Omaha! Omaha! Is a quarterback successful because he yells a couple of words out prior to the ball being snapped? Is a salesperson successful because he can blurt out of few words about his product or service? In both cases the answer is no. Just like an NFL quarterback, a sales person becomes effective over time rather than doing or saying the right thing at specific moment. Perhaps from one of the greatest quarterbacks, Peyton Manning, a sales person can understand how to be successful and win the game!
Here are five items one must possess to be a top sales person:
Prepare: When you watch Peyton Manning in an NFL football game you will notice him reading, studying, and watching replays while the Broncos defense is on the field. Sure he practices beforehand and watches various plays in videos before the game, but even in the game he has not stopped preparing.
In sales we must have our own playbook for success. This includes training, practice, understanding potential client demographics, learning your client’s needs, and understanding how your solution will improve your customers business. When you know your customer you able to provide more personalization and relevant content into your calls and meetings.
Confidence: Peyton Manning does not brag or ever seem boisterous in interviews or when talking to players and the team. He exudes quiet confidence which comes from his actions and making other players around him better.
When a sales person has adequately prepared for the sales call, they will automatically become more confident because they understand their client and the value they bring. To further show quiet confidence a salesperson can speak clearly, concisely, and not use fillers such as “umm” and “ahh.” There are many public speaking courses and groups to help one hone this craft. Speak clearly by knowing want you want to say by having talking points on a notepad or role-playing your conversation with a peer beforehand. Being concise, means not talking too much by sharing the value you bring to the table quickly and then asking thoughtful questions. Word fillers are distracting to a salespersons message and make it seem as if they don’t know what they are talking about. At the end of the Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers game, Seahawk’s cornerback, Richard Sherman, showed us what not to do in an interview with Erin Andrews.
Team Player: Every player on Peyton Manning’s team says it. Heck, even his opponents say it. They play better because of him.
Sales is not a self-serving career. Thriving sales people learn from their team members, recognize their peer’s success, and cater to customer needs.
Competitive: While the last Super Bowl was devastating to watch for any Broncos fan, Manning played as hard at the end of the game as he did in the first two minutes of the game. Even after the game, he did not sit around and worry about what happened, he was busy preparing for the next season.
The most successful salespeople are passionate about what they do, have a thick skin, and are resilient because they are inherently competitive. It also never hurts to have a friendly competition among co-workers.
Work Ethic: Peyton Manning helps others around him be more successful because of his dedication and drive. In the pre-season, regular season, and post season training it has been noted he is the first in and last to leave.
Representing an organizations product or service as a sales person is a tremendous responsibility and takes hard work. Often times, you are the face of the company to the customer. Unlike many roles within an organization where a specialized skill is sufficient, great sales people wear many hats. Along with being passionate and never giving up, sales people must be professional interviewers and experts in seeking to understand our clients better in order to solve problems. Also, being well-versed in negotiation, contract management, marketing, and finance goes a long way. This all takes time and may not be accomplished in an eight hour work day.
So an accomplished sales person may not lead his team to eight division championships, two AFC championships, and a super bowl championship, but they will WIN by delighting their client through hard-work, integrity, and being the solution.