Accelerate Your Success: 5 Tips From Top Sales Books

by Linda P. Kester January/February 2017
Linda Kester shares five favorite sales tips from recently published books that will help salespeople land meetings with prospects and improve their outlook. Her suggestions also will assist managers who wish to improve their sales team and company culture.

Soaking in the knowledge of a well-written book is one of my favorite things to do. In 2016, I read 35 non-fiction books. As a way to justify my addiction, I have assembled five of the best tips for leasing sales from recently published books.

Providing a continuous stream of ideas and insights to customers is what makes a salesperson valuable in our industry. Take these ideas, try them out for yourself and pass them along to your vendors and lessees. Everybody appreciates a sales tip that works.

“Visit with me anyway.”

Mike Weinberg is a sales genius. His sales books are the best on the market today. He breaks down the entire process of acquiring new business into actionable steps. His first book, New Sales. Simplified, is full of ways to get new customers.

Weinberg’s strategy to get a meeting scheduled with a prospect is to ask three times. He says salespeople who take no as a final answer will starve. He says the first “no” is an automatic response that salespeople must push past to get the result they desire. Although many salespeople have lines they typically use to break down a prospect’s objections, Weinberg encourages salespeople to say, “Visit with me anyway,” which will convey confidence.

“Miserable, mistreated salespeople don’t sell.”

In his second book, Sales Management Simplified, Weinberg writes about the importance of mindset in a salesperson. He says a successful salesperson must have a desire to sell. If a salesperson is miserable, she will not be able to represent her company or take the extra steps necessary to create relationships. Weinberg says sales takes an investment of the heart, unlike other professions, like accounting. “Miserable, mistreated salespeople don’t sell,” Weinberg says. “There are no miserable top performers in sales.” Why is this? Weinberg says top salespeople will flee a company with an anti-sales culture.

“People who walk slow ain’t got nowhere to go.”

In his terrific book, Move Your Bus: An Extraordinary New Approach to Accelerating Success in Work and Life, Ron Clark writes about teamwork in a way that applies to equipment finance. Imagine your leasing company sales team as a bus filled with people who either help or
hinder your team’s ability to move forward:

  • Drivers are the company leaders who steer the organization.
  • Runners, your top sales performers, consistently go above and beyond for the good of the organization.
  • Joggers, your “B” performers, do their jobs without pushing themselves.
  • Walkers, your low producing reps, are pulled along.
  • Riders, the reps you wish you never hired, hinder success and drag the team down.

Now, imagine distributing a list of leads. The rider thinks the leads are terrible and will make many excuses explaining why the prospects couldn’t be reached. The walker will call part of the list so he doesn’t get in trouble. The jogger will call all the leads on the list and will want a pat on the back when he’s done. The runner will quickly call all the leads, follow-up and get an application in the door within days.

It’s easy to identify the runners on your team. Empowering and supporting the runners is one of Clark’s big strategies. It’s also easy to point out a rider who should be kicked off your bus. The challenge is to identify your joggers and walkers — usually the reps who want to acquiesce to a prospect’s every demand — and give them targeted coaching. Clark theorizes that a jogger usually perceives himself as a runner. If you can make a jogger aware that he’s not running, he may step up his game. When you get your reps to know themselves better and provide clear expectations, you’ll move your company in the right direction.

Master the inner and the outer games.

In Miracle Morning for Salespeople, Hal Elrod and Ryan Snow propose that to be truly successful, sales reps must master both the inner game and the outer sales game. They researched the world’s top sales reps and determined that success results from who they are as people, not just what they do. Elrod developed the acronym SAVERS, a system that integrates silence/meditation, affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading and writing into a daily habit to keep you focused on your sales goals.

This is the first system I’ve seen that takes seven of the best practices for personal development and condenses them into a morning routine. The Miracle Morning concept has morphed into six other books and an online community of 80,000 members.

Elrod and Snow recommend getting up early and spending five minutes meditating in silence, followed by five minutes of affirmations. My favorite affirmation is, “My income is constantly increasing.” Next, visualize for five minutes, exercise for 10 minutes to get your heart pumping and read for 10 minutes. Finally, write — or scribe, for the sake of the acronym — for five minutes to capture ideas and express gratitude. If 40 minutes is too long, you can adjust it down or combine tasks. I have customized the practice to reciting affirmations while I hold a two-minute plank.

“Most answers reveal themselves through doing, not thinking.”

In You are a Badass, Jen Sincero writes, “Instead of wasting hours and days and years trying to figure out your next perfect move, just do something already.” As a former sales manager, I can’t help but agree. The amount of time salespeople waste coming up with reasons not to call on a prospect is absurd. Put yourself out there. Make a bunch of phone calls. Talk to as many people as you can. You never know what you’ll learn or what terrific opportunity you’ll uncover.

Implement these five tips or, better yet, read the books, and you might successfully land a phenomenal client. If you don’t like to read, listen to podcasts. Every smartphone usually comes with a pre-loaded podcast app. This is a free and convenient way to expand your knowledge so you can deliver a first class financing experience and, ultimately, make some money.

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