By Robert Freedman, REALTOR® Magazine
More than any other vocation, sales is a profession of attitude. Mastering technique and product technicalities is helpful only if you’ve mastered control of your attitude, says sales training pro Dave Anderson in Selling Above the Crowd: 365 Strategies for Sales Excellence (Los Altos, Calif.: Horizon Business Press; $18.95; this book is available through BarnesandNoble.com).
Anderson gives you a message and an activity a day in a 365-day calendar that helps you keep your eye on client No.1—yourself. On April 8, for example, he asks you to practice “reverse paranoia,” the habit of thinking that whatever happens to you during the day, whether good or bad, is part of a conspiracy to make you successful.
Once you’re thinking positively, turn your attention to your technique. Anderson’s advice: Measure your performance so that you can set goals. Surprisingly, few salespeople can quantify their performance. If you can’t do that, how can you plan improvement? He suggests that you calculate the ratio of
- Sales from repeat and referral clients to the number from walk-ins
- Phone calls made or taken to the number that result in appointments
- Appointments set to the number who actually show up
Anderson also recommends the old time management technique of completing your day before it begins. It’s not enough to plan your day when you get in the office; by that time you’re reacting to events. Spend at least 15 minutes each evening planning your next day.
Finally, Anderson says, don’t focus on closing. Knowing the right lines to seal a deal is worthless unless you master the steps that get you to closing. They include building rapport, determining needs, and presenting the appropriate product. “Closing is anything you do that has a positive effect on the customer from the moment that customer sees you,” he says.
Anderson is director of training for Anderson Dealership Group, Palo Alto, Calif.