7 Secrets That Only the Top Sales Performers Know
Ever since the internet democratized content, much ink has been spilled in the sales space; everything from detailed tactical advice to opining about the future of the profession to introducing the newest technologies (like Spiro) that can help you close more deals in less time.
But oftentimes, we complicate things more than we need to, and go down rabbit holes rather than focusing on the things that truly matter.
Top sales performers know this, which is why instead of reading every sales book in sight, they stick to what’s important, like following the seven open “secrets” every salesperson needs to know.
The next time you get overwhelmed, keep these secrets in mind:
1. Good habits are everything
You can be the most talented person and have the best ideas in the world, but if you don’t get in the daily habit of executing, you’re unlikely to get anywhere. Developing good habits throughout your day sets you up for success by structuring your activities in such a way that they become second nature. Without good habits, you’re just flailing from one activity to the next — never a good plan.
2. Focus on solutions instead of problems
In sales, there will never be a shortage of things to complain about. Bad leads, poor management, non-existent sales support, the list goes on and on. It’s easy to get frustrated and complain, but the truth is that focusing on problems does nothing to move you forward, and not only wastes time but puts you in a negative mind state, costing you future deals. Top sales reps focus on solutions at all times, and the results usually follow.
3. Relationships within the company matter too
You might think that you can just show up to work and ignore everyone, focusing on your pipeline instead of what goes on in the office. Focus, of course, is important, but you need to manage relationships internally if you want to win. No one succeeds entirely on their own, and you need your coworkers to be on your side when you need something. So instead of treating people you work with like strangers (or worse, like the help), build relationships and you’ll see that eventually, they’ll pay off.
4. Active listening is more impactful than passive listening
The most common piece of sales advice (correctly) encourages salespeople to listen more than they speak, which is always the correct approach. But top performers know that active listening is more effective than passive listening. Active listening means asking questions, occasionally challenging the speaker, and being an active participant in the discussion instead of just a silent lurker who’s taught themselves to seal their lips. Don’t just listen, participate.
5. Staying calm and confident is the way to win
In sales, there’s always ample opportunity to become overwhelmed, dejected, and stressed. But the best salespeople seem to will themselves into a calm sort of confidence that serves them well amid the chaos that is a typical sales floor. This is not by accident, as professional sales pros have taught themselves how to stay cool even when everything feels like it’s falling apart. Train yourself to operate this way and you’ll see that the lows no longer affect you the way they once did.
6. Sales is a sprint AND a marathon
It can be helpful to remember that our careers span decades, and that whatever is frustrating us this week is part of the bigger picture, and that our progress can only be measured in years, not days. But there’s another side to that coin, one that exceptional salespeople understand: it’s a marathon, but it’s a sprint too. Every month and quarter, you need to deliver, so breaking down big goals into smaller activities becomes all that more important. Sprint, take a break, look at the big picture, then sprint again.
7. We convince ourselves that it’s a lot more complicated than it is
With so many moving parts, sometimes it feels like sales is like trying to find a needle in a haystack while the haystack is rolling away from you. The truth that top sales performers know, however, is that it’s really not that complicated. The job consists of trying to find people who would be helped by your product, then explaining how the product can help them. That’s really it. Of course, there are more responsibilities and distractions, but at the end of the day, sales is simple. It might not be easy, but it’s simple.
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