Article by Mike Anderson (NSBC Founder & CEO)
“The economy” doesn’t create economic opportunity, rainmakers do. A rainmaker seeks out, secures and retains big clients, brings in big money, and concludes big deals. How do they make the rain fall? They don’t wait for luck or a brighter economy; they operate and make things happen.
Rainmakers don’t have excuses. They either make the sale or they don’t. In today’s business culture, sales is one of the most competitive fields. There are more products and services available than ever before. To be a star, you must make it rain.
The rainmaker is the sales person everyone else wants to be. Whatever item or service the rainmaker sells, it is sold effectively.
Top tips from the world’s top sales superstars:
Remember the #1 rule of selling – don’t sell:
Sales is about matching a solution to a problem and the activity of developing relationships with quantities of people which result in trust, positivity, and belief in you as the sales professional. Be interested in, get to know, and understand your clients. Don’t chase orders, chase customers. Remember, people don’t like to be sold to – people see that coming a mile away and will avoid you like the plague. Have a reason to connect with people outside of selling to them.
Keep it short and take their pain away
Customers will pay plenty, if you can think like a doctor and take their “pain” away. Find out what the customer’s problems are and where they are in pain. Look at it from their point of view, not yours. If you find the pain, price is not an issue. You need to connect with the decision makers on a personal level, understand his or her needs and problems and then solve and satisfy them. Remember 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.
Talk less – listen more
Selling is not telling. When you are in that sales appointment do not go on and on about your products or services – they aren’t listening! Stop trying to make your case, your prospect will not buy from you. The more you talk, the less people listen and the more likely you are to say something that causes your prospect not to want to buy your product or service. Focus on providing solutions and not on selling services or products. Do this with understanding and real interest.
Take action – don’t sit around
Sales is an activity you must engage in daily, to grow your business. Don’t sit around and wait for people to call you. Do the required activity in accordance with your plan. Sales is a numbers game and those that do the numbers succeed. It’s about not being afraid to prospect for new accounts and new business. Resilience is a key factor. View rejection as simply a step closer to success.
Only give your business card to people who ask for it
Do not hand your business card to everyone you meet. Only give your card to people who ask for it. This way you’ll know who wants it. Always ask for the other person’s card. You’ll want to follow up with them, if only to send them a short note saying it was nice to meet them.
Wear integrity as the badge of honour
If you have integrity nothing else matters and if you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters. True professionals know that skill may help you close that first sale, but integrity keeps customers coming back. Develop a relationship of trust. Also, telling someone you can’t do something isn’t the end of the world.
Do the research
A good sales person researches the company, but a true sales professional does research on the person, the real prospect. No one has ever sold anything to a company. Selling is done with people within the company.
Be confident and believe in whatever you do
Confidence conveys value to your potential clients. Be able to walk into a room and engage the entire room.
Have a focused plan
In order to become a successful rainmaker, you need to develop a focused plan. Have a short and long term vision and set meaningful objectives.
Promote your own successes
Become comfortable in announcing your own successes. Make it a habit to promote your own successes within your business to clients and potential clients. If you show excitement about what you do, your prospect will in most cases, become equally excited.
Mine your existing relationships first
Don’t market to people you don’t know until you have mined all your existing relationships.
Follow up consistently
The biggest mistake sales people make is failing to follow up. Keep following up and never take no for an answer – keep coming back and just keep moving and “beating at the door”. You will be respected as a true professional by your prospect.
Ask for the business
Once you are clear about a prospect’s needs and are confident you can help, ask for the business.
Successful rainmakers are made, not born. They have adopted certain critical habits. Employing these habits consistently has given them confidence in their marketing abilities.
Getting more customers and building the top line is the foundation of every business. Without that, nothing else matters. You can’t control a pandemic or the economy. You can’t control externals. But you can control your effort, which is essential to building your pipeline.
It’s easy to say that most of the Sales Superstars are basic people that come from humble beginnings. Yes, the best are generally nice people, but they are all filled with dogged determination and the almost obsessive belief that they will achieve their goals. They are prepared for nothing less.
What stands out in the best and is that internal motivation that lights the fire. That drive to succeed is far more potent than any other quality. Given a strong internal motivation, I believe that sooner or later the individual who is driven to success will succeed. It’s only a matter of time.
Couple that with a high internal energy drive and the power to create strong business relationships, and you then have the ingredients of a sales professional superstar.