A typical day in the life of a salesperson can range from fast-paced and exciting to stressful and demoralizing. No matter where you work or what you sell, you’re probably juggling demands from prospects, customers, and coworkers alike who are all vying for your attention. This non-stop rollercoaster can lead to important things getting overlooked, especially by a salesperson who’s getting pulled in every direction (which is all of us).
While some overlooked tasks can be frivolous, others can make a huge impact. This is why every salesperson should take the time to stop and ask themselves whether they’re overlooking anything that can make their sales performance (and their day-to-day lives) better. If you’re wondering whether you’re forgetting anything important, here’s where you might want to start:
1. Learn the business
It’s true that your job is to sell the product. But if you take the time to understand how the entire business operates, you’ll be a stronger salesperson. This goes beyond just being able to answer questions from prospects with confidence. Learning the business will help you overcome objections, understand your company’s competitive advantages, and position yourself as a trusted expert with customers, coworkers, and management. And that’s a great place to be!
2. Understand which activities yield results
It’s important to remember that activity doesn’t equal results. This means that a person can be constantly busy without actually achieving anything. Take a look at which of your activities are producing results and focus your energies there, instead of wasting time trying to be busy for the sake of it. Yes, it will take a lot of work to be successful in sales, but you need to make sure it’s the right work. Work smarter and harder.
3. Look for an edge
While going into the office and calling on your leads might seem like the most straightforward way to close deals, you’re unlikely to have extraordinary results without extraordinary efforts. You should always try to find an advantage: something others in your office – and in your industry – aren’t doing. Whether that’s finding an untapped lead source by building a partnership with someone who has an overlapping audience, or figuring out a niche market need that only your company’s product solves, there’s always some advantage you can find if you just look hard enough.
4. Write down personal goals
Your company has goals for you, but you should have your own goals as well. While the two lists might overlap, there’s no one who will be as focused on your goals as you are. This is why it’s important to write down your short and long-term goals and then refer back to them daily. This is especially true when it comes to weekly and daily activities. Make a list of what you intend to accomplish every day and don’t stop until you’ve checked everything off. If you do this day in and day out, the results will follow.
5. Slow down
Sales is fast-paced. Sometimes, if you’re busy enough, the day can fly by in the blink of an eye. But this can often be to the detriment of your results. Energy is great (and important), but if you’re hurrying to get off the phone with a new prospect because another prospect is calling you back, you’re probably costing yourself deals. Slow down, especially when speaking with prospects. Make them feel like they’re the most important person in the world and that you have as much time to listen to them as they need. If you’re able to slow down when it matters, you’ll see your sales speed up.
6. Take care of yourself
You’re not going to be a great salesperson if you constantly feel like crap, or burn out because you didn’t make time to take care of yourself. Long work weeks and the other demands of life can take their toll, and if you add in poor diet, a lack of sleep, and going out with friends and coworkers, it can be a bad combination. Of course, you can get away with this lifestyle while you’re relatively young, but if you don’t make your own well-being a priority after a certain age, you’ll have bigger things to worry about than missing your sales goal.
7. Enjoy the ride
The highs you experience in sales are amazing, and the lows can be absolutely dreadful. But if you don’t take a step back and realize that both come with the territory, then you’re going to make life harder on yourself than it needs to be. If you’re going to commit to sales, you need to commit to the ride, and learn how to enjoy it. It might take time, but in the long run you’ll be able to see the big picture.