4 Things mediocre sales professionals can do today to rise to the top 1%

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What about the people who want to join the top 1% of salespeople, but their lack of experience or abysmal track record drags them down?

What can mediocre sales professionals with a drive to succeed and a willingness to learn do today to improve their outlook, image, and numbers?

In today's sales environment, it's crucial to be constantly working toward a position among the top 1% of salespeople. Getting above the noise is as simple as focusing on these four things.

Work toward defined benchmarks

Start at the end, and work backwards to define benchmarks that work. Successful salespeople understand where they want to be in one month, six months, one year, and five years. They write those numbers down and work with the figures until they have a roadmap to success. Want to sell $1million in 2017? Divide that number by 12 and start working toward it today.

Know their product

The top 1% of salespeople know more about their product than anyone in their company. They have taken the time to understand every intricacy and are friends with anyone in the company that can offer valuable insight into how the product works, and how the process of delivering the product works. Understanding their product lets them use their research powers to match it to a prospects' needs.

Know their prospects' concerns

It's impossible to understand a prospects' concerns if you can't get the meeting. Most salespeople give up trying after just four attempts. Giving up guarantees defeat, so keep trying.

"Happy ears" is a common affliction among mediocre salespeople, and it starts with a lack of empathy. Solving a client's problem is impossible if you can't hear it, understand it, and feel it, first. When a prospect starts complaining, a top salesperson starts taking notes. Ask questions like, "I really want to understand your problem. Can you tell me more about that?"

Understand how their product directly addresses those concerns

90% of salespeople don't visit their prospects' website before calling for a meeting. 95% don't read the main pages of their prospects' website before crafting a proposal, and 99% don't use information from their prospects' website to craft a tailored message that directly addresses a problem. Understand the product, research the prospect, and rise to the top.

The best salespeople understand how their product directly addresses the concerns of their prospects. This comes naturally, as they've put in a lot of time understanding their own product and understanding their customers' businesses.

The old ways of selling are disappearing fast. Thankfully, companies are waking up to this reality: one great salesperson is better than five mediocre salespeople.

That's great news for the accomplished top 1% of salespeople. It means better pay, more job security, and an exciting future doing something they love. It's great news for the countless unsuccessful salespeople, as well. They are free to choose a career that better matches their drive and skillset.

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Rachel Morey is a journalist specializing in automotive, insurance, and finance content. She has been writing professionally for nearly a decade and has projects in print and broadcasting. A native Iowan, Rachel as a special fondness for the open roads of rural America. Author pages: Lending Tree https://www.lendingtree.com/writer/rachel-morey/ Value Penguin https://www.valuepenguin.com/author/rachel-morey Money Done Right https://moneydoneright.com/author/rachel-morey/ Credit Sesame https://www.creditsesame.com/blog/author/rachelmoreyflynn/ Muck Rack https://muckrack.com/rachel-morey/articles Feedback from clients: "Rachel delivered high-quality work on-time and on-budget. I will certainly be hiring her again in the future. Highly recommended." "This was my second job with Rachel. She adheres to schedule and over-de...
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