It's always great to have a guest on the podcast who is willing to share their war stories and experience. The podcast, How to become the #1 Salesperson, featured Lee Bartlett and we were discussing his new book the No.1 Best Seller. It was a pretty in-depth discussion that explored the mindset of a Maverick sales professional and many of the challenges he had faced. I thought it would be interesting to recap some of the valuable content we discussed and how sales reps can use this mindset to break from the B-player trap.
1. We heard that carefully selecting the right company and product to sell was key to Lee's continued success. He looked for certain attributes when assessing the credibility of a company and product. In each case, it was a calculated and well-reasoned choice and one driver we don't often hear is that he looked for products that best suited his personality. He also did extensive territory analysis during the interview phase, so he knew he could exceed his targets prior to stepping foot in the company.
2. Top performers have an intrinsic motivation that drives them. For Lee, having a personal financial goal as a target, outside that of the company, allowed him to keep a sound perspective on sales-related obstacles. By working towards a revenue number that exceeded his in-house goal, it meant many of the typical barriers that hinder sales reps, such as staying motivated, were never an issue.
3. Look to the top salesperson, learn what they are doing and then differentiate yourself. We discussed how top salespeople simply "play the game better". Understand what they are doing differently and combine it with your positive attributes to overtake them.
4. Drill, drill, drill. Do some honest self-reflection to identify your weaknesses and then plug them. There is no substitute for this. When the big stuff is under control, focus on the "micro adjustments" that collectively add up to making a big difference. Soft skills like reading the energy of a room when entering and reaffirming credibility at the end of every pitch.
5. If you care more about your customers than anyone else, and consistently do a better job, then the need to pitch largely disappears. Repeat business and referral sales begin to dominate your pipeline as you become a trusted partner and default choice to your customers.
6. Don't let the emotional baggage of inter-company politics sap your energy and motivation to the point where it impacts your earning potential. Once you let this take grip, it's a downward spiral.
7. THE BIGGEST TAKEAWAY: Base your sales process entirely on the needs and expectations of you customer. This theme ran throughout the interview and Lee felt it was the key determinant to succeeding in a variety of sales roles. He explained that his customers were his best teacher and if in doubt about how to sell to them, then he simply asked for their guidance.
We had a great time discussing this topic. For those who haven't listened to the podcast or read the book yet, then do so, it's a ground-level insight into the attitude and approach of a top sales professional.
Thanks for reading and please share and comment with your thought.