Sales representatives are successful today because they gain the majority of their targeted customers’ business. They manage the relationship and continuously build relationship equity. That doesn’t mean they operate with the old “lone wolf” mentality doing everything under the sun for the customer. They are successful because they take full advantage of all the resources their company has to offer. Transactions and promos flow through a managed relationship. They also dedicate a specific amount of their time to new account development and penetration of those accounts with high potential rather than over-providing service functions to existing accounts. Here are 10 key identifying factors that will help maximize sales success:

1. Not being afraid to prospect for new accounts and new business. Have enough confidence to view rejection as simply a step closer to success.

2. Understanding the value of planning and actually documenting the key actions necessary to meet specific objectives at specific accounts.

3. Becoming professional with your planned presentations whether to an individual buyer or a group of customer decision makers. Perfect your 25-word elevator speech that clearly outlines your value proposition. Get it down pat for those opportunistic moments that may occur.

4. Establishing milestones for target accounts to highlight progress toward their major goals. Goals are a matter of course and they include more than just revenue and margin growth.

5. Being methodical with record keeping. No one likes record keeping and paperwork but the really successful sales professional understands the necessity and value.

6. Continuously practicing efficient time control. Time management should be forever on your mind.

7. Hungering for knowledge to improve your skills. Demonstrate enough curiosity that you don’t wait for company-sponsored seminars for education and training. Read, listen to tapes and finance your own self improvement in addition to company programs. You’ve got to behungry!

8. Chasing customers instead of chasing orders. Be willing to lose an order but fight aggressively to never lose a customer unless you need to prune your territory garden due to unacceptable profitability.

9. Making your objective on every sales call to identify the customer’s real needs, not to just take an order. Take pride in being a solution provider and demand creator instead of a demand fulfiller.

10. Understanding that a key to your success lies in your ability to educate the customer. This can range from sharing your business acumen to helping the customer understand real value. Become an expert at demonstrating the difference between price and cost.

How to succeed in business

The formula for success is simple:
  • Find the customer’s pain and take the pain away.
  • Set  your price.

    Customers will pay plenty, if you can reduce their “pain.” Find out what the customer’s problems are and where they are in pain. Look at it from their point of view, not yours.

    Customers no longer spout off about quality products and reliable deliveries. That’s a given. Although all customers are trained to say, “Your price is too high,” if you find the pain, price is not an issue. The emerging role of the sales professional today is not to increase sales. Your role as a sales professional today is to systematically and consistently increase the number of customers who choose you to be their #1 supplier.

  • It's not about features and benefits

    Today it’s not about the features and benefits of your product, it’s about value and how your customers are going to make a profit. You no longer just have to sell yourself and then everything falls into place. Relationships are still very important but they are the ante to play. Customers are smarter and more educated. Bring every resource your company has into play and leverage those resources to create competitive advantage. Learn to really listen to your customers. Let them talk. When there seems to be a pause in the conversation, resist the temptation to start talking again. Chances are good that the customer has more to say. The quieter you are the more they will tell you. Listen long enough with a few strategically placed questions and the customer might just tell you exactly how to gain his business. (And it won’t just be about price!)