Customer Experience News & Trends

Why some salespeople succeed and others fail

Why do some of your salespeople succeed while others fail? Is it just luck or having the right contacts? Or do the failures lack these seven essentials?

While no one can say that one quality guarantees success or the absence of another means failure, the following list typically represents the differences between those who succeed and those who fail:

  • Planning. Most successful salespeople spend more time in planning than they do in sales presentations. They plan time, plan calls and plan all selling activities. Below average achievers devote most of their time to making sales calls and very little on sales planning.
  • Specific goals. One of the major differences between successful people and unsuccessful people is in goal setting. Successful salespeople set both short and long-term goals and monitor themselves continually to make sure they are met. They are extremely time-conscious, realizing every minute is a potential for income. Less successful salespeople fail to set goals, which may lead to time management problems.
  • Enthusiasm. People want to do business with those who are upbeat, and positive and demonstrate that they like what they’re doing. Dull doesn’t do it. Neither does blah, a common trait of the unsuccessful salesperson. Successful salespeople come across as positive and their customers usually feel positive about them.
  • Commitment. Top salespeople earn their customers’ respect and their business by delivering for them. Selling isn’t about trying. It’s about delivering.  This is one of the qualities that separates sales winners from losers. For sales achievers, commitment begins at the start of a customer relationship and it never ends.
  • Perseverance. Even top salespeople face failure every day. It’s the nature of the business. What determines sales success more than any other fact is the ability to fail successfully and keep trying, learned and improving.
  • Follow-up. Many sales are lost because of a lack of consistent follow-up. Prospects are taking longer than ever to make decisions. Following up means keeping abreast of the customer’s business and keeping an eye out for new trends, products or products that may impact the prospect’s business. Lack of follow-up is a common problem for unsuccessful salespeople.
  • Value alignment. Successful salespeople make every effort to understand the customer and then relate in ways that make sense to the purchaser. They realize that what they value is of little significance unless it’s also valued by customers. Less successful salespeople only discuss value when dealing with price cutters. By then, it’s usually too late.

(Adapted from The Basics of Success: Keys to Achieving Your Greatest Potential, by Tim Connor.


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