Over the last 10 years, I have worked with thousands of sales people at manufacturing, distribution and service companies. I’ve come to believe that there is a single, powerful characteristic that separates that most successful salespeople from everyone else.
It is at once the most important characteristic salespeople can have, and it is also the rarest.
Is the characteristic that leads most directly to the most sales.
And ironically, it is a characteristic that has nothing to do with sales technique, and yet, it has everything to do with adding more sales quickly.
That characteristic is enthusiasm.
In the types of mature industries that I work in – including lumber, construction, pipes and valves; HVAC; steel; foundries; printing (not very sexy industries, but they make the world go around) – the enthusiastic, positive, optimistic salesperson is so rare that customers are stunned when they experience them.
I say this because it is the customers of my clients who have told me this.
Sales success is not about knowing part numbers and technical specifications. It is about making your customers feel free to working with you instead of the competition.
You do this with enthusiasm and positive energy. You do this with optimism and joy.
Enthusiastic people will always out-sell and out-perform dour and cynical ones.
Who would you rather buy from, the positive salesperson or the negative one?
Who do you think does better, the optimistic salesperson or the pessimistic one? Optimism will outsell pessimism 100% of the time.
I tell my clients, who own or run companies between $50 million and $2 billion, that it is best to hire enthusiasm and then teach everything else.
It’s much easier to teach technique and product details than it is to teach enthusiasm. But it’s doable, and a major outcome of my projects with clients.
So, how do you go about the process of changing the thinking inside your organization (which is what a shift towards enthusiasm requires)?
You must lift your people out of the daily muck of reacting to customers’ problems and issues – which is how nearly every customer-facing person spends their days – and immerse them into the incredibly positive feedback of your happy customers.
This is because customers only call when there is a problem, or an urgent matter.
And as a result, they are rarely happy when your people interact with them.
So your people spend 100% of their time dealing with the 10% of customers who are displeased.
The other 90% of your customers – the happy ones – are quiet. They don’t call because there is no need to. They’re good. And, believe me, they are calling their other suppliers which require their attention. You do not. So they do not call.
Because these people do not call, we must call them.
And we must ask them what they like best about working with us.
We must ask them how we help them.
And, amazingly, if we ask them, they will actually tell us.
(Nobody ever says, I’d rather not share with you what’s on my mind!)
I’ve talked to thousands of my clients’ customers like this, and I’ve seen the transformation that occurs, on the spot, as salespeople and customer service people listen to my recorded conversations with their customers.
As they sit in my workshop, they become more positive, more optimistic, more energetic, more grateful, and – again, basically instantaneously – more effective.
When you shine a light on the great work your people do, you help them understand their great value to the 90% of your customers who are thrilled with your work. After all, these customers have been with you for 10 or 20 years for a reason.
When staff understands their great value, now we can ask them to behave accordingly. That is, enthusiastically.
We can ask them to bring this enthusiasm to your customers.
We can ask them to bring joy to customers.
Bring positive energy.
And your customers will choose you and your enthusiasm over the competition, every single time.
Even if your prices are higher.
Because people will pay good money for positivity and enthusiasm.
In fact, they’ll thank you with their money.
To bring enthusiasm and optimism to your customer-facing staff — in the words of your happy customers — and add 10-20% to your sales as my clients do, call me directly at 847-459-6322.