#1. Slow Down. You’re operating at an abnormally frenetic pace: daily call reports, weekly conference calls, monthly quotas. Selling is no longer about being the fastest runner—it’s about running the smartest race. If you’re running too fast, you will overshoot your target. Slow down. Slow. Down.
#2. Think. If you slow down, you’ll be able to think more clearly. Sales is not the same as it used to be. Persuasion has been replaced with collaboration, speed with agility and strength with strategy. Today’s winning salespeople are deliberate. Those who think are able to win deals with consistency.
#3. Plan. If you slow down and think, you can plan. The value of planning cannot be overstated. Although it’s a tedious affair, it leads to better outcomes. Whether they are planning to make a sales call or to attain some other objective, the best salespeople plan. The effort that it takes is far outweighed by the confidence and capability it instills. Knowing what to do is very powerful.
#4. Learn to negotiate or get another job. This skill is so critical that salespeople should seek training themselves if their company doesn’t offer it. The ability to negotiate goes beyond just defending your price—it is foundational to developing and demonstrating a value-added relationship with your customer.
#5. Price may not be as important as you think. Price is typically only one component of a larger value proposition. When you find yourself in a negotiation, be sure to get all the sources of value on the table. Make certain that the customer knows what else you have to offer—what other benefits do they stand to receive? If the negotiation takes place solely on price, you have done a disservice to both yourself and to your customer.
#6. What makes a good lead…depends. Many believe if the buyer has a need, a budget, a timeline, and a buying process, then the stage is set for a successful purchase. But, if the deal is unwinnable, then it’s not really qualified. The buyer might be ready to buy, but that doesn’t mean he/she’s ready to buy from YOU.
#7. Demonstrate value or die. If your revenue model is very closely tied to your customers’ perception of value and/or if you rely on repeat customers for your livelihood, then you must demonstrate value before the next purchase decision. Otherwise, you’ll be fighting a losing battle, because history will not be on your side.
#8. Market Price. The ‘market price’ is a customer euphemism for the lowest price that anyone has ever spoken aloud. Don’t lead a race to the bottom just because someone tells you a lower price exists. You shouldn’t have to give away your products—they deserve a price that reflects the true value you provide to your customers. If your customers won’t buy at a price that you want to sell, then politely walk away. Let ‘the market’ have the business instead.