Do you remember when you learned to drive a car? For most of us it was a big deal! There were a lot of details to learn, and skills to develop. New drivers need to spend time developing good habits in order to be safe.
- Signal when you turn,
- look both ways before you pull out,
- check your rearview mirror and side mirrors regularly.
It’s the same in sales…there’s a lot to learn and over time you develop habits (good or bad) that become so ingrained you may not even realize what you’re doing.
I mean, have you ever driven all the way home and realized you don’t remember details about the trip? (I know kind of scary but that’s an example of how ingrained habits can be)
On today’s show discover:
- …why it’s important to develop good habits in sales;
- …and seven easy steps to master any new sales habit.
Habits are those funny little quirky things we all do without even thinking about it,
Good habits are the foundation of success
When you compare top salespeople to everyone else one of the most interesting things you’ll find is that they do all the basics just a little bit better. They’ve developed specific habits that have become so ingrained they almost don’t even think about ‘em anymore.
I listen to a lot of sales calls. Generally, when it’s a top performer I almost can’t tell one call from the next because they’re so consistent with their approach. Their foundation is so solid that when the face something out of the ordinary they can put all of their attention on it and not have to overthink the fundamentals.
Think about the car example again. As an experienced driver, who over the years has developed good driving habits, you’re able to react to a pothole in the road without having to consciously think about all the different things you need to do to get around it.
On the other hand, salespeople that are struggling are often the complete opposite, doing something a little different here , not quite the same way there, taking short cuts in the sales process and without solid habits to rely on they often struggle where top salespeople don’t.
So what are these habits and how do you develop them?
Here are just a few habits I hear when I listen to top salespeople that help them succeed:
- They stay on the sales process
- They phrase questions that keep the customer involved
- The listen actively
- They communicate sincere empathy
- They set goals
Of course, experience is an excellent way to develop habits and we all do it. You try something, it doesn’t work and you try something else. Fortunately, you have coaches, trainers, and mentors who can help shortcut that process and teach you what works based on the experience of others. That’s a great time saver but it’s up to you to listen to what they have to say, trust the process and develop the habit for yourself.
7 Easy Steps to Develop Sales Habits
Here are seven easy steps you can use today to develop any new skill into a habit.
- Determine what will have the biggest impact on your success. Start at the top of the sales process and work your way down. Look for an area that you’re either weak in or you feel uncomfortable with. Because the sales process builds on itself starting at the top will have the biggest impact on your overall success.
- Focus on One Thing at a Time. Multi-tasking is a myth. In fact Psychologists who study what happens to cognition when people try to perform more than one task at a time have found that the mind and brain were not designed for heavy-duty multitasking. It’s simply too hard to improve several things at the same time. The better approach is to pick one, put all your energy into that, build the habit, and then move on to the next one.
- Stay with it for at least 30 days….and by the way that’s not an exact number but it’s a pretty good goal. No one really know’s how long it takes to develop a habit but Maxwell Maltz made a pretty good stab at it. He was a plastic surgeon in the 1950s and began noticing a strange pattern with his patients. When he would perform an operation — like a nose job, he found that it would take the patient about 21 days to get used to seeing their new face. He saw this same time line repeated with other patients who had amputations and even noticed it in himself. He eventually surmised that it requires a minimum of 21 days to form a new habit. So 30 is a rough estimate it may take longer for some shorter for others but when you make a commitment to practice a new behavior consistently for 30 days it’s likely you’ll be successful in forming a new habit.
- Attach Your New Habit to One You Already Have – If you can link a new habit to one you already have it makes it that much easier to develop. Let’s say you always greet your customers the exact same way and you want to work on building more rapport. If you attach a rapport question like “So, where you calling from?” to your habitual greeting you’re more likely to make it a habit.
- Set small milestones – Having small milestones is a great way to gain some confidence and stay inspired to carry on. While it’s important to have a long term goal don’t forget to set yourself up for success along the way.
- Hold Yourself Accountable – Stay accountable to yourself and remember why you want to work on this. Perhaps you want to make more money, help more people or get a promotion. Whatever your reasons keep them in mind to help you keep going when things get tough.
- Reward Yourself Provide rewards and incentives along the way, be creative and put together meaningful rewards for accomplishing milestones. Research shows that rewards that are personal to you do in fact help you stay motivated and establish long-term habits.
If you’re interested in becoming a top performer, making some extra money or advancing your sales career developing good habits now will set you on the path for greatness.
Today’s One Two Punch
Good habits equal great sales!
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