Sales is a numbers game. In fact, it’s two numbers games. There’s one game of financial numbers, and another game of hitting numbers with people. If your numbers aren’t what you want them to be, you might be playing the game wrong.
The five issues below can help you determine what you’re doing – or not doing – to hurt your sales. If you can pinpoint your problems, you can open yourself up to growth and find solutions.
Problem #1: Lack of Desire
There are a lot of people in sales who hate sales. They have no desire to be in this line of work. Perhaps they heard that you can make a lot of money in sales. Or maybe one thing led to another and it sounded like a good job at the time, but it’s not enjoyable work for them. Or maybe they used to like sales, but a few years down the road, they lost the desire for it.
If you relate to any of these situations, you either need to find some motivation and decide you do want to be in sales, or you need to get out. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people do make a lot of money in sales, but you have to want it.
Problem #2: Failure to Set Goals
Sales is an industry that absolutely requires being results-focused. If you’re not setting specific goals, whether they’re measured monthly, quarterly, or annually, you will not have the success you want. You need to be constantly bettering your skills and setting goals, and measuring results helps you do that. If you are not a natural goal setter, don’t simply disregard that part of the job and try to work around it. It may take more work for you to learn the habit of goal setting, but it’s a necessary step in personal growth if you want to be a great salesperson.
Problem #3: Bad Attitude
A negative attitude isn’t appreciated in any line of work, but it’s a huge hindrance in sales. Your job is to speak to a need or desire that customers have and inspire them to buy your product. I haven’t seen many motivational speakers with bad attitudes, and that’s because you can’t be inspirational if you’re not inspired yourself. You also can’t fake this; people will see right through you if you are negative.
If you’re in sales, have a good job, and can make good money, that’s a great thing! Focus on these positive aspects of your life throughout the workday, and your optimism will be apparent to customers.
Problem #4: No Interest in Studying Your Profession
People are your profession. You must study them in order to sell to them. Different people find different things offensive and appealing. There is a wide variety of personality types, ethnic backgrounds, and economic statuses in the world. The more you understand your customers, the easier it will be to connect to them and communicate effectively.
You should also have an understanding of who your customers should be. Too many salespeople spend too much time in front of the wrong people, who either can’t – or won’t – buy their products. A greater understanding of your customers leads to more efficient use of your time.
Problem #5: Not Believing in Your Product
You can’t sell something you don’t believe in (at least not well). If you don’t believe in your product, get out of that job and find something to sell that you can really stand behind. You don’t have to necessarily be a customer as well as a salesperson, but you need to believe in the product. For example, if you sell $20-million yachts, you don’t have to own one, but you do have to believe that you’re selling the highest-quality yacht that money can buy.
If you want to be a successful salesperson, you need to take a long look at yourself and your sales history. You need to be willing to grow and improve in areas in which you might be weak. If you can take your profession seriously and dedicate yourself to these improvements, you can be as great as any salesperson out there.
By David Neagle
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