According to Webster’s Dictionary, a habit is something that someone does regularly and repeatedly. My 20-year experience working with salespeople has taught me that the most critical difference between average and great salespeople is their daily routines.
It was best said by Aristotle. “We are what you repeatedly do.” Excellence is, therefore, not an act but a habit.
Let’s look at three top-selling habits among top producers. We will also examine neuroscience and emotional intelligence skills that are behind these success habits.
You are the focus
Sales organizations need to be focused in order to compete. You can win business in a world where most people are distracted by their phones if you teach your team how to be present and focused.
Contrary to popular belief, multitasking does not work. This is especially true when a salesperson is learning new skills or attitudes. It has nothing to do with IQ. It all has to do with how the brain works.
The learning of new information is the responsibility of the prefrontal cortex. This part of the brain is limited in its ability to focus on one thing when learning further information. It’s why I won’t allow salespeople to turn on their technology during training.
This conclusion is possible without extensive research. Use common sense to observe professional athletes. You won’t find them checking their email or texting while they’re on the court or field practicing. They are focused on the execution of plays and drills. Like top athletes, top salespeople understand the importance of focusing in order to execute their sales plan.
Sales managers and CEOs often fail to model focused behavior. They are the ones who constantly check their phones first in meetings. The message to the sales team is to not pay attention to what you say but to what you do.
This is the irony. It’s ironic that the CEO and the sales manager are complaining about their sales team’s inability to understand the company’s value proposition or respond to prospect objections. It could be because your colleagues are following your lead. They were too busy answering emails in training sessions or coaching sessions and not paying attention to their own skills development.
You assume that successful people have always been at this level of success when you meet them. You have a lovely house, car, and lifestyle. You don’t realize how hard work and dedication went into becoming the best in the field.
Here are the neuroscience facts behind practicing. You are born with around 100 billion neurons. Each of these neurons can make approximately 15,000 connections (synapse). These connections are known as synapses or neural pathways.
It is similar to hiking in the woods. Because the path has been cleared of weeds and branches, it becomes easier to navigate the trail. You can create new pathways in your brain by practicing. These networks are stored in the brain’s basal ganglia.
The basal ganglia stores knowledge that can be easily recalled. If a prospect asks tough questions, the ‘practiced rep’ will respond without hesitation. They don’t sit in meetings trying to figure out what to say or do.
Tony Dungy was a former NFL coach. He understood the importance of practice, focus, and good habits, which helped his team win a Super Bowl. He stated, “Champions do not do extraordinary things.” They do the same thing every day, but they do it without thinking. They react too quickly to the other team. They adopt the same habits that they’ve learned.
This skill of emotional intelligence is defined as the ability to work hard to earn a reward. Salespeople in today’s instant-gratification society are taught to expect success in sales without having to put in the work.
Referral partners are a great way to introduce prospects. This results in shorter sales cycles and higher close rates. This strategy is often not well executed by salespeople because it takes time and effort to build relationships.
To build relationships, successful salespeople have a habit of giving. To build trust, they make deposits to their potential referral partner’s “emotional bank account.” You might give a referral, invite your partner to events and educate them about how and why you run your business. They are willing to put aside their desire for immediate gratification and work hard in order to get the reward.
Your brain is your most fantastic resource. Practice, focus and improve your delayed gratification skills. These are three simple habits that can help you achieve exceptional sales results.