// Skyrocket your sales with an achievers attitude
by Xen Angelides
Welcome to a new world.
The field of selling has changed dramatically over the last decade. Sales people who do not quickly adjust and adapt to the changes will see their income drop as competition gets tougher and more determined. Having the right attitude in business can make all the difference between signing up a member and waving goodbye to a prospect. With the right principles and values, selling can be simple.
Relationship selling is the key to getting and keeping customers. After nearly 28 years in the fitness industry I have realised that selling is a process – one which can be maximised by identifying the trends and cycles in your current market. Selling is a fast-moving game, and to stay ahead of the competition you need to be creative. An ‘achiever’s attitude’ requires the mastery of sales habits and actions coupled with tremendous focus and values.
High achievers also have the utmost confidence and belief in themselves. They are masters of communication and possess good leadership skills.
An exchange of valueSuccessful sales is about high integrity selling values and ethics that will keep you on the cutting-edge. Ron Willingham, author of Integrity Selling, says the sales process is ‘an exchange of value’; that selling is not just something you do to someone – it’s something you do for and with someone. Always remember that understanding people’s wants and needs should precede any attempt to sell. The following are essential fundamentals to starting and closing a sale.
1. Develop trust and rapport before any selling activity begins.
2. Selling techniques give way to selling principles.
3. Integrity and high ethics are accepted as the basis for long-term selling success.
4. A salesperson’s ethics and values contribute more to sales success than either technique or strategy.
5. Selling pressure is never exerted by the salesperson. It’s exerted only by prospects when they perceive they want or need the item being sold.
6. Negotiation is never manipulation. It’s always a strategy to work out problems – when prospects want to work out the problems.
7. Closing is a victory for both the salesperson and the member.
If you truly want to increase your income, maximise your results and accomplish more than you ever have before, you need to harness your customer relation skills and take time to apply them. Let’s look at the relationship selling facts:
• Relationship selling transcends the sales transaction and looks beyond it to the ongoing relationship built between the buyer and the seller.
• Relationship selling is focused on building a good relationship with someone and providing a valuable service through that relationship.
In the new model of selling, 40 per cent of the sales process is spent developing and building trust, the glue that holds all relationships together. The next 30 per cent is dedicated to identifying their needs by asking well prepared questions and listening attentively. An undeniable trait of a superstar salesperson is their ability to listen – listening builds trust.
The following 20 per cent is spent in presenting to your sales prospects and discovering how mutual needs can be identified, and the last 10 per cent is confirming that these needs have been understood well by the salesperson. A typical question to confirm this is, ‘Is this what you had in mind?’
Compare this to the old model of selling which looked like this:
10 per cent = Establishing rapport
20 per cent = Qualifying the prospect
30 per cent = Presenting
40 per cent = Confirming.
Although in his book Ziglar On Selling, Zig Ziglar wrote ‘The most important thing is not which system you use – the most important thing is that you have a system!’, it is interesting to compare the old and new models of selling, and to note how the focus has switched to relationship building.
The Golden Rule of Selling: People before profits
If you put people before profits, the money will follow.
This style of selling may not come naturally to you, but if that’s the case then there’s no need to worry. As Tom Hopkins says in How to Master the Art of Selling, ‘Sales people are not born… they are developed!
No delivery room doctor ever delivered a bouncing baby salesman’. So work on it. Put in the effort and you’ll achieve a style of selling which will become second nature and which will become a more satisfactory and successful experience for you and your VOLUTION prospect.
Tips for becoming a smart achiever
• Get serious – make the decision to go all the way to the top
• Identify your ‘limiting skill’ to sales success
• Associate with positive and successful people
• Practice what you preach – take excellent care of your physical health!
• Use positive visualisation to see yourself as the very best in your field
• Use positive self-talk and control your inner dialogue
• Use positive action to get going, get busy, and move fast.
Our industry is full of highly knowledgeable, skilful experts who are happy to share their knowledge. Don’t be afraid to ask these people for advice and feedback on their perception of your selling process. By taking advantage of all the information and advice you can access, you can give yourself a considerable advantage. By tailoring your selling to meet prospects’ needs, and by genuinely putting them first, you will be also be putting yourself first on the sales table.
Xen is currently the international director of sales (Australia/NZ, Asia and Middle East) for Expresso Fitness. Boasting 28 years of experience in club operations, sales and personal training, he has held management positions with some of the major fitness equipment manufacturing companies. For more information call 0405 345700 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
CLUB NETWORK • SPRING/SUMMER 2009 • PP15-17