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Monday, October 18, 2010

Part 2 of my original blog post: There Is No Magic Formula

As I've stated before, there is no magic trick to becoming a top producer in your industry. And I know from experience that even top producers have peaks and valleys in their selling. However, there are certain characteristics that come to mind again and again, which I didn't mention in part one of this extensive post. I am a little reverent of posting an epic such as this one, but I've decided to put it all out there, so hopefully those that read it can benefit from my experiences. First, however, let's take a look inside the mind of a top producer, and how they view their company, and themselves.....

1) A top producer is someone who, regardless of what could happen to them, will put it all on the line. They're willing to put themselves in what could at times be considered an awkward position. Not only to advance themselves, but their entire team. It's a rare quality!

2) They are not intimidated by the success of others. Yes, they are competitive by nature, but mainly with themselves.

3) Top performers are not excuse makers. They get the job done, regardless of whether they are comfortable or not. They realize that there are certain things that need to get done, and may even use some of their personal time to do them.

4) They never stop striving to achieve. When others are relaxing, they're thinking about their next prospect, preparing, and ready to do the work. They constantly rehearse how they will answer certain questions from potential customers, and know ahead of time what the best answer will be.

5) They are known as experts in their field.

6) They respect their time and the time constraints of others.

7) They know when to drop a bad client, or a bad prospect.
Controversial, though it may be, this needs to be discussed if we are to get anywhere in our field. Let's face it! There are some clients who are just plain time wasters. There are some prospects who are just a plain waste of your time, too. And you need to know when to let go. Now, being in inside sales is a bit tricky sometimes, especially if you work for a corporation whose focus on customer service is a bit one sided. I'm sorry, the customer is not always right. Especially when they don't keep anything they buy from you, or in some other way make your life a lot harder by assisting them. You know who I'm talking about, right?

8) They know when to walk away. We've all encountered those kind of customers before, who have an over-inflated sense of entitlement, and think that you have to take their over-aggressive, bullying, or jerky behavior because they're a customer. Let's address this once and for all. You don't have to take their crap! If a customer proves to be too frustrating to deal with, if they constantly return the products you painstakingly sell to them, if they bully you or are rude, you don't have to take this. Step away, and find someone else to help them. Maybe they'll be better off with a different salesperson.

9) Top producers nurture the relationships with their regular clients.
Keep in touch with those clients who are regularly nice and pleasant to work with, who have integrity, and who are honest with you. If a client tells you they can't afford a new feature of your offering right now, but maybe they will expand on the service you're providing later, then respect that. This is a client you know, and they are now your friend. Don't put that relationship in jeopardy by being pushy. Wait until they are ready. When the time comes for them to expand, they will let you know. In the meantime, nurture the relationship.

10) Don't be a Grumpy Gus
Yes, that's an actual name! It's a nickname for the archetypal grumpy salesman. Don't be a grumpy salesperson. Some people have a preconceived idea of what we're like already, and some look at all of us like we're used car salesmen. They don't want to talk to us as it is, but they really won't want to talk to a grumpy salesperson! So, put that smile on, and get out there! Show them what a real salesperson's attitude is like. And be as genuinely friendly and nice as possible. There are some really great salespeople out there who are nice people. Two great examples are Elinor Stutz and Dan Waldschmidt. Two of the nicest people you could talk to, who have made it to the top of their industry by caring about their clients. A foreign concept to some, I know. But let's turn things around, and hopefully change the image a lot of people have about us. It all starts with you, and your attitude when approaching a customer.

11) They know the difference between a real salesperson, and a con artist (and they strive to be the real deal)
Let's face it! We've all seen these guys on the internet touting some kind of fake scheme promising to help you   get rich quickly, or who trick people into buying something based on false promises. They call themselves salesmen or saleswomen, but frankly, I find this insulting. It's an insult to me and my profession to see a con artist try and align themselves with a respectable profession, and say that they are true salespeople. They're lying! They're con artists! They're the reason people don't want to talk to us real salespeople, because they've been victimized by those who are just out to make a quick buck, and will say anything to sucker unsuspecting people into buying their bogus products! These jerks are the reason why people ignore us when we approach them, because it's people like them who have given our profession a bad name. Let's not let them get away with this! Whenever you step up to a potential client, you need to show you are truly proud to be in sales, and  sell with integrity.

What other qualities can you think of that would describe a top producer?

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