12 Top Best Practices for Successful Sales Professionals – Part One – by Cindy Stradling CSP,CPC
For the month of August am going to republish an earlier series of blogs. During my sales training programs I am often asked about the best practices I have adopted for myself over the years. I have distilled them into twelve and will share three per week for the month of August.I have always believed that we are all in sales in one form or another so these best practices do not only apply to those in the selling profession and can be applied to many situations.
1) Attitude is everything – this may not sound like a best practice, but believe me it is. How we do anything is how we do everything. If your attitude is negative or cynical before you undertake any task it will definitely affect not only your results, but the experience of everyone who interacts with you. Before you pick up the phone, go on a sales call or interact with others in your organization, do a personal check in. Do an attitude check and ask yourself “Am I present and focused right now. Is my intention positive or negative?” When I do this I ask myself “Am I working in Mediocrity or Mastery today?” I always choose Mastery and it sets the tone and my results for the day.
2) Goal, objective and targets – setting BIG goals and high targets has always been the way I go about setting my objectives for the year. I set annual, quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily goals. I find by keeping the BIG goals in sight, broken down as daily actionable items really helps me stay on track. Monthly I review my activities to see where I am on or off target and take any necessary actions. I have a call sheet that I created so I can track my daily activities such as calls, proposals submitted or connections made, again a simple visible tool to let me know how I am doing. There is a saying I heard years ago “Inch by Inch Success is a Cinch” and it sounds simple but it really does come down to what you do with your minutes to achieve your desired outcomes.
3) Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan – this is the Intel slogan that I am in total agreement with. In addition to setting my goals and targets for the year, I also create an annual plan for marketing, new program offerings, newsletters and sources for new prospects. There are 5 questions that I learned from a Landmark Education leadership program to ask myself when I am creating my plan that really help:
a. What do I know to do? (what’s obvious)
b. What am I saying I will do? (get present to what you say)
c. What do others expect me to do even though I haven’t said I would do it?
d. What do I have to do to have my work complete?
e. What do I have to do to do this as it was meant to be done?
I find when I ask these questions it gives me a deeper connection and commitment to my plans, yielding me greater results.