a plan to use it.

#5 – As noted above, the salesperson was immediately willing to invest in his education, tools and anything else that would advance him. “The universe will not move towards you until you move towards it. In any economy the single best investment you will ever make is in yourself. Successful people practice this habitually and unsuccessful people make excuses such as I cannot afford it. The reality is that you cannot afford not to. Successful people never say they cannot afford, instead they ask “How can I afford…” and find the answer.

There is a Hindu Proverb that says “Pray, but move your feet.”

#6 – Have faith but be willing to adjust. You cannot quit taking action, because you did not get results in a week or a month. Persistent equals consistent. However, you must monitor and measure everything and adjust accordingly. Do not quit but adjust.

#7 – Be aware of the intentional congruence when you add goal setting, game plans, actions, reviews and attitude together. One feeds the other. When you set goals and seek them habitually you will have a better attitude. More options will reveal themselves and allow you to review what you do and how you do to become better. The more results you get the more you want to quantify and qualify your actions. Action begets more action. And, good habits create good attitudes that create success. Everything is intertwined and dependent upon another.

There is an old saying that I call the “Tree of Success.” Thoughts lead to words and words lead to actions. Actions create habits and habits create results. Results shape your character and destiny. Examine this daily to create your habits of success.

Mark R. Tewart is the author of How To Be A Sales Superstar – Break All the Rules and Succeed While Doing It. For more information, visit his website, www.marktewart.com.

Michael Bowen


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