“What makes YOU fail or succeed as a Sales Professional?”

TRUST ME, it starts & ends with ONLY YOU as sales failures could be due to many reasons / factors / etc. (We WIN some & LOSE some – It’s life) but YOU, as a Sales Professional, can ONLY fail because of YOU so “LOOK WITHIN” as a starting point.  Evaluate whether you have the foundation, YES, I am talking here about the “Traits” first and above all.  Let’s review the Traits in a different manner to assess if they attribute to your personal success or failure:

  • Being Coach-able

What if you consider your Manager’s input as interference in your way of doing things and you never listen to their advice?  What if when you fail to close a deal, you never learn from the reasons why you lost the deal?  What if you do NOT learn from the mistakes you have done on some of the deals?  What if you do not learn from others’ mistakes?  …

Regardless of the stage of your sales career, you MUST be open for new ideas, new thoughts, and new approaches to help you succeed in climbing that success pole that never ends.  Never limit yourself – “Limitations live ONLY in our minds but if we use our imagination, Possibilities become Limitless”, Jamie Paolinetti.  Understanding, learning, and adapting is the foundation for anyone’s success.

  • Structured (Thinking / Process / Focus / Habits …)

What if you do not have a structure when approaching your sales approach and each opportunity individually?  What if you wait for things to fall on your desk and only act in a reactive mode to sales opportunities?  What if you wait for prospects to call you?  What if you do not have a structured follow-up process post your meetings, presentations, conferences, calls, etc.?  …

When you’re not structured and unorganized, you not only have a problem closing new sale, but you will end up losing business because of poor follow-up, structure and opportunity-based planning.  This is at best, sales complacency that will KILL you as a Sales Professional.

  • Hard working

Imagine you ONLY work from 9:00 to 5:00!  What if you do not have the drive to close deals and be successful?  Imagine you wait for opportunities to land on your desk!  What if you fill your pipeline with unrealistic leads and opportunities?  …

Not sure if I will call it hard working but rather hardly working or poor time management or poor work ethics but as a Sales Professional, you should never be driven by a set of work timeframe.  Put every effort possible to make it real for you and your company as a lot of jobs depend on the sale being successful.

  • Confident

What if you’re afraid to make cold calls within your territory?  What if you take rejection on deals personal against you?  What if you do NOT have the confidence to ask for the sale?  What if you not have the confidence to have your prospect’s commitment to a sale? …

If you do NOT believe in yourself then prospect will also have difficulties believing in you and they will see through you with every interaction you have with them.  Prospects will only buy from people they TRUST.  Confidence is a fundamental trait to help you deal with rejections and obstacles and drive stronger commitments from your prospects.

  • Result-Driven / Goal-Oriented = Takes responsibility for their Results

Imagine you do not know where your opportunity is in the sales cycle!  What if you cannot prioritize your opportunities and fish where the fish truly are?  Imagine you do not know what you want to accomplish and how to accomplish it opportunity-wise or territory-wise!  What if you do NOT ask for the sale/business, would you ever know where you stand against the competition or would you ever learn how to adjust your sales approach to close the sale? …

Make sure your goals are clear, measurable, achievable, and based on set timeframes.  Be realistic with every opportunity so you can close on time.  As a Sales Professional, you need to visualize your target, determine how you will achieve your goal, and take actions with specific mini-results in mind.

  • Empathetic

What if you do not address your prospect’s specific needs by throwing the same stuff you throw at everyone else?  What if you do not understand your prospect’s pains and potential gains with your proposed solution? …

It’s ALL about your “Value Proposition” and how it will meet your prospect’s immediate and long term needs.  With empathy, you show that listening is more important than talking as it reflects a genuine care for others.  The lifetime value of an ideal Customer is much more important than the quick sale.

  • Honest

What if you keep telling your prospect “Let me be honest with you”?  What if you focus on the quick sale and lack the truth and honesty? …

Not a lot to say about this trait – It only comes from WITHIN.

  • Passionate

Imagine you do not have the passion for the product / service you’re selling?  What if you do not believe in what you’re selling?  What if you do not know very well the product / service you are selling?  What if you do not have the passion to meet and exceed your goals? …

Your prospects will see through if you do not have the passion for what you are selling.  Your Manger will see through as well if you do not have the passion for the job.  Go find your passion.

Every time I write an article, I focus on the “LOOK WITHIN” area, but I say it a bit differently, as it is so important for you as a Sales Professional.  Once you have the foundation, learning the REST (tools and techniques) becomes an easy process.

Now, if you let your Traits drive your sales interactions where you have done everything in your power to incorporate the Tools & Techniques, and you still face loses then it might be time for you to move on as the grass might be greener somewhere else.