Bill Caskey

Article Summary:

High sales achievers are very specific about what they want to attract, both in terms of financial outcomes and business relationships, during the sales cycle.

How High Sales Achievers Govern The Sales Cycle

Everyone wants to earn more, but few are willing to change behavior to do so. In fact, most aren't. In my work of over 19 years with high sales achievers, I find that most of them operate with a different set of rules about selling and the pursuit of new business. These new rules help govern their behavior and actions in the sales cycle. I have over 25 rules that I've documented, but here are the top five for you to consider:

1. Define what you want to attract.
High sales achievers are very specific about what they want to attract, both in terms of financial outcomes and business relationships. The Universe has an interesting way of delivering to you exactly what you order, so be specific on your order when you place it. The Universe doesn't respond well to, "I just want to make more money."

2. Bring up what scares you.
Most sales executive fears are an illusion. The worst thing we can do with fear is to ignore it. That feeling of fear is trying to tell you something and what it's telling you is, to act on it. If you're in a sales process and you feel some fear about bringing up a difficult subject, then that's exactly what you should discuss. Reveal what you feel.

3. Never Coerce.
It's been my privilege to work with some extremely high achievers in the profession of business-to-business sales. One thing I find about them is that they are 'detached to outcomes.' They spend no time "convincing, persuading, and defending." And they spend little time trying to coerce prospects into their way of thinking. When you, a marketing and sales professional, begin to encroach on your prospect's freedom, you become the pain and they'll get rid of you. Tell people upfront "it's alright if you decide this is not a fit at this time, let me know and I'll be gone." But do that upfront. That way you're not 18 months into the process when you hear 'no'.

4. Think "Process."
The greatest businesses in the world have the greatest processes in the world. So why should a sales professional be any different? Of all the processes that the high sales achiever has, the most important one is the sales process. A great sales process is one where you can, in a step-by-step fashion, lead people from beginning to end with the constant understanding that some people will qualify "out of the process" and you can move on. Not only should you have a process, but you should also follow it and be indignant about the prospect's adherence to it. Great sales processes are better for the prospect because it helps them identify their problem quicker and create a better solution. If you feel your sales process is only in your best interest, then you've got the wrong process.

5. Think 'Leverage'.
One way to leverage your strengths is to hire other people and train them to do the things you don't want to do. But as sales professionals--even as high achieving sellers -- you might not have the latitude to go hire staff. But what you can leverage is "current relationships." High achievers never make cold calls. Why would they? The reason: they have learned the power of referral marketing. They find a way to use their current client/network relationships to bring them new, ideal clients.

This is not as simple as "give me ten people you know, so that I can go make a sales call to them." It is a thoughtful, strategic way to generate enough goodwill with your clients that they demand to introduce you to their friends and associates. A great referral program doesn't work if you're not thinking "leverage."

During his 19+ years of experience as a leader, experimenter and coach for hundreds of B2B sales teams, Bill Caskey doesn't blame prospects for how they treat most sales organizations - for not seeing their value, for treating them like servants, and for sucking up their expertise and taking it somewhere else and getting a lower price. Sales organizations play a part in this game too! Our sales behavior is the problem not our clients. Learn how to play the high-income seller's new rules at The Elite Seller Blog.

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