If you are a construction business owner or engineering business owner, you know that your company cannot survive without sales. Without backlog and a strong opportunity pipeline, your innovative ideas, experienced people, and world class technology sit idle.
Henry Ford said it best, “nothing happens until someone sells something.” The problem is most engineering and construction sales teams have average salespeople. Few have top-performers.
An average salesperson hits their target most of the time. You know them. An enthusiastic talker with a long list of industry contacts. A big spender who wines and dines clients and loves to play golf. Someone who collects lots of business cards at networking events.
Top performers consistently exceed their targets. They close more deals, and secure larger contracts than an average seller. They consistently contribute to your company’s growth.
It takes more than an outgoing and friendly personality to be an effective sales professional. Here are some of the key attributes of top-performing salespeople.
Follow a Repeatable Process
Average sellers follow their intuition and tend to favor an organic approach. Top sellers follow a process. They must, otherwise they would never be able to do accomplish everything they do to achieve the level of success that they desire. Processes make us more efficient. Successful salespeople have a plan for each day, each week, each month, each year. Top salespeople are not “lucky.” They are focused, determined, and hard working.
Analyze Metrics to Improve Results
Average sellers sometimes let things slip through the cracks. They rarely analyze results because they don’t track them. High-performing reps know the state of every opportunity in their pipeline, what actions they’ll take next, and when. They are more objective about their opportunities and produce more accurate sales forecasts.
Listen Intently to Gather More Data
Great salespeople do more listening than talking. They ask smart questions to understand what is going on in their customer’s world. Top sellers demonstrate empathy and genuine interest in their customers’ experiences. They form solid relationships based on real knowledge, not just small talk. They continually research their customers, building a real book of knowledge that stays with them from job to job. They spend time studying the competition. As their knowledge grows, so does their confidence, and that inspires trust.
Leverage Every Connection
Top sellers are creative networkers. The commercial real estate agent they meet at the networking cocktail hour becomes a good referral source. The administrative assistant helping at the golf outing just happens to work for a key decision maker. Their natural curiosity helps them connect the dots.
Solve Customers’ Problems
Effective salespeople love obstacles because it gives them a chance to be creative, to learn more, and sell more. They don’t spend time restating the features of their new estimating software, they focus on the value they can create, and help change the mindset blocking the customer’s needs from getting met.
Manage Their Egos
Top seller are relationship facilitators. They aren’t afraid to introduce the rest of the team to their contacts. They know which subject matter experts the client wants to talk with. They also know when to match executives and other corporate leaders with their client counterparts. They guide and advise the team on how to best meet the needs of the client. They know that every conversation counts.
Successful salespeople understand that “no” usually means “not yet”. They understand that they have to use empathy to establish trust, credibility, and authority. They remain calm and listen to the customer’s objections and seek to clarify any knowledge .
Know When to Walk Away
Top sellers out-perform their peers because they manage their time more effectively. They don’t waste time on long-shot opportunities. They conduct themselves with honesty and integrity. A top seller won’t promise a feature that doesn’t exist, a price that can’t be delivered, or a service your company can’t do well. This protects your company’s reputation and can protect you from lawsuits in the future.
Rejection and failure are real for all sellers. No one wins every opportunity, and some clients just won’t like you. That’s part of being in sales. Top sellers don’t wallow in disappointment or play the blame game. They learn from the experience and move on to the next one.
Selling well is not about being charming, chatty, or peddling the most swag. Selling is about listening carefully, solving problems, and creating opportunities.
Find a salesperson who knows when to talk and when to listen, and your company’s value will be understood and remembered.
If you are looking for better than average results, it may be time to make some changes.
Schedule a call to learn how to increase sales. We will assess your team, identify areas for improvement, and implement a sales development program that helps you grow your business.