Over the years, we have found salespeople who think you have to be lucky to make it big in the water equipment industry. We also have found salespeople who think you have to be an excellent closer to earn the big bucks. However, after 15 years of working with the nation’s largest producers as well as those who are doomed to failure, we have concluded that each of us freely selects the level of success we want to achieve based on the habits and attitudes we choose of our own free will. Can it be possible that you and I actually choose the level of success we will achieve? We think so.
We have proven over the years that our attitude determines our altitude, our habits predict our paycheck and that we create our own reality. This partly is due to the fact that much of sales is self-fulfilling prophecies. Henry Ford said, "If you believe you can do it, or you believe you can’t, either way you are right." We have observed that great salespeople spend a lot of time examining their attitudes and habits and selling themselves everyday on the ones that lead to success. Success requires recharging and selling yourself everyday so that the negative influences and rejection we all face do not wear away at your spirit until you burn out. We also recommend that managers and owners assess the attitudes and habits of team members regularly. Help to develop the habits and attitudes you need to be successful and eradicate people who do not share these attitudes and habits before they spread their style to the rest of your team.
Look at the chart and see which column best describes you. We predict you will be in the earnings range at the top of the column.
The $24,000 Salesperson
- Gets to work a bit late. Often has personal business that makes him leave early.
- Has never listened to a recording of his demonstration and thinks the idea is stupid.
- Never reads books on water or business. Takes training tapes home but doesn't listen.
- Read the brochures on the product a couple of years ago; no need to do anything further.
- Spends one hour per day selling at one demo. Spends the rest on non-sales activities.
- Never practices his demo or cleans his kit. Thinks "winging it" is more spontaneous. Is afraid to tell the boss he lost his TDS meter six months ago.
- Waits for leads from the company.
- Complains it has been slow lately. Company should advertise more.
- Thinks most company products are OK but the best are too expensive. So is the finance plan.
- Often is unlucky and gets uninterested "weirdoes" and "flakes" as prospects.
- Thinks the company sometimes "messes with" the salespeople and customers.
- When an appointment is a "no show," gets mad and goes home for the evening.
- Hopes he will be lucky and sell something today.
- Believes people will buy if they want to–no reason to be pushy like those other guys.
- Asks customers to buy once if they look interested. If not, forgets them.
- Feels they wasted his time if they do not buy.
- Blames customers who don't buy. Tells other salespeople what a great job he did and why the customers were losers that no one could sell.
- Is hoping for a better job.
The $40,000 Salesperson
- Gets to work on time and works full shift.
- Will listen to a recording of his demo if asked by his manager.
- Will read books or listen to tapes if the manager gives them to him.
- Read current brochure and has seen competitors' products. Asks customers for reference letters but they never give him any.
- Spends two hours selling (two demos), one hour selling by phone and five hours on non-selling activities per day.
- Learned his demo well when hired. Uses the same demo. Always replaces items that he needs in his kit.
- Will generate leads if asked.
- Doesn't complain but thinks it's slow.
- Thinks company products are good or a bit better than competitors'.
- Sometimes gets "flakes."
- Thinks the company is pretty good.
- When an appointment is a "no show," calls in to see if there are other appointments he can go to.
- Works to get into two homes today but settled for one.
- Gives customers a reason to buy if he can think of one.
- Asks for the order and tried to overcome an objection.
- Feels people will buy if they like him.
- Doesn't understand when he doesn't get a sale and wonders why.
- Likes his job but thinks there may be a better one.
The $80,000 Salesperson
- Sells every person he meets from when he wakes up until five minutes after he falls asleep.
- Tapes sales calls and listens to them regularly. Also tapes demonstration twice a week and asks manager for help with problem areas.
- Devotes four hours per week to continuing education.
- Has binder with every competitor's brochures, prices and contracts. Also carries a binder of thank-you letters from happy customers.
- Spends six hours per day selling, knocking on doors and on the phone. Sends out 20 sales letters per day.
- Cleans kit daily and replenishes what he needs. Recharges mini conditioner daily.
- Knocks on doors one hour and calls on one business per day. Works on three ways to generate leads each week.
- Visits realtors for leads, calls on people who have sold/bought homes and has a 20-man bird-dog system.
- Would die before owning a competitor's product or drinking from the tap.
- Views everyone as a buyer and feels he has a product for every situation and budget.
- Feels sorry for anyone who buys or works anywhere else.
- When an appointment is a "no show," knocks on four neighbors' doors to get new appointments.
- Will not stop until he improves one family's water. Works weekends if he is behind in his number of demos.
- Every day makes sure he has exciting special offers and reasons to buy. Expects to sell everyone he visits.
- Asks as often as necessary and does not give up until he gets the sale.
- Feels sorry for people who don't buy and tries whatever it takes to stop them from making a big mistake.
- Goes over every step of the sale immediately after leaving to see where he went wrong and commits to improving next time.
- Feels lucky to be selling a great product for a great company. Wouldn't change a thing.
About the Author
Carl Davidson is president of Sales & Management Solutions, which provides sales and management training designed exclusively for the water equipment industry. For more than 13 years, he has helped more than 1,400 companies in seven countries. For a free demonstration tape and catalog, contact the company at 800-941-0068; www.salesco.net.
* If you have questions or a topic you would like to see addressed, please e-mail [email protected]; fax 847-390-0408.