Discover the traits that identify people who are successful in sales because they manage to overcome many “no’s” to get one “yes”.
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In all of Derek Jeter’s coverage of the story, there is one fact that is not mentioned: through 12,000 record appearances, Jeter scored 1,800 hits, making him # 13 on the list of most strikes by any time. Even so, Jeter is considered one of the best baseball players of his generation. Like Babe Ruth before him, Jeter trained to overcome fear of strike in order to reach the grassroots.
The best salespeople do the same thing every day. Being a professional salesperson takes some kind of mental toughness to ignore all the times when they say “no” to a “yes” search. In my experience, there are five characteristics of super-sellers that help them:
1. They are people who achieve things
Salespeople invented the use of game mechanics in work areas – special incentives have been part of it for decades. Achievements (more than money) are the main motivators of salespeople. They want money, of course, but they also want the thrill of winning an account and being recognized by their peers.
2. You have a slightly distorted reality
The best salespeople don’t get frustrated. You have a Zen-like ability to focus on a specific task while spreading an aura of calm and confidence. In the early 1980s, the Macintosh development team used the term “Reality Distortion Field” to describe Steve Jobs’ charisma. Winners generally have this condition which enables them to face challenges.
3. You are Control freaks
The average tenure of a sales manager is 18 months. The reason it doesn’t take longer is that at some point you will be caught off guard by a wrong projection and not have enough time to make up for the lost deal. Because of this, the best salespeople are obsessed with every detail of the presentation. You rehearse for the meeting and get up early to fine-tune details. Good salespeople hate surprises, and the best way to reduce the chance of surprises is to focus on every detail of the process.
4. You are very loyal
The stereotype of salespeople is that they are constantly planning how to fill their pockets with customers’ money. While this can be the case with bad sellers, the opposite is often the case with exceptional sellers. The best are very loyal to their customers and try to solve their problems. If something goes wrong after the sale, work on fixing the situation. This is the social contract of all great salespeople.
5. You are paranoid
Sellers are optimistic. They have to survive their emotional roller coaster ride of winning or losing deals. However, that optimism is usually offset by a healthy dose of paranoia. The best salespeople are constantly wondering how something can go wrong. In one column they write how they could lose the sale and in the other write what they will do to minimize the risk.
Being persistent is half the battle. If you have what it takes to get a “no” to 50 consecutive calls only to get a “yes” to 51, you are well on your way to becoming an exceptional seller.