The Key Attributes of Top Performers
Being a leading producer in your industry doesn’t happen overnight, it is a process that happens over time by growing the fundamental skills necessary to be successful. This article emphasizes the skills that top performers acquire, and how you can acquire them yourself.
The Key Attributes of Top Performers by Bob Arzt, CLU, ChFC, LLIF
The best advisors are proactive, likeable, own the sales process, prospect brilliantly and fully expect to succeed.
I love being a sales coach, and I have had the privilege of working with different types of salespeople over the years. I have seen who is effective and who is not. I have seen many who are great at different aspects of the selling process and fail miserably at others. Awareness of your strengths and shortfalls will determine your success as a salesperson.
Here is a list of what successful salespeople have in common. Rate yourself on each and then create a plan to make the changes to improve your selling style.
- Top performers don’t wait. They constantly take action. They are proactive in prospecting, networking and the sales process. There is a big difference between being in motion and taking action. Emailing a warm lead with information about your company or product is being in motion. Closing the sale is taking action. The act of being in motion often makes us feel as if we are taking action and keeps us from actually getting there. The difference is that successful salespeople give themselves a hard deadline that is not negotiable. This one act holds them accountable to take action and produce a meaningful result rather than just staying in motion by planning and strategizing.
- Top performers are likeable. They have high emotional IQ. They have great communication styles and adapt their presentations to the prospect. This is critical. They don’t try to relate the same way to everyone. Some of us move quickly and make decisions instantly. Some are slow and move at a deliberate pace. And there are some who want every detail of the product and others who want just the bottom line. In sales, we have to meet the prospect no matter where he is in his thought paradigm, values and buying style. It is almost impossible to be successful and have a limited way of presenting information and closing the sale.
- Top performers conduct effective sales calls. They own the entire sales process. Sales calls are often ineffective because the salesperson forgets the purpose, the process and the flow of the meeting. During the meeting, it is necessary to find the needs and wants of the prospect in order to uncover potential problems. Many salespeople confuse presenting with selling. They talk too much and don’t listen closely to the prospect. Top performers articulate their thoughts at a digestible speed. They ask questions, clarify what they say, listen carefully to what is being said and don’t jump to conclusions about what is motivating the prospect. Their questions help guide them and shape what they share
- Top performers have great account selection. They prospect brilliantly. Not everyone is a great prospect. Top performers know that they will connect with certain people. They know it and don’t waste their time trying to sell to everyone. They don’t wander aimlessly from one sales presentation to the other. They have a strategically selected, focused list of prospects. They put in the time and have effectively planned a marketing and outreach strategy to make sure that they are speaking to the right people. This is where their effort, time and focus go. Even the most likeable and talented salesperson will not succeed if he gets this one wrong. Top performers have a very targeted market and don’t change direction constantly when things go wrong. They figure out what they could do differently when they don’t get the results they want and make sure they gain traction in the future.
- Top performers have an optimistic outlook. They fully expect to succeed and take full responsibility for anything that happens to them. They want the best and don’t complain when things go wrong. Top performers keep going because they know deep inside that they will succeed. I have never met a pessimistic salesperson who has succeeded.
Bob Arzt, CLU, ChFC, LLIF, is CEO of Polaris One and InsuranceCoachu. com. He coaches professionals who are ready to achieve more. Contact him at 301-610-5624 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article appeared in Advisor Today.