Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Don’t Be a Good Salesperson, Be a Good Person

Sami Halabi
February 08, 2018

3 minute read

Smile and dial, focus on interactions, list build, stay organized, always have a reason to call.

These timeless sales principles have been preached in countless sales trainings, team meetings, and one-on-one sessions, decade after decade. “Live by these rules, and riches will abound,” they say.

Well, that usually does get you by. And if your intention is to cruise to 100% quota attainment by the quarter’s end, perhaps these principles suffice.

But if you’re hungry to achieve more, to not just cross the finish line, but to lap it twice or thrice, there’s more to the puzzle. An exceptional salesperson will never settle for “getting by.”

I’ve seen many a good salesperson throughout my years in sales. Reps who would achieve their quota quarter over quarter, and at times, even exceed it. The “100-150 percenters.” I’ve also seen extraordinary salespeople, who absolutely crush it. Every quarter. Every week. Every day. The “400-500 percenters.”

While there are a number of marked differences between the two groups, there is one difference in particular that sets apart the exceptional from the good.

Good salespeople focus on being good salespeople. More transaction-minded, they seek to build rapport and make the sale.

Exceptional salespeople focus on being good people. More relationship-minded, they act to understand, relate, and create a value-adding relationship.

good salesperson vs exceptional salesperson

What good looks like:

• Searches on Google, Hoovers, LinkedIn to gather general company data like number of employees, company revenue, and personal information on the prospect

• Searches internal systems to determine which products prospect’s account currently owns, if any

• Smiles and dials

• Focuses on quantity of customer interactions, i.e. 30 calls, 30 emails daily

• Utilizes relatively standardized call and email scripts

• Reaches out consistently, at all hours of the day

What exceptional looks like:

• Learns the prospect’s business. This includes the business’s growing pains, biggest opportunities for growth, and industry challenges imposed by external forces, i.e. changing regulations, market shifts, competitor activity, or acquisitions

• Steps into the prospect’s mind to understand what annoys them and what they care about. This enables the exceptional salesperson to speak the “language” of the prospect, breaking down the trust barrier between them.

• Learns the hierarchical relationships of the prospect, i.e. their director, boss, and teammates, surmising who they want to impress and who they may be threatened by. Then, name drop to build credibility.

• Leverages social, whenever possible, to engage with the prospect, prior to reaching out directly. This includes engaging with their LinkedIn profiles, posts they’ve written, articles/videos they’ve published, interviews they’ve done, etc.

• Searches internal systems to determine which products prospect’s account currently owns, if any

• Smiles and dials

• Focuses on quality of interactions, harboring the “no second chances” mentality

• Personalizes each interaction with the prospect, whether via phone or email, leading with what the prospect cares about

• Reaches out at strategic times when the prospect would most likely be at their desk (as reported by reputable consulting firms)

The good news? Making the switch from good to exceptional is fairly simple. Will there be growing pains? Yes. Is it well worth it? More than you could ever imagine. Not only will you gain a great deal more confidence with your enhanced relationship-building ability, but the great majority of prospects you engage will appreciate the effort put forth.

The choice is yours.

You can continue to execute on the “benchmark behaviors” such as smile and dial, focus on interactions, list build, stay organized, always have a reason to call.

Or, you can take it one step further, honing the “game changer” behaviors.

Your prospects will love you for it, your managers will praise you for it, and you will be well on your way to the top of the leaderboard.

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Sami Halabi
Sami Halabi
Sami Halabi is a die-hard fanatic of four things: selling, marketing, learning/teaching languages, and singing. Following 3.5 years in door-to-door and international internship sales, he joined Oracle's software sales department to help transform human capital management at large enterprise companies. Transitioning into marketing operations 1 year ago, he now focuses on maximizing the pipeline generated through marketing-qualified leads. by Oracle is the destination for professionals who are building the next generation of customer experience. Here, you can find breaking news, in-depth analyses, expert insights, and useful tools that will empower you to think and work progressively.