What Makes an Entrepreneur Great at Sales?
HI, I’M CHRIS SPURVEY
I write about business growth, sales activities, motivation, and performance improvement. My work has been featured by many major media outlets, such as Forbes, LinkedIn, Wiselike, and The Good Men Project. More than 25,000 people read my articles each month. I am a Vice President of Sales with KPMG where I help over 6,000 Consultants and Partners become more effective at sales.
Early in my sales career, I would more often than not walk away from sales conversations feeling like I had prolonged them just a little too much or probed just a little too deeply. Have you ever experienced the uneasy feeling of knowing in your gut that you had tried to make one last point or tried to get one more piece of information out of your prospective customer?
Even worse is when you don’t even recognize that you did it!
As I progressed in my career, I began to focus on that feeling after each conversation so that I could work toward a calm, easy feeling in which I knew in my heart that both the client and I were on the same page. I learned from the accuracy or inaccuracy of the feelings. It is easy to learn when you look at things objectively.
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In hindsight, I realize that I was picking up my prospective client’s energy and adjusting my own energy in response. I was sharpening my sense of intuition. Intuition is often referred to as the sixth sense.
It is one thing to hear what your customer is saying. It is another to pick up on his or her energy. What separates a good salesperson from a great one is intuition, or the ability to pick up on energy.
How can you improve your intuition?
Here are five suggestions:
1) Always be learning
After you have a conversation with a potential client, record your thoughts and feelings about it. Over time, if you notice that you are leaving conversations feeling very positive but that you are not getting the desired results, you’ll know that there is a disconnect between your perception of the conversation and the prospect’s perception of the conversation. Learn from these experiences, and adjust your approach.
2) Ask for feedback from your close friends
Have you ever spent time with a friend only to find out later that there was something major happening in his or her life that you never picked up on? Or, have you ever been with your friend and just knew in your heart that they were not telling you something? Your ability to perceive or not perceive these vibrations is intuition. When you are with your close friends or family tell them what you are thinking. See if you are right. Over time your mind will adjust and improve via this feedback loop.
3) Find a mentor
Find someone in your company or hire a sales coach with good experience to accompany you when you meet with prospective clients. Ask him or her to focus mainly on listening and then provide feedback about your ability to pick up on the prospect’s energy. Such a mentor or coach can contribute significantly to your improvement process.
4) Be kind to yourself
Sales is one of the most rewarding life paths. As a sales professional you have an opportunity to deliver immense value and joy to your prospective customers. Tune into this, and give yourself the best possible runway. Be kind to yourself, and do not beat yourself up when you are wrong. Such a negative reaction does you no good.
5) Change your story
When you come to the realization that your intuition could use some improvement don’t tell yourself that you have bad intuition. We become what we think about, so if we continually tell ourselves that we’re bad at something we will not become any better at it. Instead, change your story. Tell yourself that you are improving, and you will improve.
Intuition is one of the most important mental tools we possess. Make it your goal to use yours and, even better, to improve upon it.
Question: Do you agree that intuition can be improved? Why or why not?