Some salespeople are content with staying in the middle of the pack. And then, there are those who take sales far beyond what their coworkers think possible, closing deals left and right, month after month, year after year.
While these wildly successful salespeople can have vastly different personalities, they usually have quite a bit in common when it comes to their beliefs and behaviors. Thankfully, most salespeople have the ability to join their ranks – it’s just a question of choices and willpower.
Here are seven factors that separate the most successful salespeople from everyone else:
1. Successful salespeople don’t waste time
There are too many distractions these days, many of them literally engineered to keep you engaged for as long as humanly possible. Successful salespeople, however, know how to turn these off and get to work. Sales is labor-intensive, whether we like it or not, and those who know how to get stuff done will always do better than those who don’t.
2. Successful salespeople focus on being consistent
Plenty of salespeople have good months followed by bad ones, but wildly successful salespeople know how to perform at a high level consistently. This is done by maintaining effort, sticking to a plan, and not taking their foot off the gas even when things are good. And if a successful salesperson does have a bad month (everyone usually does), they don’t allow it to stop them for putting in maximum effort the month after.
3. Successful salespeople are always looking forward
Sales has been described as rolling a boulder up a hill, but it’s actually more like searching for different boulders before simultaneously rolling a bunch of them up at the same time. Wildly successful salespeople are always on the hunt for their next boulder (deal), no matter how many boulders they have, or how close to the top they are. It’s this mindset that can keep your pipeline full and give you plenty of options for getting to your goal.
4. Successful salespeople have a story they tell themselves
It’s not enough to go to work and go through the motions if you want to achieve something great. Exceptional salespeople tell themselves a story in which they’re the protagonist in a “bigger” tale. Whether their sales role is one chapter on the way to an executive position, or a way to make as much money as possible before opening a chain of restaurants, successful salespeople are the stars of their novel, and constantly remind themselves where they are in their own story.
5. Successful salespeople understand (and employ) the fundamentals
Sales isn’t easy, but it is simple. Your job is to help convince as many people as possible that your product is the optimal choice. The best salespeople understand this, and don’t allow themselves to overcomplicate otherwise straightforward situations. Prospecting, sales presentations, follow-up, and closing: exceptional salespeople stick to the basics, over and over again.
6. Successful salespeople don’t let rejection and failure slow them down
Everyone gets rejected, even the most persuasive salespeople on the planet. It’s what you choose to do after, however, that can make all the difference. For most normal people, rejection stings. We need time to process it and to put ourselves into a more positive state of mind. The best salespeople, however, actually work harder after hearing the word “no.” This can make a huge difference in a profession with as many roadblocks as sales.
7. Successful salespeople believe in what they do
Perhaps one of the biggest unspoken differences between high-performers and everyone else is their belief in what they’re doing. If a salesperson only sees their task as a means to an end, they’re unlikely to ever put forth the effort required to achieve anything massive. Exceptional salespeople, however, have a belief and a commitment to their role, whether it’s out of appreciation, or a powerful sense of self-interest. In either case, if you don’t have that belief, it’s unlikely you’ll ever join the ranks of the best of the best.