Tuesday, August 2, 2011
The 7 Secrets of Top Producers
by Jim Roddy, President, Jameson Publishing
I had the opportunity in late July to attend RetailNOW, the trade show of the Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA) in Orlando, FL. I won't tell you about the latest happenings in point of sale hardware or payment processing, but I will share with you some thoughts from Garrison Wynn (pictured above), the keynote speaker at the event.
Wynn's company surveyed 5,000 top sales producers, and the findings were pretty interesting. Here's a column Wynn wrote about that survey:
Contrary to popular belief, the most successful salespeople were not those who made the most phone calls or were the best presenters and closers. There seemed to be no common ground with best practices. We saw many top producers who had low closing ratios but set ten times more appointments and made more money than their competitors by being in front of more people.
Also, we saw many number-one salespeople who could not cold call or even work their referrals that well. They went where their customers were: to networking meetings, golf courses, and so forth. They met face to face with fewer people but were very successful. We saw people who managed their time well and many who did not, but who made up for it by what we can only refer to as "wasting their time with the right people."
What they had in common went beyond best practices. They focused on their strengths and were more competitive by getting better at what they already did well. Wynnism: The key to success is doing very little of what you do badly.
We found a group we called the strugglers -- people who work very hard to produce average results. They seemed to focus all their strength in areas where they just didn't have any. We saw them working on their shortcomings over and over again, hoping for a different result.
As it turns out, hope is not a strategy. The difference is that the top producers used their strengths to improve a weakness. Wynnism: If you do nothing but focus on your weaknesses, you will ultimately feel weak.
We did, however, uncover seven beyond-best practices that we believe may be the keys to sales success.
1. They explain the value of their service clearly in about 20 seconds.
2. They develop simple and easy to maintain organizational processes that create client care.
3. They are able to stay persistent because they have clearly defined outcomes.
4. They spend approximately 50% of their time building relationships with top customers.
5. They leverage existing relationships by being a solutions provider.
6. They survey their customers to find out what services they like best and then focus their offering in those areas.
7. They manage expectations and emotions by setting those expectations and making sure their customers feel heard.
The Erie Sales Club is a joint effort of three leading local businesses: Jameson Publishing, Marsha Marsh Real Estate Services, and VertMarkets.