Bob Iger, head of Disney, awakes every morning at 4:30 am to workout. John, one of my sales training students, has a daily sales goal of speaking with 20 new prospects every day. People who are committed to improving their performance have written goals, review them weekly, to maximize their outcomes. For those of us in sales, many of us are committed to improving their sales performance, or helping others by following a handful of performance tips they use every day. Here are some you can use now.

If you want to achieve your goals, the first step is to develop your set of productive sales tactics and incorporate them into your daily activities. Here are some quick sales performance tips you can use today.

  • Understand your prospect’s needs and challenges: What are the real emotional and compelling reasons for your prospect to want to do business with you? In almost every case, people buy emotionally and justify it intellectually. What is the real reason behind why your prospect intends to talk with you? Does he just want free advice? Is he comparing vendors or has he done his research and is ready to make a purchase? What are his practical and personal reasons, behind wanting to do business with you?
  • Ask questions: what are the prospect’s challenges; which one stands out? How long has this been a problem? What were some of the steps he took to correct the situation? What are the personal implications facing the prospect at this time? What happens to your prospect if it the problem is fixed (or doesn’t get fixed)? By asking these and other questions, you will get beyond the surface problems and into the real economic and emotional issues facing the prospect.
  • Listen, Listen, And Listen: Let your prospect talk. If the prospect is not talking 70% or more, then you need to shut up. Remember to ask yourself: W.A.I.T. Why am I talking? As I demonstrated in an earlier blog, How are your listening skills, listening to your customers is critical. It’s about them not you. If you are in sales it is your job to listen. Practice active listening. Listen to what the prospect said then, to make sure you understand, repeat the message back using your words. Share with the prospect your expectations and outcomes just as he will share with you. At the end of every meeting, either agree on next steps that are mutually beneficial or agree now is not the time; close the file and move on.

Here is another tip. The most successful salespeople create and complete daily, weekly and monthly pay-time activities list which allows them to reach their goals sooner rather than later. They track all their daily activities and results to find and concentrate on the ones with the greatest payoff.

As an example: Think of the time between 8 am and 6 pm as your pay time activities. These include talking with a prospect, making Linked-In connections, or conducting a product demonstration. So, how many of your pay-time activities are you competing each day? Compare this to how many no-pay time activities are you’re spending your time on like answering e-mails, looking at the sports page, rearranging your files or talking to your girlfriend. Be honest with yourself. By just taking one more productive step, like focusing on pay-time activities every day, you will improve your sales by 20%, maybe even more.

How about you? Do you have a favorite productivity tip you can share? I am happy to add it to this list (and of course reference you!). I promise to reply within 12 hours.