To keep my personal bookkeeping in order, a number of years ago I developed a one-person company called P-Power. Though a lot of people try to connect the “P” in P-Power to my name, this is not what it represents. I chose P-Power because I believe that “Positive” is the key to success.
Using “Positive Power” as a theme for the presentations I make, I went a step further. I got out my dictionary, went through the “P” section, and found more words with power. I want to share four of those words with you in terms of their importance in successful selling.
A Different View
The first word I want to address is “Perspective.” When you wake up in the morning, your first thoughts have a lot to do with whether the day will turn out to be a success or a failure. In addition, when you go to sleep, your last thoughts have a great deal of power over the outcome of your tomorrow.
Of course, I acknowledge that there are circumstances and people that also influence your daily activities. Usually these circumstances and people are a negative influence and drive down your ability to succeed. But, since your personal perspective is based on choice, you have the ability to create a daily – if not lifestyle – perspective of approaching everything in a positive manner.
Perhaps “Perspective” can be summed up best by a small plaque on my desk, sent to me by my daughter, Rebecca. Its message is short and accurate. It states, “If you believe you can or you can’t, you are right.”
Our industry has many very successful people, yet the bulk of the people in this market seem to fall just short of the success they strive for and, in many cases, deserve. I have a strong feeling that those people enjoying just average success simply cannot get a clear perspective – or envision themselves as being successful.
Your perspective on life and on the opportunities to make the next sale are huge factors. My advice is simple: lean back, get comfortable, close your eyes, take a deep breath and see yourself as being successful in your next selling situation – not only in creating a successful sale, but creating a lifetime customer. A positive perspective is powerful. Let it be your guide.
“Persistence” is another powerful word. Persistence is a skill that, when well done, will raise your success rate to a higher level immediately. A great example of persistence is the child who may only be crawling, but who decides he wants to walk. Now, babies fall repeatedly before they are erect and taking steps. For a period of time, it’s pretty much fall and get up, fall and get up, over and over again until the desired results are obtained. In this situation, persistence yields success.
To achieve success, you must be persistent in many areas. You must be persistent in learning and possessing a high level of industry and product knowledge. You must be persistent and have enough confidence to ask for an order over and over.
Persistence is a developed skill that requires discipline. And, it takes persistence to develop sales skills that include the ability to create – with your customers – a very clear picture of their needs, wants, desires and expectations. The clearer this picture is, the better your position for developing the right answers at the right value for your prospect, which will, in turn, make that person your customer.
Persistence can be the first, second and third “thank you” card, acknowledging your appreciation and the opportunity to serve your prospect. Persistence is the follow-through to assure you, your company and your customer that what was created in the selling process is delivered, to make sure your customer is satisfied.
It’s neat that persistence is a developed skill. It costs nothing and, when developed, will always reward you with positive results.
Try, Try Again
The third P-word for power is “Practice.” I have never been involved in any skill development where practice was not the key element to creating its success.
It’s always interesting to me that people will go to choir practice, softball practice or hit a bucket of golf balls all to create a higher level of skill, yet it’s rare for a salesperson to practice selling skills. It is not difficult to practice what you plan to say, how you say it, how you demonstrate your products and how you maneuver through the questioning process to create clear targets as marketing goals. It’s important to practice how you develop and keep control of the selling process. It’s easy to let the prospect take the driver’s seat, and then the probability is diminished of creating a successful sale.
Practice is your responsibility, not the responsibility of the manufacturer or the company where you are employed. While they may help, accept practice as your personal investment in your striving for success.
The key is to learn the skills you need and then, through repetitive action, make them a habit. Your success as a salesperson relies heavily on practice.
The final P-word I want to discuss is “Passion.” Passion could be the most important word to remember.
In today’s competitive world, where the customer has a lot of choices regarding what person, what product and what company he or she chooses to spend money with, there is one element I believe stands taller than the rest. It’s the passion that you as the salesperson display for your work.
While price, product and systems are all important, success lies in the passion of the salesperson when developing the prospect into a customer. A customer may not be able to articulate just why he or she does business with a certain company, but I believe the reason is – and I feel very “passionately” about this – the salesperson the client is doing business with at that company. This would most likely be a salesperson a client trusts, one the client believes is passionate not only about the work, but also has a genuine interest in the customer and shows passion about the customer’s project.
I suggest that you review your selling style, your attitude and your ability to close the sale. I suspect that, if you evaluate your perspective, persistence, practice and passion, you will find room for improvement. The good news is that it costs you nothing to make those improvements, and that there is no waiting around to make it happen. So start tomorrow, and begin to reap the rewards.