I was a BAD Salesman

7 Aug

snakeoil salesman

About 15 years ago, I went to a sales training course and on the first day, took a sales assessment. Despite selling for over 5 years, I scored below average on the assessment and really took it to heart realizing that I had to make some changes. Since I started my business almost 10 years ago, my close ratio has steadily increased (and I aced the same sales assessment when I retested two years ago!).

Below are 8 things I’ve changed in my sales process:

  1. Be real. Being authentically ME was the #1 thing I’ve learned over the years. They buy from the genuine Drew – so I don’t say anything I don’t believe. I never “act” when I’m in front of the buyer. I laugh and tell clean jokes (most people like them!).
  2. Be curious. I was already curious but talked too much – and therefore didn’t listen enough. Today, I ask more open-ended questions and really listen to the prospect or customer’s words (and body language). A universal truth: if you are listening, people immediately like you more.
  3. Be willing to lose. Often, the worst thing a salesperson can do is be overly-persistent with the wrong prospects. When I stopped caring about failure, my work became much more efficient.
  4. Don’t cold call. 99% of my clients know me or are referred to me. So, I stopped knocking on cold doors.
  5. Say NO. I can’t do it all and have disappointed many in the past. Now I only make promises I can keep.
  6. Help them see the big picture. I enjoy selling to small and mid-size owners and CEO’s because they understand the overall goals of their business. If I can get them to discuss the connection between sales and their long-term goals, we are having a unique conversation that they aren’t having with my competitors.
  7. Go slow. I always persist until the sale does or doesn’t happen, but I give them time (when it’s clear that they need time). Many of my sales happen 6-18 months after the initial conversation.
  8. Follow a process. Salespeople hate scripts, but I’m a believer in repeating what works. I have certain verbiage I use for initial prospect calls over the phone. I have standard questions I ask on every first appointment. I follow something similar to the Sandler Sales process. You don’t have to memorize everything but I believe there’s a “science” to sales that we can’t ignore.

Your quest to become a great salesperson should never end. What do you need to work on?

Forward, never straight~ Drew



It’s time to grow faster.


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