Friday, August 29, 2014

How You Can Recruit Sales Super Stars - Part 1 - Sales Traits

Ted Nicholas, the author of "Magic Words That Sell" once said,"Marketing mistakes are by far the primary reason businesses do not survive. This includes companies which consider themselves direct marketers as well as those who do not".Of course Ted is quite right make mistakes in marketing and you'll end up paying through the nose with absolutely no results. Yet companies continually make mistakes in sales.They waste the opportunities that marketing provides by using salespeople that have one, or more, of these traits:
Poor closers
Too aggressive
Passive order takers
Fear of phoning
Can't write to persuade
Can't present without being boring
Unable to build value in the service or product
Has poor follow-up skills
Can't get to top decision makers
Finds rejection difficult to handle
Poor time manager
Doesn't think strategically
Not self-disciplined
Doesn't try to get market knowledge
Yet sales training may have little or no effect because they're at the limit of their potential already.What About The Owners As Salestaff?Often the owners in small companies are also the sales staff. If they can't sell they ultimately go out of business. If they can sell they usually reach a point where they're working harder than if they were in a job. Think about it...If the owner is the company's sales channel they're probably also their own bookkeeper, administrative clerk, VAT returns clerk, receptionist and general "muck in and get the thing finished or delivered" guy too.

We all know Michael Gerber's mantra about "Working on the business, rather than in it". We all agree that's a very laudable aim. But we're all so busy doing and doing that we can't quite bear to tear ourselves away from working in the business.I've been a consultant and coach for over 30 years and I've rarely met a business owner or director who's felt able to step back and consider the strategic aims of the business as it grows.Strategic Selling AimsIt's all down to the perceived urgent need for sales. Because often management have no visibility of sales beyond the next one or two months.Ultimately your business reaches a point where you and your current staff are working all the hours there are to simply stand still.Growing the organisation is just another item that stays on the "to do" list. If it's not part of a strategic plan it rarely gets any focus until it's been a problem for a long time. A time where the company has been unable to keep up with sales leads.Before you reach that point you need to set-up a strategic business plan - for you, not for investors. As part of that consider when you're going to want to recruit a salesman.I'll use the term salesman rather than salesperson to indicate a man or woman who sells because it's seems less clumsy than salesperson.In the next article in this series I'll explain the three types of sales people you can attract and what their impact could be on your business

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