There are numerous components which determining a seller’s success. Near the top of this contributing-factor totem pole, is behavior. If an individual cannot execute proper behavior, they will struggle to find high levels of achievement. Behavior, the action we take towards our goals, is the blueprint for success in the sales world. Following through on these plans, however, is easier said than done. A large contingent of the salespeople routinely makes the three mistakes listed below.
- Improper priorities or time management.
Successful salespeople maintain a proper schedule orientation. Time blocking is a time-management concept that allows you accomplish your daily and weekly tasks, and make progress on your goals. When you block out time on your calendar, you follow through, no matter the task at hand. A way to visualize this is to consider how you treat your time with clients, versus the time you allot for yourself. If you have poor schedule orientation, you may allow interruptions and distractions to hinder personal efforts when you would never let them interrupt a client meeting.
If you maintain proper schedule orientation, you do not allow distractions to interrupt your prospecting time, just as you would treat your time with your most valued client. There’s a big difference between scheduling time on your calendar and following through during the allocated time. This mistake commonly occurs because of a lack of discipline or focus. By dedicating yourself to your work and your objectives during a specific block of time, you greatly reduce your risk of succumbing to poor schedule orientation.
- Lacking conviction around having meaningful conversations.
Too often, meetings come to pass without accomplishing their purpose. When you sit down with a prospect, you should have a goal in mind, and make meaningful progress in every conversation. These conversations should take place with decision makers, and your goal should be for them to enact a purchase decision.
Don’t be afraid to spend some time getting to know each other. Bonding, building rapport, and strengthening the relationship with your client or prospect is extremely important in the long term. However, that cannot be the only thing accomplished on the call. Every call should have an agenda and an outcome. For example, if the agenda is to get to know each other and see if there is a fit, then decide to set a follow-up call or part ways at the end based on your conversation.
- Failing to set first-time appointments.
When you’re paid commission, it’s sometimes more satisfying to call a big current client than open a conversation with a new prospect that may or may not lead to business. While both are integral parts of becoming a successful seller, typically, if you don’t pursue new business, your total book of business will stall or start to shrink. By placing importance on booking first-time appointments with new prospects, you’re helping your business more than if you were only focusing on clients that already exist in your spectrum because new business brings new referrals, opportunities, and information to your pipeline.
As sales veterans and novices alike will tell you, selling is hard work. You must do many things the right way, and limit the mistakes you make if you wish to be successful, and you weekly behavior is no exception. While difficult, if you can maintain proper schedule orientation, focus on meaningful conversations, and set new appointments, you’ll greatly increase your odds of success.