5 ways to Become Excellent at Sales

I can’t tell you how many people have assured me that being a top-performing salesperson is a gift that you either have or you don’t.

It’s true that some sales superstars are born with a natural comfort and confidence that makes selling easier for them. BUT…

…the ability to close sales — even big sales, with consistency — is about mastery, not magic.

Sales skills can absolutely be taught.Top performers excel because they have learned, practiced and mastered what works. 

What looks effortless — that graceful, innate ability — is the byproduct of having mastered these:


Step #1 – Preparation

Top performers take the time they need to plan. They embrace the opportunity to talk to an interested person, and don’t want to waste their own or their customer’s time. Which means they never show up harried or stressed or scrambling. They arrive in time to take a breath, say a mantra, or play their theme. They have all the samples and tools plus the mindset they need to rock their appointment.

Step #2 – Expect the Unexpected

Top salespeople refuse to get thrown off their game. They accept that homeowners can be unpredictable, scared, stubborn (even rude) just as often as they can be willing, friendly, open and inviting. So they aren’t rattled by off-the-wall requests or common objections. Objections are a natural part of the buying process; top performers see them as an expression of interest and powerful buying signals.

Step #3 – Systemization

A proven, step-by-step sales process is a huge part of sales success. Top salespeople know that systems make sales. They recognize that ‘winging it’ makes the consumer wary, overwhelmed and reluctant to commit. That’s why sales superstars have the exact steps they need to lead a consumer through, from evaluation to payment, and have practiced those steps with so much discipline they could pull it off in their sleep.

Step #4 – The Ask

Top performers know that the decision to purchase contains some tension and they don’t back away from it. They’re confident they will provide the best service and solution to the consumer. They ask for the sale, then maintain their composure, and honor the silence that prospect needs to think and answer. Silence is golden; it allows space for a thoughtful decision to be made. When you fill up the silence with nervous chatter, you rob it of its gold.

Step #5 – The Analysis

The last step of successful sales professionals is analysis. Top performers are continuously reviewing and improving their own performance. Because they have a step-by-step system (see #3) they can look at each stage, evaluate what went well, figure out why certain elements may not be working, and identify what would make them better. Hence the saying: a novice practices until they don’t get it wrong and a master practices until they always get it right.

Knowing these 5 steps and following them will bridge the gap between average sales performance and top sales success. That high level of excellence is truly within reach for any salesperson, regardless of where they start.

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