What do the best salespeople do?

‘Selling is a numbers game! If my people are making 500 sales calls @ month and closing 15 sales, then we need to make 1000 calls and close 30 sales. It’s simple math. Right? And make sure that your closing skills are sharp. Selling is as simple as ABC. Always Be Closing. Right?’

Sometimes I hear this from clients early in a sales call. But is this really so? Well; not quite that simple. Come to think of it: Why not? And what do the best salespeople really do?

Firstly, selling is a two-sided coin. The other side is, of course, buying. It is therefore not surprising that the most effective sales professionals focus not on their selling process, but rather on their customers’ buying cycle. And there’s a mountain of research on buying behavior to guide them.

Secondly, the most effective salespeople have long abandoned Solutions Selling – a concept promulgated by John H. Patterson, founder of NCR from as far back as 1895, 112 years ago.

Thirdly, the most effective salespeople don’t just focus on the number of calls that they make. Instead, they see themselves as brokers of capabilities whose stock-in-trade is business insights. Not products. In fact the best don’t even focus on closing sales. They don’t make more calls. They make better calls – investing their time in uncovering needs clients never that knew they had, and creating and nurturing customers relationships for life.

Still want to double your sales? My friends who go bird shooting have long learnt that it’s not how many shots you fire. Effectiveness is about segmenting and positioning yourself to hit your target.

Happy hunting, my selling friends. Selling is a great game. Just don’t let them catch you doing it!

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