Posted by: Kristi Shoemaker, VP Marketing, EcSELL Institute
Our research director, Jaime Davis-Thomas, recently distributed this latest research document, from our Resource Library, to our EcSELL Institute members. 5 Secrets of Sales Superstars is written by Lisa Earle McLeod. Lisa is an author, columnist, keynote speaker and friend of the EcSELL Institute. She is the founder and principal of McLeod & More, Inc. Her newest book, The Triangle of Truth, has been cited as the blueprint for "how smart people can get better at everything."
I liked it so much I thought I would share some highlights with you. Enjoy!
What makes some people superstars, while most of their peers hover near the mediocre middle? As a sales manager, it's not too hard to pinpoint the difference between average performers and poor ones. Easy to spot skills like work habits, product knowledge, communication style and use of sales tools are all indicators of general competence. The challenge for most sales managers is not determining the difference between good and bad; it's discerning the difference between good and great.
The mistake most organizations, and frankly, most sales training programs make is that they try to teach sales skills before addressing the mindset. Selling skills models, questioning techniques, call-planning worksheets, strategic roadmaps and the like are all helpful tools for improving sales team performance, but they will only take you so far.
Sales managers truly want to create superstar sales reps (and what organization doesn't want a team of superstars?). But first, you have to get inside people's heads and train them to think differently before you can expect them to act differently.
The 5 secrets of sales superstars are:
i. Superstar sales people hold two agendas in their mind at the same time
Average performers tend to approach their interactions focused exclusively on their own goals. Superstars on the other hand, go into situations focused on their goals AND the goals of the other person. This seemingly nuanced difference in thinking is the single biggest differentiator between the superstars and their more average counterparts.
ii. Superstar sales people can sit with uncertainty
Mediocre performers want things to go according to their script. They get anxious in the face of new information and they frequently try to close too early and too often. Superstar sales reps, on the other hand, are more confident. They know that they'll ultimately be able to close the sale, but they're not attached to having it play out in a certain way.
iii. Superstar sales reps' brains work backwards
Mediocre salespeople think "I have this product, how can I sell it to this customer?" Superstar sales reps reverse it, they think ‘I have this customer, how might my product be helpful?"
iv. Superstarsales people define success differently
Average sales performers tend to view other people as either obstacles to or helpers in accomplishing their goals. They often use words like gatekeepers, blocker, competitive threat or supporters, defining others in the context of whether they're going to help or hinder their sales efforts.
Superstar sales people have a different definition of success. Other people aren't just a means to accomplish their sales goals; other people are their goal.
v. Superstar sales people show up with love
There are basically only two emotions: love and fear. They play out the same way at work as they do in our personal lives. Love expands, fear contracts.
Mediocre performers might not be quaking in their boots every minute of the day, but they spend a lot of time worrying about whether or not things will go their way. This unspoken fear creates an emotional wall between them and their customers. Superstars have no such barrier. When they're with you, they're fully with you.
It's not just about what the superstars do differently, it's about the way they think!