Top 10 Hacks To Improve Your Sales Career and Your Life
Written by John Cruz, in Category Latest Articles
According to the old saying, if you do what you love you’ll never “work” a day in your life. This is true of successful salespeople, most of whom are a special breed driven by the thrill of the chase and the satisfaction of closing the deal. To achieve this, however, you can’t allow yourself to stagnate, so it’s essential to constantly have an eye out for ways to improve your sales career. These top 10 hacks will help you do so, and you’ll also enjoy the resulting overall effect on your life.
#1: Focus On the Journey, Not the Result
There’s more to sales than just numbers. Prospects often react negatively when they feel a salesperson is being too pushy, and then nobody wins. A successful independent sales agent talks more about what s/he can do for the merchant than how great their products are. Instead of focusing on features, try using a storytelling approach. Tell the story of your prospect’s life before, during, and after signing up with you, and highlight the value you can add to their business.
#2: Eat a Frog Daily
Life coach Brian Tracy put a new spin on this idea in his book Eat That Frog when he said “if you have to eat two frogs, eat the ugliest one first.” We all have frogs on our list of daily tasks, but if you tackle the biggest and hardest first you’ll no longer need to procrastinate, and the rest of each day will become a breeze. By getting your most challenging actions taken care of upfront, you’ll continuously improve your sales career.
#3: Hone Your Skills—Constantly
What’s the one skill or technique that would bring you the highest degree of success if you mastered it? Stop for a moment and think about the effort you put into each day, and evaluate whether you’re working on the right activities. Are there new methods and tactics you should be using to create value for your merchants? Would an updated approach produce better sales results? Set aside an hour a month to hone your skills, research new sales tools, and look for ways you can improve your sales career and become more effective.
#4: Believe That the Glass Is Half Full
The path to a successful sale is hardly ever a direct one. Successful salespeople avoid focusing on negatives, and remember instead that a “maybe” could be a “yes” in disguise. Even if it’s a “no” today, that could change tomorrow, so keep believing the glass is half full, work on building a relationship with your prospect and looking for ways you can add value to his life. When the day comes that he is ready to say “yes,” that’s the day your efforts will pay off.
#5: Reward Yourself
We all need reward and recognition to stay motivated. It’s great if you work for a large corporation that hands out awards and free trips when you’ve done well. For independent sales agents who essentially work for themselves, however, you have to generate ways yourself to feel good about your successes. Giving yourself a treat such as a meal out, a well-deserved rest or even a new outfit will build up your confidence, maintain your enthusiasm, and ultimately help you improve your sales career.
#6: Work for Balance
Salespeople have been trying to achieve work-life balance for years, based on the concept that we should try to spend equal time and energy in both spheres of life. Attaining this has been elusive, however, even for Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, who threw the idea out in May 2018 with his comment about it being “debilitating and counter-intuitive.”
For independent sales agents in the payments processing environment, it’s much more practical to aim for work-life alignment. Research shows people are more likely to experience burnout and a lack of balance when a mismatch exists between their occupation and their values. Achieve the balance you deserve by building a meaningful professional life that supports who you are and what is important to you.
#7: Pick a Daily Motto
When you’re working at high speed to identify and sign up new merchants, it’s easy to find yourself overwhelmed by your to-do list and unable to get it all done. Few things are as discouraging as failure, but by spending time each morning deciding what you want to achieve that day and choosing a motto that epitomizes it, you can avoid becoming distracted. A motto, by definition, is a brief statement used to express your goal, idea or mission for the day. When complicated ideas get lost in the ether, a simple motto is a powerful, instant reminder of what’s really important. According to Psychology Today, a motto can:
- jog your conscience,
- provide you with a shot of inspiration,
- improve your productivity
- give you the motivation to persist
- calm your mind
- change a bad habit, and
- replace destructive thinking with health self-talk.
With all those benefits at your disposal, why wouldn’t a daily motto be the ideal tool to improve your sales career and your life?
#8: Review Your Goals Regularly
Set aside some time on a weekly or monthly basis to take a step back and review the big picture of your payments processing sales strategy. Avoid getting lost in the day-to-day activities and losing sight of where you want to be in a month, a year or even five years’ time. If events crop up that cause your growth goals to change, commit to the changes by writing them into your plan. Refresh your vision of the future regularly to ensure you stay on track and inspired.
#9: Step Up Your Prep Work
Around a century ago a French psychologist and pharmacist named Emile Coue coined the phrase “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.” Since then, the phrase has become a popular affirmation for people in all situations. Nowhere is it more accurate than when it’s applied to preparation. As an independent sales agent, you’re probably keen to get out there in front of prospective merchants and start earning commission, but you’ve got to be ready. That means understanding your product thoroughly, preparing a solid sales presentation and conducting pre-call research about your prospect's business. The better your prep work, the better your results will be. Every. Single. Time.
#10: Never Stop Learning
Sales is a career that requires you to stay flexible and keep learning over time. It can be very tough for independent sales agents to keep trying new things. It's very tempting to hang your hat on a single sales method or presentation style as a source of security. If you allow yourself to get into a rut, however, you'll soon pay a high price in lost sales. It's vital to keep on learning and exploring, trying out new sales techniques, and generally “stretching” your abilities.
Becoming a sales agent for a top ISO will allow you to do a job you love, increase your earnings to meet your targets, and achieve the financial freedom everyone desires. By regularly working to improve your sales career, you can progress up the ladder in the payments processing world, and make it your personal oyster.