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3 Successful Sales Habits Featured

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3 Successful Sales Habits

The more we research salespeople and the qualities that consistently make them successful, the more we realise how they strictly adhere to a few critical rules. These habits are essential and become indispensable components of their Sales Tool Kit.

1. Throw away your Sales Pitch and Sharpen your Questioning Skills

80% of successful sales calls depend on astute questioning skills. It is amazing how easily and quickly salespeople slip into the Tell Mode – telling prospects all about their marvellous products – the Tell Tell Tell Syndrome – in the hope of getting a deal.


Most of the time this achieves the direct opposite.




Prospects want you to listen to their story not be forced to listen to your story.


So why do we tell?


Perhaps it's because we know what our services can do, we are so immersed in product knowledge (and so we should be), that this becomes our ‘comfort zone' and, therefore, very tempting to talk about. How on earth can you conduct fact finding of a prospect’s business when you are so in love with your products/services?




Your story is important, and it must be told well. But by itself, it doesn’t create enough of an advantage to greatly improve the likelihood of you winning the deal. Let the prospect tell you their story. Prompt them, nudge them, ask them.


Ask the tough questions that most salespeople don’t ask.


I’m sure you have heard these statements from Prospects but have you ever asked the hard questions?


See these examples:

Prospect – “We’ll get back to you”

Salesperson – “Who will get back to me and when?”


“Why would you want to get back to me?”

Prospect – “Oh the committee will be looking at it”

Salesperson – “What do you need to check out?”

The reality is.... they will look at it, only if it is important to them NOW.


And they can tell you that right NOW.


2. Do Sales Stars Start a Conversation or try Phony Ice Breakers?

Most salespeople start trying to build a relationship with a phony rapport, using an insincere rapport based on perceived “common interests”.


Then the canned pitch that follows makes prospects even more wary.




Prospects are very busy people and dislike this time waster.


What is really flashing through their mind is:


  • Is this really aligned with my priorities?
  • How urgent a priority is it?
  • Does this person in any way display value or are they just ‘selling’?
  • How quickly can I get rid of him?




To make a meaningful connection with prospects is probably the most important, yet least practiced sales skill. Be business like from the start. “To make a meaningful connection with prospects is probably the most important Sales Skill”


  1. Do your research. Every sales conversation needs to come from a place of knowledge and authority. Make sure you have something important to share with your prospect, something that will show them you have been on the lookout for trends and developments in their industry
  2. Ask direct questions pertaining to their business. You need to set yourself apart from the normal sales crowd
  3. Keep on ALIGNING - At the onset of your relationship, clients need to see an immediate connection between what you do and what they’re trying to achieve
  4. Ask Challenging Questions


3. Who is in Control, Salespeople or Buyers?

The truth is over 85% of Prospects dominate the Salesperson by asking for free information, advice, catalogues and whatever else he can get from you.


We are totally at the mercy of the prospect.


Then when you try to get hold of him, he’s always ‘in a meeting’!




Increasingly today Buyers have their own set of rules and agenda. They want to suck you dry, not because they are ‘bad guys’ but because they believe that you are again one of the many salespeople that are unscrupulous.




Top Salespeople propose the ground rules, or the rules of the ‘game’, early. Get the prospect’s permission to ask questions right up front so you really understand his problems (pain) and the consequences for them and their company before you discuss solutions. In fact tell your prospect that you are NOT there to make a Sales Pitch because it would not be appropriate at this stage.


Finally, tell him that if either of you don’t see a fit at any stage it is perfectly okay to say “NO” and you’ll close off and move on.


We call this tactic “Fishing for the NO” and it sounds crazy to most salespeople.


But, consider how much time you have wasted over the years waiting for a decision either way, from prospects.


Follow these 3 habits at all times with prospects and watch your personal sales skyrocket!

Last modified on Tuesday, 09 October 2012 09:15
Clive Price

Clive Price

Clive is Managing Director of The Peer Group in South Africa and has a BA (Econ) from Wits University and a post graduate degree in Learning Psychology from London University.

The consummate sales maestro, Clive can orchestrate any sales dialogue into a win-win for all.Pushing the boundaries of learning, he has successfully trained thousands of delegates around the world who have all experienced the ‘ka-ching’ factor from his unique brand of training. The naughty chuckle in his eyes is perhaps typical of an entrepreneurial thinker, who has turned the conventional ways of selling upside down.

He has an astute grasp of what it takes to succeed in sales and business and has published many articles including:

Objections Open the Doors

Six Common Sales Blunders

How Buyer’s Seduce Salespeople

Watch Your Sales Soar

Be prepared to be blown away with The Peer Group’s brand of training.


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