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What the Best Salespeople Do

Being a great salesperson is not something you're born with. Sure, some people have a knack for persuasion and emanate charm more naturally than others, but the characteristics that set apart truly great salespeople are a group of behaviors and principles that can be learned. Below are the five key habits that successful salespeople are known for.

They attract the right customers. The best salespeople don't cast a wide net and hope to catch just anyone. While you might collect more leads that way, you'll end up wasting time and resources weeding through the riffraff to find the qualified buyers. Rather, the best salespeople define who their ideal buyer is and focus their efforts on attracting those highly qualified leads. This requires implementing effective marketing strategies so you always have quality leads coming into the pipeline. Learn more about how to use Inbound Marketing strategies to attract the right customers.

They cultivate the right relationships. Seasoned salespeople understand that relationships are the cornerstone of a thriving business. They are constantly networking to strengthen partnerships and increase referral opportunities. What's more, they focus on establishing trust and building rapport with both customers and business partners. The result is a strong reputation that helps them continually attract the right customers (remember point #1?). Think of ways you can add value to your customers and referral partners. Whether it's through co-branded marketing campaigns to increase visibility, more streamlined processes, or better communication during a transaction, these small steps can result in stronger relationships that help propel you forward and upward.

They're always prepared. Remember those classmates from high school who always winged it in speech class? While it may have been amusing to other students, it probably didn't get them high marks with the teacher. A lack of preparation can result in you losing a sale, so don't risk it. Before meeting with a potential customer, research them ahead of time and anticipate their needs so you can recommend the best solution. Practice what you're going to say before the call, and be prepared to handle any question — even negative ones. For instance, if the client points out weaknesses in your product or strengths of your competitors, don't allow yourself to be caught off guard. Know how you'll respond and how to direct the conversation to something positive about what you offer.

They believe in what they're selling. Knowledge of the product is important, but knowledge alone is not enough. Top-performers believe in what they're selling, which translates to everything they do. How can you recommend the best solutions for your customers' needs when you don't genuinely believe in those solutions? If you don't value what you're selling, you'll not only lack the passion and drive it takes to succeed, but customers will also recognize your lack of authenticity. Whatever you're selling, make sure it's something you can get behind, or find something else that you can.

They set goals and measure performance. TSuccessful salespeople achieve success because they set goals and work for it. They are hyper-focused, driven, and highly organized. They meet their goals because they always have a plan. Take some time to do the same and think about what you want to accomplish for the year. Write down a figure for your sales goals, and think of other objectives to work toward, like growing your database or identifying new referral sources. Be sure to put a quantifiable number next to each goal so you can measure results; then, create a game plan for how to accomplish them. Outline what your marketing strategy will be and which channels you'll focus your marketing dollars on. Most importantly, create a system to measure your performance so you can celebrate your victories and identify areas for improvement.

If you want to be a top-performer, incorporate the above strategies into your business today.

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