40 winning habits common to top salespeople

If you've been missing your goals for a long time, it's important to change your routine. Opt for these 40 winning habits of top salespeople
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Everything you do during the sales process, whether it's having coffee in the morning with your boss, checking your emails after each break, or spending 10 minutes talking to a marketing person, is a routine that determines your sales performance.

The sales process is a difficult process and each salesperson develops their own routine along the way. Not all of our habits strive for good results.

If you haven't reached your goals for a while, you should definitely change your routine.

Butch Bellah, author of the book”The 10 essential habits of sales superstars” (book in English), believes that our daily routine has a big impact on the final result and that “if you change your habits, you change your results.”

Salespeople who achieve peak performance are the sum of a set of habits that improve productivity and results.

List of 40 habits of top salespeople


1. Set goals and control them

A study conducted at Harvard found that people who stick to their goals and constantly monitor their progress perform 30 percent better than others. The authors of this study attribute this exceptional performance to the greater motivation that people experience when they have goals to achieve. People get more excited and end up doing more. Have you ever heard of or experienced companies where salespeople reach their goals well before the end of the year and who decide to give up because they won't get paid more? As such, I still don't understand why some structures continue to limit the achievement of objectives...

Different salespeople need different goals. Some do not succeed under the pressure of ambitious goals, while others succeed in meeting the challenge. The type of objective to be defined also depends on the strength and weakness of commercial populations.

Regardless of the goals, the most important part is monitoring whether or not you are setting your goals. You don't need a sales manager to call you when you miss something. Treat your sales goals as a challenge with yourself and you'll have a harder time exceeding them.

2. Make public announcements about future achievements

If the goals don't bring enough positive pressure for you, then try “audience anticipation.”

This is the technique that Aaron Ross, author of the best-selling book “Predictable Revenue,” uses to achieve the best performance at his own pace. Tired of following the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Acceptable, Realistic, and Time-Defined) model in setting goals, he started working on a new approach to work. He calls this: “Showing Your ASS, from Announcing Specific Outcome by a Specific Date.” (Announcement of a result on a specific date).

Clearly, segment your final goals into “small” goals that you announce in advance. This technique will allow you to:

  • Put a greater quality effort on each of these objectives,
  • Get a sense of satisfaction that puts you in a much more positive mindset with each accomplishment
  • Committing to achievement dates is a motivating factor for many people that helps them excel.


3. Study the product in depth

A good salesperson should know their product or service inside and out. The best salespeople go above and beyond and devote a lot of time to this in-depth study: they examine the faults, compare it to competing products, and believe in the product's ability to provide solutions to real life problems.

In statistics:

  • The top 1% of salespeople have in-depth knowledge of products and services. In addition, several studies have already shown that people who have a clear intention to buy are attracted to salespeople who demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the product.
  • Retail salespeople with deep brand expertise sell an average of 87% more than their peers.

These considerable numbers are more than sufficient proof that knowledge of your niche is a great asset to use if you master it.

4. Ask questions before making a proposal

Customers these days are aspiring buyers.

They know their rights, have information very easily and have networks that help them confirm whether a supplier is good or not. To be on their side, you need to communicate that you are here to help, without telling them.

The most effective way to let them know that you are looking for their best interests is by asking questions. Effective listening is the key to a successful commercial activity, which involves:

  • Asking the right questions
  • Never interrupt the customer while they are speaking
  • Respond appropriately
  • Clarify your answers before giving an answer

5. Knowing how to sell means helping

A successful seller does not ask his customer, “Which of our services do you want to buy?” Instead, he asks, “How can I help this customer?” And work to achieve that goal.

The time for salespeople who sold without really knowing what their customers wanted was already over. “It's time to fire your sales people, then hire sales guides with a new mission: helping your prospects make a solid, informed, and safe buying decision. People only buy when they feel safe. Salespeople should help prospects feel safe by advising them throughout their buying journey. ”

6. Try to imbue the thoughts and feelings of your customers

When your prospect gives you a hard time, the best response is to put yourself in their shoes and try to predict what he/she would like to hear. To do this, you need to know your customer's needs inside and out and pay attention to the smallest details.

7. Highlight the value on the product and the price

With the Internet, it has become increasingly difficult to tell your customer the best features of your product or services. Chances are that this information is already online and your customer has read it before you even called.

Stop talking about your product and instead focus on the benefits that the product can bring to your customer. Use other conversation elements, such as success stories from other customers, its social value, or the practical value of your product for your customer's needs.

8. Be honest and honest in every sale

Customers are tired of salespeople who oversell their products or services.

They don't want to hear the best of your product or your business. They only want you to be honest and tell the truth: Trust me, if they feel that it is too good to be true or that you have lied to them, you will lose all credibility.

“When customers find out that the salesperson doesn't know what they're talking about, they stop the conversation. To earn the respect of customers, you need to prove your credibility by using third-party references, certifications, or reviews that your product or business has won. Customers aren't usually swept away by a sales pitch, but they can be swayed by objective criticism or media coverage.”

9. Keep your promises

Salespeople are always guilty of promising something to their customers.

Promise to give you a discount. Promise to give you a free trial. Promise to increase your return on investment.

Promises, promises, promises. It's the oldest and cheapest tip in the sales book, and customers know a lot about you.

Promises are great ways of persuasion, but they can also be your downfall. When you make promises that you can't keep, like a double return on investment in three months, you're sure to get an unsatisfied future customer.

Keep these promises to your advantage, why not offer a promise that you know is “underqualified” compared to what you know how to do: “By promising one thing (delivery within five days, for example) and exceeding initial expectations (delivery within two days), you will surprise and delight your customers. And that will bring them back. “


10. Put personal and business information that customers can easily find (online presence)

Being visible online is a must for sellers.

“Once a seller is well identified, their potential customer is likely to search Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social platforms for information about them. Sellers should be able to easily find information and be sure that the promises in the offer correspond to what was previously mentioned.”

A habit to develop: check your social media profiles every week and upload new content such as a blog or an article to keep your accounts up to date. It will show that you are active and this social proof is critical in the sales process these days.

11. Join LinkedIn groups

All sales people need to be on LinkedIn or risk missing out on market updates and opportunities. To maximize your presence on LinkedIn, start joining groups, you will maximize your chances of conquering new markets.

You are “70% more likely to get an appointment with someone during a prospecting call if you cite a common LinkedIn group than if you don't.”

LinkedIn groups are great places to meet new professionals and exchange ideas with them. When you join these groups, set aside time per week to check on group activity and provide your perspective so that other group members get to know you better. The more relevant your words are because you know your segment, the more credibility you will gain.

Attention: never use a LinkedIn group only to spam and promote your product. You'll end up with more enemies than prospects if you simply use a LinkedIn group for self-promotion.

12. Ask for new contacts (even from people who refuse)

Fight the pain of rejecting certain prospecting calls by showing your prospects that you want to bring value to them. Some prospects will never tell you about their points of difficulty during your first exchanges because they do not trust you and do not know you. Be pugnacious and you get new lines of attack to advance with them.

13. Map prospects and attack one territory after another

The best salespeople know that chance never brings you closer to the quota. The best approach for calling or emailing is a tactical approach, where the plan is clear and the goals are achievable.

A structured approach gives better results. “The best salespeople map or grid their territory every day. They then schedule their appointments and calls every day.” The time spent should be structured, sales people who do it are more productive and show more results. Start this habit and you'll literally have better business coverage.

14. Start small

The organic marketing method is still the best way to promote a service or product. When you have happy customers who speak for you, your reputation and base grow. You can achieve this when you choose to start conquering from one territory to another before launching a large-scale sales effort.

“When you have a product that seems appealing, you'll be tempted to sell nationally or expand into multiple vertical markets. This works if you're a well-resourced business, but in general, it's best to identify the smallest market where you can be successful and become a leader in it. ”

15. Follow the competitors

Let's face it, the market can get pretty tight, especially for SaaS businesses and other tech products. Some people say that doing your best will move you forward, but sometimes pure passion isn't enough.

Knowing what your competitors are doing is fundamental for the most successful salespeople. I advise sales teams to create a central repository of sales made by your competitors in order to know who is buying what and where new markets are more easily accessible. This framework is based on competitive intelligence in social selling.

This intelligence helps you focus your efforts on the best leads you have, instead of looking for people who are already about to work with others (unless your offer is much more competitive than you have the feeling that you can quickly take over the market). To do this properly, you need to log into your LinkedIn account more regularly and monitor your relationships or make your network work.

Appointments and Interviews

16. Ask relevant questions

Salespeople who are fully proficient in their subject can do what many are afraid to do: ask difficult and profound questions.

You need to show your customers that “you've done your homework”. You should know that in telephone prospecting, asking simple questions also reduces the time spent on each call with a prospect. If necessary, prepare them in writing before any call.

17. Prefer LinkedIn messages to emails

Another technique to get your customer's attention is to send your message via LinkedIn. Messages sent by email tend to get lost in the stack of emails that a business receives every day. LinkedIn messages are more personal and tend to get noticed more quickly because fewer people use LinkedIn messaging.

18. Personalize messages

Admit it or not, predefined messages make life easier for salespeople. Before making calls or sending emails, check your template and personalize messages, add personal touches to make your email more authentic and inviting.

19. Get the perfect pitch

Top salespeople know the value of a single voice message. It's not just a call. It's a performance.

To get the perfect pitch, you need to structure and write your message in order to practice before each exercise. I recommend it to you in order to avoid panic once the beep is emitted.

20. Use two screens

A simple habit can bring 100% more productivity: Use two screens.

Dual monitors solve various problems for workers, such as split screen, window switching, and click errors. Programmers and editors use dual monitors to work on one monitor and simultaneously display results on the other screen. For salespeople, two screens allow you to find out about information about your prospect while writing a personalized email to them.

21. Data is worth gold, build and maintain your base

A customer database is the most useful record you will have throughout your sales career. Set aside time to organize this data and keep this directory somewhere near your workstation so that you can easily consult it.

“While it may take a bit of time to load this data into a spreadsheet or CRM system, once you have someone's business card or contact information, you'll save a lot of time if that information is easily accessible. “

22. Spend more quality time with customers

When you're not making phone calls, meeting with customers, or talking to potential customers, you're not doing the work you should be doing. Salespeople should spend more time with their customers to maintain a deep and lasting relationship with them. But quantity alone is not enough. As the competition gets tougher, salespeople need to give their customers more than just time, you need to give them your undivided attention.

Volometrix CEO Ryan Fuller studied top sellers and discovered that they spent up to 33% more time with customers each week. These same successful businesses interacted with 40% fewer accounts over a three-month period. These results suggest that to close more purchases, businesses must first prioritize their prospects and engage them longer than other salespeople.

23. Tell beautiful stories with emotion

Storytelling is an important skill in the retail industry. Advertising, print, commercial, and other types of media, exploit this power. Salespeople use the same technique and even attend seminars to improve this skill.

Numerous experts offer advice on storytelling.

“When it comes to storytelling, openness should be spectacular and personal. The start of the sales conversation should be focused on defining the needs of prospects.” This is essential for the customer to buy in, which will eventually lead to a sale much more likely.

Case studies are also a powerful form of content. You can always get customer quotes as testimonials from any case study you create. It's extremely powerful to add to your website, presentations, business proposals, or other marketing materials.

24. Read and research customers before making a call

New technologies are making it much easier for salespeople to access customer data than before. By knowing your customers' information, you can better prepare your calls or emails and use the most appropriate messages for your prospects.

We often hear about customer data for marketing, but sales people also need to know what their customers want. You can check out their LinkedIn profiles, Twitter accounts, Facebook accounts, or see if they're members of specialized groups or forums to get ideas on how best to engage your prospect.

25. Ask for feedback during the sales cycle

The best salespeople know whether the entire sales process needs to be perfected. They are always striving to improve themselves and are not afraid to ask for the opinion of others - whether good or bad and whether it comes from those around them, colleagues or customers.

During calls, meetings, or various exchanges with customers, take the time and effort to ask them for an honest evaluation of the sales process. This feedback completes the sales cycle and builds trust between you and the customer.

Whatever the customer says, think about how you can use that feedback to improve your next customer's experience.

“People like to be asked for advice, they feel valued, keep that in mind.”

26. Hate to keep customers waiting

Selling is a bit like flirting. You need the right time to finalize the deal with your prospects. The worst thing you can do is keep them waiting, which makes them feel unwanted and neglected.

If you keep them waiting, you might get this answer: “I switched to a different provider.”

“With consumers looking for the quickest way to access information, entertainment, or food, their loyalty lies not in the product, but in the supplier. The key is getting them what they need when they need it.”

Why do you think fast food works so well? Because they respond quickly to immediate needs and people no longer want to wait.

27. Present something new to prospects

Customer follow-up is a standard procedure that is essential for concluding an agreement and is often overlooked.

Add value to your follow-up by presenting your customers with something new - something you didn't give them the first time around.

This added value may consist of new information, a case study, a deeper understanding of their business needs, expert advice, among others.

Create a sheet to list ideas that you can try with your customers.

This tool is extremely useful for people who have trouble engaging in conversations with their customers.

28. Remember special occasions

Customers are not buyers - they are people you have relationships with!

Make them feel special and be thoughtful by greeting them on special occasions, especially dates that mark your business partnership.

Send them messages on the day when actions are successful, profitable, or just successful, or on special dates like their birthday to show them that you care about them.

These messages will be a huge lever for your customers not to forget you and for them to feel that you treat them as “special” people.

29. Persist despite rejection

It's not just a habit you need to cultivate, it's an attitude.

A study by Dartnell Corp indicates that 90% of sellers give up after four attempts with no results. Don't be part of the 90% and persist.

Remember this: the hardest to reach customers can become your most loyal customers.

All that is needed is patience and perseverance. Don't let go!

Time management

30. Avoid administrative formalities, put your efforts on selling

Everyone hates administrative formalities, but they are necessary for the operation of the company and must therefore be borne by.

The problem is that for salespeople, paperwork takes up valuable time that could have been spent on revenue-generating tasks, like making a call or meeting with a customer.

These formalities should have the lowest priority on your to-do list.

I recommend that you delegate these tasks to other people or perform them outside of working hours or during off-peak periods (Monday morning, during your customers' vacations, or any other period depending on the seasonality of your business)

Prospecting or retaining your customers should be at the top of your to-do list.

31. Do a weekly review every weekend

Start each Monday off on a high note by taking stock of your past week and listing your goals for the week to come.

This routine will allow you to focus more on the current week.

Prioritize upcoming tasks and post your achievements on your calendar every time. When you're feeling sluggish, look back on your calendar to see all of your successes and remember that you're capable of great things.

32. Keep a list of current tasks

Lists are popular ways to digest information. However, something complex is, when it comes up with a list, it becomes somewhat simpler and easier to understand. That's why many of the blogs you read (including this one) use the list form frequently.

Smooth Sale CEO Elinor Stutz relies on an ongoing to-do list to stay organized and focused.

“How does that work? At the end of the work week (when everything is fresh in your mind), list larger projects that need to be completed the following week. And, at the end of each workday, list the projects that need to be completed the next day. Even if interruptions occur, you are above what really needs to be achieved. “

The lists also helped Stutz to track his achievements more effectively. If you adopted the same habit, you would have more control over your tasks and your time.

33. Focus only on one task

We know how salespeople like to say they can multitask. They can juggle calls, emails, meetings, the list can go on and on.
Before we go any further, remember this: multitasking is a myth.
We're going to bust the myth of multitasking: Multitasking affects your intellectual ability, it also leads to mistakes when you're trying to save time. Research shows that every time you do something new, multitasking can slow you down by 20 to 40 percent. It's a huge blow to productivity!

Be aware that on average when you are disturbed during a task, your brain takes an average of 45 seconds before resuming its normal pace to be as productive as before on the current task.

What if you put aside your phones or emails during certain tasks to stay focused? Trust me in one day you will save a lot of time!

34. Get enough sleep and always stay positive

Salespeople need to be enthusiastic and positive to elicit affirmative responses. Customers don't want to talk to a cranky salesperson, who can't focus due to lack of sleep. When a customer hears a happy, positive tone on the phone, they feel better and more likely to receive your proposal.

We know selling is a stressful business, but aim for complete rest to start your day and your calls in a good mood.

Create a routine every morning that will put you in the best mood in addition to a restful sleep.

Do sports, have a good breakfast, do meditation, etc... You will see that having successfully taken the first steps to start your day will engage you in a positive and engaging process before picking up the phone to make a sales call or succeeding in many things during the day.

I can only recommend 2 books that take up this idea and that I recommend:

Growth and improvement

35. Expand your sales network

The most successful sales agents generally have more friends and acquaintances in the company. (on average 30 to 40% larger than the average)

A vast database of customers contributes directly to improved sales, but how do more frequent and deeper interactions with other sellers improve salespeople's performance?

“It makes sense that people who find ways to build more relationships are exposed to more ideas from across the business, have quick access to expertise when needed, and have a better view of what's going on. All of these things help them succeed. “

Whether for your personal or professional life, create a real positive ecosystem around you.

Being lucky is something that is maintained and developed, for those who do not know I invite you to watch This video by Philippe Gabilliet that I recommend to you. Professor at ESCP Europe and author of several successful books, I particularly recommend this book below:

36. Check and update your LinkedIn profile regularly

LinkedIn is the first place customers go to look for a salesperson or a business.

Keep your LinkedIn profile up to date, listing all of your achievements, conferences, forums, or other events you've attended, and posting content you've written or produced about.

Customers or prospects should see you as an active expert in your field.

37. Share tips and best practices across the business

Some people say that the best people in the business keep their job secrets. For us, it's the opposite. Top salespeople share what they know and help develop sales practices.

Spread good sales practices across the business by sharing the tips and lessons you've learned with at least one of your peers every day.

Sharing ideas and experiences helps create a culture of excellence that will benefit everyone. Another advantage is that it will allow you to sometimes ask yourself the right questions and gain perspective on what you are doing to improve yourself.

38. Collaborate with marketing or growth hacking teams

Smart salespeople know that they can't do their job alone. Connecting with marketing managers is a step forward for any sales effort (whether they're from your company or outsourced).

With informed buyers, sales and marketing roles are increasingly difficult to define and distinguish. The most successful teams marry the two functions as closely as possible.

The perfect harmony between sales and marketing can lead to big things for the business. The giant IBM tested this theory and developed a new function called Channel Enablement. What has come of it? A reduction in the time of sales cycles, a reduction in the costs of entering a market and a reduction in sales costs. Overall, a successful experience.

39. Read blogs and books

The learning process never ends, and for top salespeople, they take that lesson to heart.

Top salespeople read blogs and books to improve their skills. They also listen to podcasts to get inspired by experts in their sector.

The hardest thing to understand is learning how to learn!

Get in the habit of reading today and develop your knowledge about the profession. If you're having trouble finishing books, start reading one chapter a day or a blog post a day until a habit is created.

40. End each day by checking your performance indicators

The best salespeople are focused on growth and seek to develop skills and knowledge to realize their maximum potential. There is no better way to know how you are doing over the day than to check your statistics and to check if you have achieved the goals you set for yourself.

Before you go home, ask yourself:

  • How many calls did I make?
  • How many calls should I make?
  • How many people said yes?
  • How many people said no?
  • How long did it take for me to sell?
  • How much time has been wasted?
  • What did I do well?
  • What could I have improved?

Productivity software is now installed in many computers to help you better monitor your performance.

Use these numbers as inspiration to make progress and improve every day.

Developing healthy and successful sales habits takes time.

A study by University College London showed that it takes an average of 2 months for a person to get used to a new habit.

The study observed nearly 100 people and in that set, 18 days was the shortest time recorded before someone learned a new habit.

The time it takes to master a new habit depends on your willingness to change and improve your sales routine. Start adopting new sales habits today and take advantage of them in the near future!

Happy sales!

profil auteur de stephen MESNILDREY
CEO & Founder

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