The 10 Habits of Highly Consistent Salespeople
Closing deals isn’t easy, but even the most hapless sales recruits can usually close a deal or two if they work hard and keep at it. The difficult part, however, is closing deals consistently.
Top sales performers are able to have breakout months and quarters, but they’re also able to exceed their quota month after month, year after year, even if they do have an odd slump every now and then. This speaks to just how important it is to be consistent if you want to make the most of your sales career.
But how can one become a consistent closer if there are so many factors that seem to be outside of our control?
It usually starts with knowing what you can and can’t control, and focusing on the things you can. Here are the ten things that consistent salespeople always do:
1. They follow a process
While it might be tempting to show up at work and just wing it (and many salespeople do take this approach), consistent salespeople understand that having a process, (and good habits as part of that process), is the key to consistently putting up big numbers. So come up with a daily or weekly game-plan, and then execute against that plan. It doesn’t have to be a minute-by-minute schedule, but you need to have some sort of process to guide you along.
2. They understand what matters (and what doesn’t)
In sales, there are dozens of distractions competing for your attention throughout the day, but they’re not all created equal. Consistent salespeople understand this, which is why they don’t allow mindless busy-work and office politics to zap their mental energy. Top performers understand what matters (pipeline, prospects, closed deals), and they always prioritize accordingly.
3. They don’t get too high or too low
Sales can feel like a rollercoaster. One minute, you’re on top of the world, the next, you’ve lost a deal and feel like you’d be better off quitting to go do something else. Consistent performers, however, refuse to go on the ride. They do, in fact, experience the same ups and downs as everybody else, but they refuse to be emotionally impacted, because they know it’s just part of the game. When things are going well, they don’t get too high, and when things are going badly, they don’t dwell on the negativity.
4. Their pipeline takes precedence
A consistent salesperson understands that their pipeline is what determines whether they sink or swim, and they act accordingly. No matter what else is happening, for better or worse, top sales performers make time to build up their pipeline and work deals further down the process. If you do this day in, day out, then you’ll never have to worry about where your next deal will come from. It’s not an easy feat, but put your pipeline first, and you’ll reap the benefits.
5. They know their own strengths and weaknesses
Salespeople have all types of personalities, and there isn’t any one characteristic that will guarantee sales success. Consistent sales performers, however, know themselves, and they act accordingly. For instance, a salesperson might find that they work best in the morning, and by the time the afternoon arrives, they’re not able to function at their peak. Understanding this can allow them to schedule the day accordingly, making sure they’re playing to their strengths while minimizing their weaknesses. This can apply to nearly all aspects of somebody’s personality, from introversion, to attention to detail, and so on. The key is to first understand yourself, and then to optimize accordingly.
6. They don’t feel sorry for themselves
Salespeople face more rejection in one day than most people face in a year, and it’s perfectly natural to get worn down by the negativity and constant roadblocks. Consistent salespeople, however, are able to compartmentalize this rejection, understanding that it doesn’t reflect on them personally, that is: they don’t waste time feeling sorry for themselves. This has the benefit of allowing them to avoid a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure, and ensures they don’t waste time throwing a pity party rather than picking up the phone to give it one more shot.
7. They take care of their health
If you want to be consistent in sales, you need to take care of yourself well enough to be able to fully focus on work. This doesn’t mean that you need to turn yourself into a fitness influencer, but, at a minimum, you need to stay healthy enough to regularly perform at your peak. Usually, this involves getting enough sleep, avoiding the lows that come with unhealthy food and drinks, and being mindful and proactive about your mental health. In most cases, once you start taking control of how you feel, you’ll be hooked and won’t want to go back.
8. They do what they say they’re going to
We all make promises: promises to ourselves, promises to our coworkers, and promises to our customers. Consistent salespeople make promises too, but the difference is they don’t make promises without fully intending to keep them. A consistent salesperson won’t say they’re going to do something if they don’t intend to, and if they say they’re going to do something, they’ll hold themselves accountable to it. This one simple rule, when followed without exception, can make a huge difference in your professional (and personal) life.
9. They look at the big picture
When caught in the tedious day-to-day grind of the workplace, it can be difficult to connect our daily actions with our longer-term goals. Top performers, however, know how to do this, and they keep the big picture in mind to help them get through the difficult work that life in sales requires. What are your long-term career goals? What are your financial goals? Where do you want to be five years from now? Ask yourself these questions regularly, then tie the answers back so they’re directly connected with the actions you take now. If you’re not motivated by that, then you might be doing something wrong.
10. They see themselves as professionals
Some people end up working in sales by chance, whether it’s a career they dove into because of the huge financial upside, or as a result of seemingly random happenstance. Consistent performers may have arrived at their role in many of the same ways, but they view themselves as professionals: people who take their roles seriously. Even if you don’t intend to stay in sales for the long term, committing to being a consummate pro right now will allow you to make more money for whatever it is you hope to do later in life. And if you’re committed to your sales career because you know it can give you things no other career can, then make sure you see yourself as what you are: a professional.