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Habits of Successful Salespeople

Review of "The 25 Sales Habits of Highly Successful Salespeople"

May 11, 2005

By PAULA PARISOT


Highly successful salespeople share 25 sales habits, according to a sales training expert who has outlined his ideas in a book.

This is the first of a two-part series about The 25 Sales Habits of Highly Successful Salespeople, which says successful salespeople display certain behaviors that are intrinsic to a prosperous sales career.

The book's author, Stephan Schiffman, a corporate sales trainer, has reportedly trained more than a quarter of a million salespeople. Schiffman states that there are 25 common denominators he has found in those who are successful.

buy 25 Habits of Successful Salespeople
Habit number one, Schiffman says, is "Communicating the message that it is sound business to trust you." Shady sales tactics are out -- trustworthy tactics are in. This includes being on time for meetings, following through on promises, being prepared, and having the confidence to show leadership.

The number two habit is to ask the "right questions." Ask questions that get the clients to talk about themselves.

The third habit of successful salespeople is the ability to take the lead. "Tell the prospect where you are at any given point in the sales cycle," Schiffman states. "Don't be afraid to steer the conversation in the direction you want it to go."

"Engaging the prospect" is the fourth sales habit. Schiffman says that a salesperson needs to "work from the unique set of verbal and non-verbal cues your prospect will supply." It requires a clear understanding of and response to what the client has to say, along with a genuine interest in filling their needs.

The fifth habit is "finding key requirements." In today's competitive society, a successful salesperson's job is to find out what the key requirements are for change.

For example, a loan originator might want to inquire if there was a change in the applicant's career, family size or finances.

The sixth sales habit is the ability to "convert the leads that fall into your lap." Schiffman points out that a successful salesperson, instead of just trying to "close the sale," would remember to establish a relationship, find the key requirements, and set up an "in-person" interview.

The number seven habit on Schiffman's list is "Knowing how to make your product or service fit somewhere else."

With multiple loan products to choose from, a successful originator would know how to mold the right loan program for a perfect fit.

Habit number eight reminds a successful salesperson to "pretend you are a consultant (because you are)." Schiffman adds, "The best salespeople are professional problem solvers."

The ninth sales habit, the book says, is to "ask for the next appointment during the first appointment." If a follow-up meeting is necessary, ask when a good time might be to meet again.

The 10th habit is simple -- "take notes." Schiffman explains that it shows the client that their salesperson is focused and listening and it gets the client to share information while "strengthening a salesperson's analytical abilities."

Number 11 on the list is "Creating a plan with each new prospect." Make sure the meeting does not give the approach of a cookie-cutter interview, the book explains. Each client brings a unique set of criteria to the table.

And sales habit number 12 is to "Ask for referrals." A satisfied client is likely to share his or her experience with friends and family -- so ask for those referrals. Send a follow-up letter reminding clients that a salesperson depends on referrals to build their business.


Paula Parisot is a freelance writer for MortgageDaily.com. In addition to 4 years' journalism experience at other news publications, Paula has worked in the mortgage industry. Email Paula at: [email protected]


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