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How to Be a Real Competitor

How to Be a Real Competitor

Harvey Mackey | Tulsa World

Selling is not easy, even in the best of times. In a downturn, the sales force still has to write orders just to keep the doors open.

You have to use your time wisely, use available technology tools and software. You need to be creative, listen, work hard, have role models, be a self-starter, set goals, plan, be passionate, personable and persuasive, use proper body language and not procrastinate.

And there are a few other things you need to understand to be a real competitor.

The law of large numbers.

In sales, if you can’t be No. 1, the best position is No. 2. Position yourself as No. 2 to every prospect on your list and keep adding to that list. I can promise you that if your list is long enough, there are going to be No. 1s who retire, die, are terminated or lose their territories for a hundred reasons.

Know the gatekeeper.

Any peddler worth her expense account tries to reach up as high as she can on the corporate ladder. But those of us who use that tactic have also learned that the higher up we go, the more likely the decision-maker we’re trying to reach will have a trusted assistant trained to block access.

Make gatekeepers your friend. Treat them with dignity. Respect their power. Try to work with them to get your mission accomplished.

There’s no business without show business.

No one ever sold anyone anything by boring them to death. A first- rate salesperson has to deliver a great performance.

Yes, no or maybe.

When you’re selling, obviously, the best thing your prospect can tell you is “yes.” But do you know the next best thing? It’s “no.” The worst thing he can say is “maybe.” The person that says “no” frees you up to go on to the next prospect. I’ve seen a lot of young salespeople spend inordinate amounts of time chasing after the prospect that says “maybe,” when Mr. Maybe isn’t ever going to buy. He’s what we call a “porcelain egg,” an egg that’s never going to hatch.

An exercise that has helped me is to review my last 20 or so sales calls. How many were closed on the first three calls? The next five calls? If my average is around five calls, and I’m still carrying some prospects that I’ve called on 20 times, it tells me it’s time to quit calling.

Ask for the order.

Many salespeople excel at making their presentations but when it comes to crunch time, they have a lump in their throats bigger than a Nerf ball. They pussyfoot around hoping the prospect will say “yes” without even being asked. What a wonderful world it would be if that were the way it was.

Mackay’s Moral: There are no jobs until someone sells something.

Harvey Mackay can be reached through his Web site, mackay, or by writing him at MackayMitchell Envelope Co, 2100 Elm St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414.

Originally published by HARVEY MACKEY United Feature Syndicate.

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