What’s in your toolkit? If you want to be a top sales professional, you’ll carry these seven key items in your little black bag.
- A big bunch of connection skills. At the heart of every great sale is a great connection. Exceptional sales people at their finest moments are simply sharing a wonderful solution to a client’s need. That relationship starts with a friendly greeting, a spontaneous chance encounter, a spark, a connection. Connection skills are the key to building any trust, any credibility, any loyalty and any next step. Great salespeople learn to open themselves up and be vulnerable, to get real and let others really see them. This takes great daring and courage. One must be bold to connect, and be brave to be successful. It all begins with the ability to connect.
- Some wicked smart technology. Duh, right? This is a no-brainer. You must be technologically connected all the time today. But the best tools allow you to do the work you need to serve your clients, whenever and wherever, while also letting you disconnect at times to preserve balance and healthy boundaries. The right tools help you be responsive, creative and flexible – and above all, maintain the connections at the core of any successful relationship.
- An ever-growing network of diverse and interesting people. A great sales person needs an expanding network of people from which connections can grow. Ideally, you do great work and you’re referred to others and your network grows organically. But the best sales professionals never stop seeking to meet new people, expand their circles of influence and keep their business healthy and prosperous.
- A polished, professional and personalized wardrobe. Did you know that 93% of communication is non-verbal? This includes your look and your body language. Your wardrobe must help you connect and express your credibility instantly. You only have moments to make a lasting impression — often before you have a chance to speak. Take time to strategize and prepare your wardrobe to reflect your personal and professional style. Be sure to polish every outfit off with a genuine smile!
- Your “secret sauce.” Think Mary Poppins and her magic bag full of perfectly served-up solutions! Staying unique and memorable is one a sales professional’s most challenging feats, and your bag of ideas for doing so is your differentiator. Your bag might include: classy handwritten “thank you” note cards with memorable stamps, special customer experiences offered only by you and your brand, signature foods, scents, colors or leave-behinds, all reinforcing the amazing brand that is you.
- Challenging reading material. It’s up to you to stay “tip of the curl” on new ideas that will help your clients thrive. The daily grind literally dulls our brains – that’s why they call it the daily grind, after all. Reading from great thought leaders exercises our muscles and keeps our skills tuned. It doesn’t happen by accident: make it a disciplined practice to challenge your brain to learn about social media, marketing, vulnerability, authenticity, financial growth or whatever else is next on your way to success.
- Your BIG picture. What gets your feet on the floor each morning? Steve Jobs inspired us to seek our vision, and then identify the passion fueling that vision. We must love what we do in order to keep doing it. I don’t know about you, but I believe as we open our hearts and minds to others day after day, we need a grander view to fuel daily courage. Tough days are overcome by love and commitment to a greater purpose.
Being a sales professional takes guts. Preparing yourself with these seven tools will set you up for success and get you ready to face the adventure. Take your time to plan and pack your toolkit, and you’ll be on the road to success!