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  • Writer's pictureBrian Burns

3 Things that A-Players Do in Sales

A sales conversation is the differentiator between A and B players in sales. At least, that’s been my experience between A and B players. You hear a lot about what separates the goods from the greats, and these are not the typical things you’ll hear out of other podcasts or outlets. But, again, this is what I’ve seen work out in the field. I operate under the rule that there is a huge difference between preparation and actual in-game strategies. Prep is good, prep is necessary. But that difference maker is what you do in-game. This is the difference between how you show up and how you play the game. This is the difference between starting strong and going all the way. 

I’ve nailed it down to three main characteristics, and they’re all somewhat interrelated. If you do them right, one leads right into the other, and you can’t do one and neglect the rest. That’s the beauty of this system: it’s a set of thought out, interdependent parts to put you ahead in sales. 

#1: Empathy

We programmed not to do be empathetic; we’re focused on our survival. We’re selfish as a means of evolution, and here, that’s an instinct you’ve got to work against. The fact of the matter is everything we want is held by someone else which means we have to exchange with each other. We have to ask ourselves what is in the best interest of potential customers. They will do what is in their own best interests, not their company, theirs. So my method is divide and concur. Don’t discuss with more than one person if you can help it. Sometimes you can’t, but try to get people on their own and focus in on that survival instinct, what they specifically need to get the deal done. 

How do you become good at this? One method I employed started way back in high school when I was working part-time retail jobs. I used to go into rival shoe stores when I wasn’t working and do research on how they greeted and interacted with me. People will always make decisions based on their emotional viewpoint. Give to get. 

#2: Listening 

The talk to listen to ratio is very different between A players and B players, and you can guess which way it skews. A-Players listen 20%-30% more than B players. People think sales is pitching, but it’s listening, giving people psychological space to express their concerns which directly feeds into that first point: empathy. People always talk about what they think people want to hear about but you’ll never know what they want to hear about if you don’t listen first. If a prospect talks, you give them the floor and don’t say anything until they pause. Imagine you’ve got a pen in your hand. When you’re talking, you’ve got the pen. The second they open their mouth, mentally hand them the pen and shut up until they’re done. 

To help yourself master this you can check out YouTube and look for active listening videos to get an idea of what you need to aim for. Listening is the new talking in sales. If you master listening, you’ll be insanely powerful. Test it out at social events, whenever someone asks you questions, flip it back to them. 

#3: Questions 

Speaking of questions, that’s our final point. Questions are a natural part of the demo, the sales, we expect to get asked questions and prep hardcore to give answers. But there’s another, more powerful way to work with questions. This is the mind control tool for sales. You can put concepts in someone’s head by merely asking a question about it. If I ask you about the color of your car, all you’ll be thinking about is that color. 

You can use this in sales. Ask people what they need, go back to that first point in empathy and find out where their mind is for survival, get them focused on whatever that is, keep it in their heads. It’s simple; it’s effective, it’s strategic, and comes back to you in a good way. So many times I hear positive feedback on how nice of a guy I come across because I always make sure I’m asking more questions than I’m being asked. 

Do you want to be a top 3 performer? Then you’ve got to implement these top 3 practices. 

Let me know your thoughts, and strategies of your own, in the comments and if these strategies have worked for you. Would it be a crazy request to ask you to like and share your feedback? if you want to learn more about the best and worst strategies check out my PodCast “The Brutal Truth About Sales & Selling.”

Thanks for stopping by,


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