Part four of four.
Reality is the grimmest when it’s yours. This list has generated more responses of, “thanks for the wake-up call,” than I could have imagined. Here is the last of the 29.5 biggest mistakes that salespeople make and the success tactics that will turn them into sales.
My challenge to you continues. Read this list and only think of yourself. The mistakes you made this morning are your opportunities for greatness this afternoon only if you admit them. If you have the guts to rate your own reality. Rate on:
23. Not putting in enough time or using your time wisely. Sell when others are available. Plan or push papers when others are sleeping. Not bringing new ideas to the table. People buy creative and new. Success tactic: List the top five things that you do best. List the top five things that will lead you to money. Spend 80% of your time doing those things.
24. Getting ready to get ready. Wasting time. Sales time. Coffee machine, talking to everyone in the office about the weekend or the ball game, personal calls, reading the paper, and assorted other non-sales-productive moves. Success tactic: Set specific time allotment goals to prepare. Set minimum amount of time you must be face-to-face with prospects.
25. Not networking enough or effectively. Networking is the most powerful business tool of this decade. You can build your base of influence and a pool of prospects at the same time. Success tactics: Go to the meetings and events of your best customers. Make a two year plan of where to get involved and how much time you’re willing to commit.
26. Keeping personal information positive. No one wants to hear about your problems. No one wants to hear what went wrong. Negative talk creates a negative impression. Success tactic: Talk about things you did that were successful. Talk about things you did that helped others. Talk about things you have in common with the prospect.
27. Playing general manager of the universe. Since salespeople already know everything, they try to get in the middle of things that are none of their business. The more you mind your own business, the more business you’ll get. Success tactic: Stop trying to solve everyone else’s problems in the world. Stick to your own and those of your customers that relate to your product.
28. Blaming everything and everyone except yourself. Don’t worry about whose fault it is. If you could have done something to prevent the problem, it’s your fault. Other people or things are just an excuse. Take responsibility for making it happen. Success tactic: Carry a small mirror with you. Every time you start blaming people take out the mirror and look at it. That’s who’s to blame.
29. Thinking you’ve got it all together, when you really don’t. It’s important to believe yourself. It’s dangerous to fool yourself. Success tactics: Take a personal inventory of weaknesses every 30 days. Make a plan to correct two at a time. Believe you are the best, but don’t say it, prove it.
29.5 Celebrating or bragging too soon. Don’t tell me what you’re going to do, tell me what you did. Success tactic: Deposit the money in the bank first, then let the check clear, then celebrate.
Whew! That’s a pretty long list of mistakes. How many fit you? Too many?
Here’s how to make the most of your shortcomings. When you assess yourself, do it privately first. Then ask a coworker or fellow salesperson someone you respect. Someone who has seen you work. Have them assess you. Compare theirs with yours. You may not agree with their assessment, but before you shrug it off in your “know it all sales arrogance” their perception is reality. So is your prospect’s.
Make a specific plan for each weakness. Work on your worst one first. Spend 20 minutes a day on it thirty days. Then go on to the next. If you can turn twelve weaknesses into strengths in one year, you’d better call your local wallet dealer and order a size extra large. You’ll need it for all the money you’re about to make.
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