April 15, 2020
During this time of uncertainty, it’s important to remain calm and keep in mind there are still a lot of things we can control.
As we all adjust to a new “normal,” there are still ways that your sales team can deal with the impact on business. After selling pest control services for five years and managing a team of sales representatives, I have recognized some common characteristics of sales reps who do well versus those who struggle. Here are five habits of highly effective sales reps that I believe to be the most effective, especially during this time.
1. Positive Attitude
People love to talk to someone who is contagiously happy. Great salespeople recognize that sales are about how a product makes a customer feel as much as it is about what a product does. When people like you, they will inevitably like your product. When you are in person, a smile will also allow you to be honest and blunt without being overbearing or rude. You can say almost anything you want if you’ve got a huge smile on your face. If you’re on the phone, keep smiling. It’s true that it it affects how we speak, and your listener can tell.
No matter what happens throughout the day, you are in complete control of your attitude. Staying positive and happy is an essential decision each salesperson must make. The benefits of a positive attitude stretch far beyond getting more sales, it improves your life as well. Remember that happiness is a choice that is not dictated by circumstance but by attitude.
Great salespeople are always closing. They don't save their close until the end of the pitch. An effective salesperson closes frequently and early. He or she uses effective and well-timed closes to draw out concerns and questions that customers have so that they can tailor their pitch to the specific needs of the customer. A good salesperson knows that “no” doesn't always mean “not ever”; often, it means a prospect needs more information or more time to process that information. When a prospect has a concern or question, a great salesperson has mastered the art of 1) understanding the concern, and 2) focusing on the benefits of their product, which either resolve that concern or outweigh it.
Every salesperson gets tired, worn out and, sometimes, beat down. It’s the nature of the job. Sales can be exhilarating at times and challenging at others. It’s the diligent salesperson that typically ends the season higher on the list than the ones who get into the habit of giving up and checking out early. Many times, salespeople will tell themselves, "I don’t feel good today.", "I’ll skip the morning effort and try later in the day.", or "I’ll wrap up early just this one time.” The next thing you know, it’s an everyday occurrence. This is a slippery slope and a trap salespeople should be aware of and avoid.
What can help increase a salesperson’s motivation? Incentives, bonuses, and competition. If you run an office of salespeople, make sure to find out what truly motivates each of your employees. It’s worth investing in some legitimate incentives to keep your sales team motivated through the season.
4. "Hoarding" New Leads
While most people are flocking to grocery stores and hoarding every paper product they can get their hands on, you too should be stock piling your leads. Most states have deemed pest control as an essential business, so it’s important that you’re taking the time and effort for prospecting and lead generation. Hopefully, the economic impacts we’re feeling right now are short-term. That being said, if this turns out longer than expected, you’ll be in a better place if you have a pantry full of leads to work from though the long haul.
5. Update Your Messaging
As mentioned above, if pest control has been classified as an essential business in your state, it’s important that you’re getting that message across to your prospects and customers. Take advantage of email marketing, text messaging, and using your customer portal to ensure everyone knows you’re still in business. As a salesperson, this is a great time to get creative and look for ways to adapt. Maybe it’s utilizing YouTube or creating a video on your phone? The important thing is that you want to make sure there is no sense of panic in your messaging. We’re all going to get through this.