As a sales focused CEO, president or business owner, you know nothing happens till something is sold. That’s a statement often made. I’d like to modify that statement: Nothing happens till you have a prospect and then sell something. Without a prospect, obviously nothing can be sold. True sales success doesn’t happen without the “It” factor.
Sales are the life blood of any business whether it’s B2C or B2B. If you don’t have sales, you won’t have business. If you don’t have profitable revenue coming in from sales, you won’t long term have a business.
The importance of this can sometimes be overlooked in business. Many times, business people will build an infrastructure – hire employees – develop a business plan. But what often is forgotten is to have a detailed prospecting and sales plan that can be put into action.
What does a successful prospecting and sales plan require? Answer: Salespeople. Without salespeople, there will not be sales – or very few sales that won’t keep your company in business.
This article is about sales but primarily, salespeople. You can provide someone with books and videos about how to sell. You can have someone understand the basics of selling including the opening – presentation – and close. You can give someone all the features and benefits of the product(s) and/or service(s) the company provides including all the technical facts. But it’s not enough if you want someone to sell what your company represents.
Sales success comes down to the “It” factor. Salespeople either have “It” or they don’t. There’s been debate for years in business circles about whether salespeople are born with the necessary talent or if it can be taught.
Successful salespeople who have the “It” factor are master communicators with qualities that may be hard to define. But when you see a professional salesperson in action, you just recognize the talent the individual has. Salespeople are artists because selling is an art form. It’s having an understanding. It’s a beat and a pulse much like with music. It’s something that just happens; that you experience. There’s a flow of communication between the perspective buyer and the salesperson. It’s much like the tide comes in and the tide goes out with the flow of information and conversation; it’s a back ‘n’ forth with a defined conclusion or sale.
If a salesperson is robotic and scripted throughout the sales process, often nothing will happen – or not as much as what could happen when selling the right product or service to the right customer or client.
Sales, as mentioned, is an art form. Requires having the “It” factor. Usually when the “It” factor is referred to people are talking about celebrities such as actors or musicians – or perhaps even some politicians or news personalities. Think about it. Why is Taylor Swift such a force in the music industry and with her fans? Yes, her music may be good. Some songs may one day be considered “classics” just as, for example, the Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and many others are now considered with the passage of time. Taylor’s music resonates with a wide range of people. But if some other person who didn’t have the “It” factor started out in the music industry as Taylor did and went on stage, it’s doubtful stadiums would be filled or sold out. There’s something between Taylor Swift and the audience. It’s hard to define. It just “is”. That’s the “It” factor.
When hiring salespeople or reviewing your current sales staff, ask yourself:
- Is there an element of the “It” factor in each member of the sales team?
- If so, how best can “It” be described?
Remember: The “It” factor is usually hard to describe. It’s perhaps something in one’s genetic DNA. It’s something that just flows when selling.
There are people who excel as carpenters. People who are talented machinists. Other people who find themselves when flying an airplane. They are one with whatever they’re doing as a chosen profession. It’s the same with salespeople.
Many people think that if you sell something you are a salesperson. That’s not necessarily correct. Not everyone can sell, often find it more challenging that initially perceived and won’t remain in the job. This explains some of the turnover with salespeople from industry to industry.
A professional salesperson understands how to relate to the prospect, how to be in sync with a prospect’s thought process and to understand a customer’s needs. The prospect feels the salesperson is looking out for their needs and concerns. A trust level is built. That’s why people do business with each other.
Yes, it does require a strong company presence. Including an informative website and updated, responsive social media. A well thought out, actionable sales and marketing plan is essential to sales success. But without a salesperson or a sales team (having the right number of salespeople) nothing will happen.
Who’s the first prospect a salesperson needs to sell? YOU – The person hiring for the open sales position at the company! Just remember, once you’re sold on hiring an individual for a sales position the qualities you saw during the interview process need to quickly transition to sales. If a salesperson is better at selling you than the potential customer, that’s not productive or profitable for anyone!
Salespeople, I have observed over the years, have unique, distinct personalities. They enjoy helping other people find solutions to have a better life or to solve a problem. They enjoy prospecting or hunting for new customers or new ways to serve current customers. They enjoy working through each step of the sales process and closing a sale. Salespeople tend to be motivated differently than other co-workers or employees at your company.
Remember: Salespeople are always selling. It’s just who salespeople are.
In sales, you are only as good as your last sale. Translation: In sales, you are only as good as what you sell TODAY. Doesn’t matter what you sold yesterday, the day before or last month. That’s why successful, professional salespeople are always (or should be) looking for the next sale to close.
That’s why sales success comes down to the “It” factor.
Always be hiring and developing the next sales superstar at your company.
To your success!
Business expert and strategist, Howard Lewinter, guides – focuses – advises CEOs, presidents and business owners throughout the United States across a wide range of industries, to MORE success – MORE profit – less stress. Business people trust Howard’s vast business knowledge, intuitive insight and objective perspective to solve business problems and issues. Get MORE from your business. Talk business with Howard: 888-738-1855.
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