Salespeople hate rules. They fight them more than follow them. How do you do at following rules? There's a big difference between company rules and sales rules -- but if you're not following one, chances are your not so hot at the other. Welcome to part three of a challenge to your basic sales skills.
These rules are designed to make you aware of knowledge gaps in your sales skills, and reinforce what you know you should be doing -- but might not be. You can gain maximum benefit if you follow the ABC's...
A. Evaluate yourself on each rule - Be honest -- this is a self-evaluation, not a place to brag -- it's an opportunity to get real with the most important person on earth -- you! Put a number in the box that represents your present skill level in each rule. 1=poor, 2=average, 3=good, 4=very good, 5=the greatest.
B. If you're between good and poor (sometimes or rarely) in any rule, make an action plan to get excellent.
C. Do it.
53. Close the sale...on the same words the prospect gave you when he was answering his "biggest need" question.
54. Ask for the sale...Sounds too simple, but it works.
55. After you ask a closing question, SHUT UP...The first rule of sales.
56. If you don't make the sale, make a firm appointment to return...Make some form of sale each time you call.
57. Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up...If it takes between five and ten exposures to a prospect before a sale is made, be prepared to do whatever it takes to get to the 10th meeting. (secret: Ask the prospect how they would like you to follow up -- they'll tell you.)
58. Redefine rejection...They're not rejecting you, they're just rejecting the offer you're making them.
59. Anticipate and be comfortable with change...A big part of sales is change. Roll with it to succeed. Fight it and fail.
60. Follow rules - Salespeople often think rules are made for others. Think again. Broken rules will only get you fired.
61. Team up with co-workers...Work internally as a team to serve the customer in the best way possible. Sales is never a solo effort. Team up with your co-workers so you can partner with your customers.
62. Never argue. Never argue. Never argue...With a prospect or customer. Even if you win, you lose.
63. Negative emotions inhibit sales...They block clear, creative thinking.
64. Deliver more than expected...The day before it's due.
65. Surprise your customers...So they'll talk about you to someone else.
66. Treat every customer as though they were the king or queen of England...Or some imagined celebrity.
67. Treat others the way you want to be treated...Provide the same service you expect to get. Put yourself in the other person's shoes. Do they fit?
68. Satisfy a customer's complaint in less than 24 hours...Positive recovery leads to more sales and a great reputation.
69. Don't blame others when the fault (or responsibility) is yours...Take full responsibility for your actions, what happens to you, and the success of your company. Accepting responsibility is the fulcrum point for succeeding at anything. Doing something about it is the criteria. Blame yourself for lost sales.
70. Understand that hard work makes luck...Take a close look at the people you think are lucky. Either they or someone in their family put in years of hard work to create that luck. You can get just as lucky. Success and failure are not accidents or luck driven.
71. Harness the power of persistence...Are you willing to take no for an answer and just accept it without a fight? Can you take no as a challenge instead of a rejection? Are you willing to persist through the 5-10 exposures it takes to make the sale? Be as tenacious and persistent as you were when you were 4-years old and asked your mom for a candy bar in the supermarket.
72. Find your success formula through numbers...Determine your own numbers for success - how many leads, calls, proposals, appointments, presentations, and follow-ups it takes to get to the sale. Then follow the formula.
73. Develop and practice networking skills...The most powerful business tool in the 21st century.
74. Spend more than 10 hours a month networking...The only way to get results is to be in front of people.
75. Develop a 30-second personal commercial...That gains interest in your product or service. Practice it until it's perfect.
76. Write on the back of business cards...The only way to capture and remember important information while networking.
77. Design and invest in a great business card...It's your image after you leave. Have a business card that people talk about. This is the end of part three. The reality of these rules hurts doesn't it? Please realize the rule/test is designed to help you -- if you're willing to get real with yourself. The end of the challenge tomorrow.
Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Knock Your Socks Off Selling and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless; Customer Loyalty is Priceless. To order Jeffrey's many books and/or audios and videos, go to www.yoursuccessstore.com. (c) 1999 All Rights Reserved.