Changes in Attitude: 7 Habits That Can Boost Confidence — and Sales
July 29, 2014
The word “habit” often conjures up thoughts of bad ones. Here are seven good habits that I’ve found to be effective.
Habits. We all have ‘em, both good and bad.
I wrote about turning New Year’s Resolutions into habits last January, and I’ve been thinking about them more since then. As salespeople, our lives tend to be somewhat fragmented as we rush back and forth to meet with prospects and customers, while trying to keep up with the organizational and planning elements of our work. So it’s especially important for us to develop the habits that not only help keep us on track, but which can ultimately lead to a better sales performance overall.
I’ve also realized that the positive habits that I work on at home also translate well to my professional activities. Start them at home or start them at work, but the same good habits can improve our lives and our successes in both settings.
Here are some habits that I’ve worked on incorporating. They have as much to do with your attitude as they do any particular sales “techniques.”
- Try to be as proactive as you are reactive. I’m starting out here with one of the more challenging habits. It’s easy to just go through your deal dealing with the tasks that come your way (emails, expense reports, managing staff, etc.). Those things must be done, but try to schedule even 15 minutes of every day just thinking about how you’re going to move forward. Are there training needs? Should you consider implementing a CRM system (or switching to a new one)? Can you hone your hiring process to improve it for the next time?
- Focus, focus, focus. You probably have a dozen things that need your immediate attention. When you work on one, you hear the others calling. Again, take time early in your day to prioritize.
- Evaluate your progress in big and small ways. You can’t know what needs fixing until you know what’s not going well. Be conscientious about applying the standard metrics provided for you, but find ways to measure your performance and claim small victories.
- Stay positive and confident by reminding yourself of other opportunities that exist. I always try to keep my other prospects in the back of my mind, especially when it looks like a sale is not going to close. It keeps the desperation out of your interaction with customers, which most of them can sense.
- Think of yourself as a business consultant, not just a salesperson. How can you help this prospect? Ask questions and listen carefully to the answers. Sell solutions, not just products. If there isn’t a good fit, acknowledge that.
- Be discriminating. You know that little voice in your head that sometimes tell you that you’re barking up the wrong tree but you don’t want to admit because you really, really need this sale to make quota? Listen to it.
- Cut to the chase sooner sometimes. One of your skills that led you to this profession is the ability to read people. You don’t always have to lead up to your primary pitch with small talk. If your prospects seem fidgety, at least encourage them to talk about their business needs in detail.
Practice Makes Perfect
Act as if. You’ve probably encountered this concept. It simply means going through the motions even if an activity or thought process feels foreign to you. Do it enough times, and it becomes a confidence-builder – and a good habit.