Zach Hintze has been on Concord’s Sales team since 2016.
I was recently asked by one of Concord’s newest sales reps, “What has made you successful in sales for so long?” In that moment I gave a simple answer, but it got me thinking. Looking back on over 12 years as a sales professional, there are a few lessons learned along the way that have made me successful.
Learn What is a Driving Factor.
Sales in general requires a lot of self-motivation. At the end of the day, the difference between success and failure will be the individual drive and desire to perform. If sales reps can figure out what pushes them forward, whether it be family, financial success, fame, etc., and then use that as the fuel to their fire, the motivation will come.
Inquisitive Reps Are Successful Reps.
Having trained reps over many years, it’s easy to see that those that don’t ask a lot of questions about product, process, competition, strategy, etc., usually end up failing or not doing as well as the reps that are constantly trying to learn.
Product Knowledge Is Vital To Success.
“Fake it til you make it” only works for so long. In order to repeatedly sell a solution or service you need to have at least a working knowledge of the product. Going further and mastering the product or service is critical to being completely successful.
People Want To Buy From An Expert.
This goes back to the previous point—customers are looking for someone to solve their problem. Being the expert in that field or product means that customers are more likely not only to buy, but to serve as a network effect as they recommend friends, colleagues, and others.
Proper Follow-Up Will Close Deals.
Follow-up can make or break a sales person. Setting a cadence for yourself and sticking to it no matter what is a setup for success. This works over and over again and will lead to deals coming out of the woodworks. Perhaps they weren’t ready when the conversation first started, but now they are.
Prepare For The Peaks And Valleys.
Sales is often referred to as the most stressful occupation in the world, but it can also be the most exciting. There will be good days and bad days. Being mindful of this early in a career helps reduce stress when the bad days and slumps happen.
Learn To Compartmentalize.
Because sales is full of peaks and valleys, it’s essential to learn the art of compartmentalization. Dealing with an angry customer or upset manager then immediately getting on a sales call means it’s necessary to set those emotions aside and put the best foot forward to the potential client. This really helps with keeping a good work/life balance as well.
Keep Work At Work And Home At Home.
This can be hard especially for younger sales people, but learning how to unplug from your work duties and concerns when you are at home is essential to a long and successful sales career. I struggled with this early on when I wanted to tell my wife everything about my new job, then realized that she was only starting to hear the negative side of the job, which was not the whole picture. This doesn’t mean salespeople should never discuss work at home, but it’s important to find a balance.
Qualify Quickly And Effectively.
Something I struggled with early in my sales career is that I thought I could sell to everyone and that my product was for everyone, this was not the case. The faster you can learn your product market fit and figure out your ideal buyer persona, the faster you will find success and free up a ton of time.
Adapt Or Die.
One thing that is very consistent in the sales world is inconsistency; things are always changing. Whether it is product, pricing, commission structure, leadership, the market, competitors, etc., change is inevitable. Not learning to adapt to those changes quickly likely means there will be struggle down the road. Know that everything will change at some point.