There is an old quote which we can adapt that goes –

“There are three kinds of salespeople – those who make things happen, those that watch things happen and those who are wondering what happened.”

It’s an oldie but a goodie.

In fact there are generally two types of salespeople I come across in my business.  The first are what I would characterize as “improvisers” – they seldom do any preparation and rely on intuition and instinct to carry them through.   They approach every sales interview as an adventure and while they still make sales they tend to be very inconsistent.

The second type are the “systemisers” – these are the professionals and they have a sales plan which includes activity targets and strategies to insure consistency and more importantly predictability in their results.

The systemisers are characterized by pre-sales planning and follow through during and after the sale.  This of course leads to repeat sales to existing clients and referrals to new prospects.   Typically they have lists of the most common objections/conditions they strike with prospects along with the answers.  They also have prepared questions that help the prospect to uncover potential needs if they exist and they have strategies to advance the sale.

So we have two types of salespeople who achieve different results.  Each one follows a pattern, one unstructured and one structured.

Where do you see yourself?

Most systemisers have developed their skills through training and practice – there is
no such thing as a “natural born salespeople”.

Zig Ziglar – Author and Sales Trainer extraordinaire in his best selling book “Zig Ziglars Secrets” says he’s travelled the world and seen that women have given birth to boys and given birth to girls but had never seen that a woman had given birth to a salesman.  He goes on to state that he had seen salesmen die so draws the conclusion if they are not born but die, then obviously between birth and death – by choice and by training – they become what they decide to become, namely trained professional salesmen.

Key Message –   You can become whatever you decide to become as long as you are willing to put the time and effort into the training required and follow the disciplines learned.
Action Steps –

1. Make  list of all the problems that your solutions and products overcome for your prospects
2. Make a list of all the issues associated with each of these problems
3. Develop questions around each of these problems and issues that will help the buyer to focus their thinking
4. Once this list is developed put each of these questions in order of logical sequence

Failure is nothing more than a few errors in judgment repeated every day
Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines practiced every day

Brett Burgess is a Sales Trainer and Programme Developer for Sales Impact Group.