Friday, July 13, 2007

7 Habits of Highly Effective Sales Professional

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Buat rekan-rekan sales/marketing mari belajar bersama dari artikel yang saya ambil dari milis TCI...

Even before the tragedy of September 11 the United States economy was beginning to take a nose dive. Clearly since the attacks, customers are revisiting everything from budgets to personnel to company parties and benefits. The times we are living in are new to us but should not be especially new to experienced sales professionals.

In my many years of training and consulting many sales professionals will ask me about how to get over a slump. And, many sales managers ask me how to tell good sales people from average.

I believe in the 80/20 rule. My clients tell me that 20 percent of their sales professionals are getting 80 percent of the business. And, when I survey sales people they are concerned that they are not getting their share of business. They want more and are perplexed about what separates the good from the high achiever.

We all strive to be the best. Sales managers clearly want the best and CEO’s clamor it. So what then is the correct formula for bringing in more business?

In 18 years of sales experience and training I have narrowed it down to something I call 7 Habits of Highly Effective Sales professionals.”

1. Customer Knowledge

One of the many pet peeves that sales managers have with their sales professionals is a person that lacks understanding of their client. In today’s very fast and competitive world a sales professional must understand who their client is.

Recently, I watched a review a sales professional’ s performance for the past year. When the sales manager queried the person about specific account information, the sales person became flustered. Unfortunately, other than saying the client is a multinational pharmaceutical company, the sales person knew little else.

The customer requests that you understand their business. A client is looking for solutions to business issues and they are looking to you as the sales person and account person to have the answers. Without understanding the client how can you understand how you might help them?

You are probably asking yourself, must I need to do in order to understand the client. First you must get a copy of the annual report. Read the information to determine what type of products the client is developing. Understand the competitive landscape and how your product or service can thwart competition. Learn about the competitors for new business opportunities.

When you obtain the report, read the president’s message, the financial information and lines of business, Try to understand where your products fit within the organization’ s umbrella. Finally, look at the firm’s WEB site and review it for updates to the annual report, look for business climate changes. And, look for the anomalies in business so that your product or service can resolve the issues.

Second, read the newspapers and press releases for the most current customer information. Determine from your readings how your service or product can assist your customer during good times and bad.

Third, it is imperative to use the most widely accessible resource at your fingertips-the Internet. There are voluminous resources available such as,, and And the numerous portals such as Excite and Yahoo are constantly providing real time business content. Review any of these sites to gain quick and up to the moment access on your customers.

The sales person that does their homework and studies the customer and the changing landscape will learn how to quickly adapt to market conditions by finding solutions to customer issues. By becoming one with the customer and understanding their respective business you become a reliable business partner for today, tomorrow and well into the foreseeable future.

2. Questioning Aptitude

You get home in the evening, you are ready to sit down to a hot, cozy and comfortable dinner and the telephone rings. Don’t you hate that! Feeling obliged you pick up the telephone only to hear a sales person hawking a product or service. They talk and talk and talk. The person reads from a script and does not ask us one question. He or she does not qualify the opportunity. Moreover, he or she speaks so much that we quickly become disturbed and terminate the call.

The best sales professionals learn to engage their audience. The first task of the sales professional during an appointment whether direct, telephone or cold, must be to question the customer. Questions are a sales rule. Questions assist in uncovering useful information such as buyer behavior, decision criteria, budgets, time frame, competition, etc. These are issues they typically are not presented by the customer so it is imperative for a sales professional to ask them.

Most important, questions asked by sales professional must be open ended. A question such as “Do you have a budget for this project?” will give you a “yes” or “no” response. I mentioned that the purpose of questioning is to engage the customer in conversation. An effective sales professional will ask the customer an open ended question such as, “If you had a budget for this product what might it look like and when might you decide to make a purchase?” The revision entitles the client to think through the possibility of using this product and requesting purchase money. By revising the question, the client provides more information and sets the stage for the effective sales professional to ask more qualifying questions and perhaps uncovering any and all sales objections.

Finally, the sales person is able to discover more about the next habit, uncovering the wants and needs of the buyer.

3. Interpretation of Consumer Wants and Needs

There are several paths and processes to follow during a sales presentation; however the most important one understands buyer’s wants and needs. In order to sell anything to anyone, an effective sales professional most question the customer to understand why they want or why they might need the product.

Many of my clients tell me that they have exuberant sales forces, yet they are not effective in closing business. With analysis we discover that representatives are excited but they are so busy telling about product that they fail to ask questions. This communication breakdown takes the focus not only off of the customer but off the customer wants and needs. Without uncovering need, what can you possibly sell?

The solution here is to ask so many open ended questions, that your presentations become conversational. This will take some time but once you master the art of solid questioning, you can then formulate questions that hone in on wants and needs. When you do this you will notice your sales increase.

One final word on wants and needs- customers will also purchase from you for personal and/or professional reasons. Remember to ask yourself, what is in it for the customer? Are they looking for job recognition, cost effectiveness, or perhaps personal happiness with your product? As you progress with your line of questions, try to uncover what I call the “Truth of Purchase.”

4. Ability to establish client rapport

Without question, building a relationship with your customer is vital. People want to have relationships with people. They won’t buy large quantities of product from the Internet because they want to trust a live human being. If you have good relationships with clients, you will be able to sell to them five, ten, and 15 years down the road. Think of a client relationship as a lifetime investment. This portion of the process fits in with my earlier thoughts of becoming a consultant not just a sales professional.

5. Uncanny ability to ride the Sales Roller coaster

Sales are volatile process. One day is favorable, the next sullen, the next euphoric and so on. Each day brings a new experience and new challenge and a new adventure. In order to be an effective sales professional one must be flexible, and adaptable to change. Each opportunity, call and presentation brings a new question or perhaps education.

For years, I tell my clients to become a chameleon and adjust to the changing topology. You must because the instant you become frustrated the customers see this. Think of the customer as a mirror-they will mimic your behavior. If you are happy, they will be, you are sad they are too.

Since my first days on the job I have carried a small pocket mirror to every sales appointment. I look at the mirror prior to my call, I ensure myself that I am either happy or neutral. I look for my facial expressions and if possible body posture. By instilling a positive attitude and a neutral posture, I enable customers to feel at ease and do not allow them to understand some of the personal and professional trials and tribulations. I focus on them, their wants and needs and their contentment with my product and personal service.

6. Understands the Know’s Principle

The customer; the prospect; the product; the topic you are going to speak about when you meet with the prospect or client; the competitors, the marketplace and the issues that surround them; the questions you want to ask; the possible objections; the closing technique; the hot buttons factors which allow the client to say yes to you; and finally, your own limitations. You must know what you can and cannot commit to. Never lie, never cheat and never ever over-commit. In order to succeed your must KNOW how far you can go, based on how much you KNOW about your product and customer. If you never KNOW, the only sound you will ever here is NO!

7. Honest and Enthusiastic

Love what you do, love the product you are selling and love the people you sell with. If you don’t, then get out. If you don’t like what you sell, prospects will read right through you and think, “Why should I buy from someone who is not passionate about what they say or do?” Your energy and enthusiasm come through on each and every call, if you are dispassionate, you will not ask the right questions, you will not read the buying signs, hear objections and importantly will not make any money.

What you can do today to improve!Commit to your boss, to your job, and to being the best you can be. Identify with the client, determine their wants and needs and then develop a plan to help them. If you do this, the client will trust you now and forever! Also, commit to everlasting improvement for yourself—set bigger and better goals, think of new ways to deliver better customer service, determine how to augment daily challenges.

About the AuthorNSA Chapter Member of the Year!Drew Stevens is all about results! Drew works with organizations that want to realize finish line results by working to increase profits and productivity. His easy to remember ideas such as ABLE, BE ALERT and C4 create immediate results for you!. Drew speaks and consults internationally and he is frequently called upon by the media for his expertise. To obtain instant results call 877-391-6821 or email Drew:


Edy Santoso (trainer&motivator)

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Edy Santoso K.S, CNLP

Edy Santoso K.S, CNLP
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