Getting to President’s Club is an achievement to be proud of. Companies want to reward their top performing sales reps, and many offer an all-expenses-paid trip to somewhere warm and fabulous, and maybe a glass award to take back home with you.
For those who don’t make it, it’s frustrating to watch your coworkers head to the airport for a few days in the sun while you stay in your freezing office, making calls and eating cold porridge.
So what are the most common reasons why people don’t make it into President’s Club, and what can be done to ensure that next year is better? We’ve put together a list. Hopefully it helps you adjust and put yourself on course to be on that plane next year, fighting over the arm rest instead of the leftover piece of cake in the break room.
1. You were inconsistent
Almost every salesperson can have a good month. But top performers have them regularly, ensuring that by the end of the year, their top line numbers are strong. Consistent results come from a combination of effort, discipline, and keeping your foot on the gas. When things are bad, push hard, and when things are going well, push hard.
2. You didn’t qualify enough prospects
At the risk of sounding trite, sales is a numbers game. But it’s not just the number of prospects you talk to that matters, it’s the number of them who are qualified. A person who spends less time with forty well-qualified prospects will probably close more deals than a person who spends more time with a hundred unqualified ones.
3. You got distracted
How many more deals would you have closed last year if you’d been able to focus only on the things that move the needle for you during every single work day? Distractions are everywhere these days, and learning how to tune them out might be one of the most impactful habits you can pick up. Focus, avoid distractions, and eliminate procrastination.
4. You fed into negativity
It’s so much easier to think (and talk) about what’s going wrong than it is to focus on what’s going right, especially in a profession as challenging as sales. But the next time a colleague in the break room tries to get you to complain about the comp plan, ask yourself the following question: what will this accomplish? Even if the complaints are valid, is ruminating on them publicly going to help? You already know the answer.
5. You tried to “sell” instead of understand
Despite the many people who make a living suggesting otherwise, there’s no simple trick to get someone to buy from you. Gone are the days of high pressure sales tactics, having been replaced by transparency and service. If you want to perfect your sales skills, work on listening and trying to understand what the prospect is really telling you about their needs. In most cases, it’ll give you a direct roadmap for how you can give them exactly what they want.
6. You didn’t believe in your product
There are some people who can be successful whether they believe in what they’re selling or not. Most people, however, aren’t like this and need to have passion, or at a minimum, belief in their product to be able to promote it convincingly. If you’re selling a product or service that you don’t think is the best option for most people, then you should consider moving on to selling something that is.
7. You had no clear plan
Winging it is fine if you’re one of those extraordinary people who can achieve great things without a plan. But without that plan, most people fall short of what they set out to accomplish, having no guidance or measurement tool for the daily, weekly, and monthly activities their goal requires. Even having a small notebook where you can jot down your daily plan, and reference the previous day’s/week’s/month’s goals, can have a meaningful impact on getting where you want to be.
8. You were too timid
Fortune favors the bold, and sales is one career where this advice shouldn’t be ignored. We all want to be liked, comfortable, and polite. But it’s the salesperson who isn’t afraid to ask for the business, isn’t afraid to follow-up regularly, and isn’t afraid of dealing with uncomfortable silences, who will win. Once you understand – really understand – that you can push past your limits as long as you’re willing to be a little bit uncomfortable, you’ll be one step closer to that first class seat to Jamaica.
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