Chris Cornin asked me - What one trait that makes a person successful in sales?
To find out what is that one trait that make a person successful in sales, we need to first look into the problem chart and identify what is the biggest challenge that Sales People face in the Sales Cycle that impacts 70 to 80% percent of your customer engagements and deals. It will automatically become the single trait needed to be successful in Sales.
Watch the Video for the answer or continue reading the blog.
As per one of the industry survey done by ATKearney in 2018 after interviewing 50,000 Sales Professionals, gaining customer appointments is rated as the biggest challenge. I believe them since 50,000 Sales Professional cannot be wrong. They have also listed other top challenges as well such as Identifying Customer Needs, Negotiations, Account Management etc… but ‘Gaining Appointments’ tops the chart.
Now, if we could figure out, how to successfully gain appointments, this trait will help you solve 60 to 80% of your problems and will eventually become the number one Trait to be successful in Sales.
So, let’s talk about why Sales People are struggling to gain appointment and how can they crack appointments. Well, there are only two ways to crack appointments -
Law of familiarity – If you know a person as in he is your friend, existing customer, relative or acquaintance etc… If you could pull a relationship connect, customer will open the gates for you. Sounds simple but this one is pretty rare. So, most of the time, you are on your own with no helping hand. This is where second law comes handy.
Law of WIIFM – If you could as a Salesman show him why this appointment is going to be of Value to the customer, he will open his gates for you.
Now, this is where majority of the Sales People struggle and fail to gain customer’s appointment because they are confused about what is of Value to customer? Majority of Sales People, pick up the phone or when meet a prospect in-person, bombard him with glorious features of the product, amazing customer lists, impressive awards and recognition gained by the company, in a false hope that he would be attracted to one the features that will help them in cracking an appointment. In reality, this is nowhere even close to the value that prospect will be attracted to and hence no appointments.
If I have to give you a very simple example of a shirt, most Sales People you will find them talking about its features like its wrinkle free, Stain proof, imported lining and reasonable price etc… But it all goes in vein when they are hit back with responses like –
I am not interested
We are already having a solution and pretty happy with it.
Send me an email and I will get back to you.
Call me in X weeks or months or years.
So, how do you get over this challenge and talk things that give prospects a purpose to exchange his time for the value? Well, first you need to understand that a prospects isn’t attracted to features of the product. He is after the value that your product or service will bring to him or his business and will change it for Good. To understand Value, let me explain this with a Value Proposition Triangle as a Solution to help you out.
This Triangle will help you decode the mystery of why 80% of the Sales People struggle in gaining appointment with the prospects on first contact and why remaining 20% are doing it consistently with ease without any massive efforts involve.
The Triangle has three sections - What, How & Why? This is the methodology that Sales People follow to convince customers for appointments. The percentage alongside represent the number of Sales People following the highlighted method; Color Coding represents the success level in gaining appointments.
Red represent Sales People who are delivering below Average Performance in gaining appointments over Phone, Email, Social Media or In-Person
Orange represents Sales People who deliver Average Performance
Green represents Sales People who deliver top performance in booking appointments.
So, as you can easily make it out, 60% of the Sales People focus on talking ‘What’ part of their Product or Service such as what a product can offer. In the example of the shirt, the What part is – it’s wrinkle free, stain proof etc…. This does not accurately communicate the ‘Value Proposition’ prospect can expect from it and as a result, he avoids the Sales People.
20% of Sales People describes the ‘How’ Part of their product or service. To give you example of the shirt, how people can use their shirt as party-wear or a formal wear etc… This does attract attention but does not completely convert into appointments due to lack of ‘Value Proposition’ that matters to the customer.
Remaining 20% of Sales People who are crushing appointments and deals are the ones who know how to press customers’ emotion button by talking about the ‘Why’ Part of their Product or Services. In the same example of shirt, instead of mentioning wrinkle free or Stain Proof, they mention –
‘Why’ prospect’s needs this shirt for his important meetings or other events?
Something like, a great meeting can be ruined with a not so great first impression. Shirt is the first visible asset to help build it. We help client find the right shirt for their meeting to make a great first impression. Shirts that communicate their great personal brand and set the right tone for the great first impression. Would you be interested? And, you will find majority of the people will be interested to listen to them and learn more about their proposition because it is –
Highlights the True ‘Value Proposition’ or WIIFM that prospect can expect from it
Doesn’t highlight the boring features at all
These are key elements to create a great value proposition for customer and to help you nail maximum appointments. As such, this is the single greatest trait that makes a person successful in Sales.