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The DNA of a Sales Guru

Mark Keating (Sales Guru CEO) has spent many years looking at and speaking to the top 1% of salesmen in the world. In this article, we will look at what is in the DNA of a Sales Guru. Then we will see how you can look at it and take from the primary elements in the DNA and implement them for you to experience greater success.

Following on from 2021, the world, countries, provinces, communities, businesses, teams and individuals have all been exposed to a multitude of challenges. But how do we achieve better business and sales success in these trying times?

5 years ago, it was easier and less challenging to get business for any size business but currently, it has become far more challenging. There are more competitors in a buying pool that is shrinking. Pricing and value are a lot more topical now, and the buying cycles in various industries have been extended and are taking longer to conclude. Lastly, getting hold of prospects has become more challenging.

But despite these challenges, there are individuals and businesses who have thrived in this environment. We received gold medals in the Olympic and Paralympic games. And many businesses have had their best years in 2020 and 2021. We need to consider this question: Have people stopped buying and needing what everyone is offering? No, they haven’t but there are challenges which when faced with the right mindset can be considered the building blocks to your ultimate success.

What has the DNA of the Sales Superstars of the world taught us?

That there is a recipe to their successes. And when we implement this recipe into our business well, we will also reap the rewards. This recipe can be implemented regardless of your current sales success.

The DNA of a sales guru has three elements: mindset, activities and skills. A combination of all three will bring you great success.

Mindset is the foundation for activities and skills. The mindset is the foundation of every sales guru. They carefully consider what they feed their mind with. They focus on opportunities rather than the challenges of the situation. They believe in what they do and what benefits they can offer the marketplace. They believe that their prospects and clients will be better off with their service or product than they are now. They are genuinely excited about what they do, and this enthusiasm is transferred to the customer during their engagements. They take responsibility and accountability for the results they want to achieve in their business. They celebrate successes and when the results are less, they take accountability and look for ways to improve right now to ensure a better result next time.

Your mindset drives your activity. True sales gurus dedicate time to prospecting. They ensure they have enough time daily to engage with and create opportunities with enough people that can buy from them, and this leads to them achieving and exceeding their targets. This is one area where sales are constantly unsuccessful. They don’t spend enough time on the engagement activity.

Lastly, how do you do these activities? This is where skills become important. You need to know how to prospect well, how to lead your customer through the pipeline and, eventually close the deal.

All the elements are vitally important, and the strength of your mindset determines the amount of activity you do and that flows into the skills you have and highlights the ones you may need to improve on.

Have you set a goal for your business?

Your goal for your life and work may have changed a lot in the last couple of years.

Consider these questions for a moment:

  • Where are you in your business at the moment?
  • Where do you want to be?
  • Why does it matter?

The most important thing about setting a goal is to set it. Then you can consider making it a SMART goal, but without a goal for your business, you won’t be able to assess if you are growing in your business or not.

Write down what success looks like for you. Everyone has a different perspective on success. This can be seen when you look at the analogy of students at school. Some students who put in the bare minimum for a task will receive a mark that reflects that, but students who set the goal of getting a distinction, have a clear-cut goal on what they want to achieve, why they want to achieve it and how much effort is involved to achieve it. The law of the universe says, “what you put in, is what you will get out”. So, raise your standards to achieve your goals.

Do you have limiting self-beliefs about your business?

One aspect which holds many businesses back from reaching their true potential is the limiting self-beliefs they have about themselves as an owner and what they believe their company and staff are capable of. Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t. You’re 100% correct”. And to add further to this, you will find every reason to justify the decision you have made.

When our thoughts and the ideas from the media threaten to sabotage our business, we need to shut it down. Think about what you would do if someone came into your space and emptied day-old smelly trash bags in your office? Would you wait to see what would happen or would you take action straight away to remove the trash? You would most probably take action and you need to do the same with the thoughts and information which you feed your brain.

Remove the trash and feed your brain good nutritious information which will help to build and inspire you to become a better person and have a better business. You have the choice of what you expose yourself to and how you grow your mindset. The results you see have a direct link to what you have allowed to fester and take over your mind.

What do you focus on to ensure you achieve results much greater than the norm?

The sales gurus focus on four elements on a weekly, fortnightly and monthly basis

They are:

1. Actual vs sales target

According to your overall goal for your business, what was your weekly sales target? When you have established this number, you need to assess it against your actual sales. This is a practice to do every week. It helps you to see where you might be struggling and how you can adapt to improve this.

2. Sales pipeline

What does your sales pipeline look like? What happens when a prospect becomes a lead and is led down the pipeline to closure? Sales gurus are brutal when it comes to ensuring qualified leads enter the sales pipeline. The better qualified your leads are the more chance you have of creating a successful pipeline.

3. Business engagements

Analyse the last week to four weeks and see how many business engagements you have participated in? Are you booked up for the next two weeks? It is a good guideline to have two weeks of business engagements with prospective and current clients to keep your business moving.

4. Prospecting                                                           

Have you dedicated enough time in your day to look for potential clients? To start, spend at least one hour a day looking for new prospects. If you don’t have qualified leads to feed into your pipeline, your business will slow down. Make time to look for prospects and if your business is struggling try to spend more time on prospecting.

What business are you in?

If you automatically want to tell me about the industry or field of work you do then you need to listen to this. You are in the business of listening. Your prospects don’t want to hear about how great you are but rather how your product or service will improve their situation. Don’t be afraid of the word “no”. You need to ask your targeted market if they want to do business with you. The more people you ask the more chance you have of generating more business.

Do you have the skills?

You can have the best product line and services but if you are looking for customers in the wrong market or targeting the wrong income bracket for your product, you have a very good chance of coming up empty. Create a finite, defined prospect list.

Consider these questions when making your list:

  • Who do you help the most?
  • What problems do you solve?
  • What industries offer the best results for your business?

These questions will help you find the core clients you need to focus on and then you can use different marketing techniques to target them.

Let’s look at three ways to approach these customers:

  • The phone: Many people are phone-adverse, especially the younger generation.  As Napoleon Hill, author of “Think and grow rich” says the three things which hold people back from succeeding are fear, indecision and doubt.

    But we need to face our fears and call our prospects. It is a good method to find out if we can assist them and if we are a good fit. Remember we need to focus on how our value can best serve our clients. What’s the worst thing they can say? No or I am not interested. If you hear “I am not interested” then you may need to check what you are saying to the customer. Are you boring them with your company history and why you are the best party planner in the world or are you trying to find out what their current problem is and how your service or product can solve it. Use questions to qualify your clients and once you know there is some interest, use questions about urgency to see how great their need for your solution is.
  • Email: Again, don’t focus on yourself or your business but rather on the value your business can provide to make the client’s situation better. Use a question in the subject line to pique their interest and then explain quickly and clearly the purpose of the mail and what call to action you would like them to take.
  • LinkedIn: This avenue for prospecting has not been used extensively or effectively by salespeople. Watch this video by Sales Scriptor on how to effectively use LinkedIn for sales prospecting.

You need to have the belief structure in place of who your business is, what your business does, and why it’s good at it. With the answer to these questions, you can form questions that highlight your value to a customer without force-feeding them information that they don’t want to hear.

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