If there is a secret to building a superstar sales organization, it’s about choosing the right people, selecting the proper methodology and insisting on high levels of preparedness.
Understanding just what qualifies a salesperson as a superstar is crucial, as well, and evaluating salespersons by volume alone can put a remodeler on the wrong track.
While volume is a factor in the equation, it’s also important to ask if the salesperson sells profitably. On the surface, two salespeople who each sell $1 million would look like top performers, but if salesperson A ran half as many leads as salesperson B to sell that same million dollars, then salesperson A is extremely more profitable — and salesperson B may actually be unprofitable, explains, Brian Smith, senior account executive for Dave Yoho Associates, one of the oldest and largest home-improvement consulting firms in the United States.
Of course, there is more to being a sales superstar. “Our abundant research proves that selling is a science, not an art. Top performers understand how people buy,” Smith says. While they may buy emotionally with their right brain, they weigh that decision logically with their left brain. “The top sellers in an in-home, one-call-close environment understand how to appeal to the customer’s value system and balance their presentation both emotionally and logically,” he says, “all while maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction.”
"Our abundant research proves that selling is a science, not an art. Top performers understand how people buy.”
Brian Smith, senior account executive, Dave Yoho Associates
It takes a certain type of person — and more than just a script — to do this, he continues. Yoho Associates has a profile system to identify potential top salespeople, and while there are as many as 20 to 30 behavioral profiles identified by the tool, Smith says, Yoho’s research indicates four of these profiles have the potential to become a successful top seller.
The task, after identifying an individual who fits one of the four profiles, is to teach them how to use the methodology and follow the script.
It’s not just about the script, Smith says. “If it was just the script then why does a company have 10 salespeople, and one is a top producer and nine are average?” he asks. “They’re taught the same methodology but the key is learning to present that sales methodology in response to the customers’ value systems and needs instead of [the salesperson’s] value system.”
Building rapport with customers is an important aspect of the sales process, Smith says. Having established rapport, and following a proven sales methodology, the salesperson then presents the company’s product or service in response to the customer’s perceived needs.
“When that happens,” Smith says, “many customers want to buy from this person; it becomes an easier task.
“When you have an organization that is well trained, their salespeople are service minded and they put customers in a hugely comfortable position where they want to buy,” he adds.
“Two of the main driving forces of the top producers are their high level of optimism and a high level of dominance — meaning they’re not afraid to ask for the order. At the same time they understand they are going to be met with resistance and they understand their job is to keep the customer at ease and continue to sell past that resistance without making the customer feel intimidated or uneasy,” Smith explains.
Resistance is part of the territory. Customers don’t want to feel that they’ve been sold a product but, rather that they’ve bought it — that it was their decision. Resistance, too, comes from the extraordinary amount of information available to consumers, making them more skeptical than ever. A good salesperson anticipates the negative information that his prospects may have heard or read about the remodeling industry and certain practices of those in the business. The salesperson then counters this with positive information about his company, Smith says.