I’m awful at remembering punchlines to jokes but according to a recent article in The Sunday Times Magazine, if you’re in sales, you need to have a GSOH (good sense of humor).
In this 5-part weekly series on how to improve sales rep performance, I'm going to kick-off with a bit of fun. Standout from the crowd to improve sales performance. Why not, it’s the start of October…. days are getting colder and shorter and just about everyone I’m speaking to has a rotten cough or cold. I’m not going to mention the C-word (Covid-19). Ooops I just did!
Did you know “research shows that for some items people are willing to pay 18 per cent higher than the purchase price if the seller tells a joke.” Therefore salespeople; what’s your best joke…? It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t get roaring laughter, the key is to show you are having a go.
Ok, here’s my best joke about 3 top consistent performers!
Question - “What have Roger Federer, Lewis Hamilton and Lionel Messi got in common?”
Answer - “One uses a racquet, one makes a racket when driving and the other has been convicted of running a tax racket.”
Well, actually for the purpose of this blog, all three sportsmen have admirable consistency in peak performance. The qualities and characteristics that make them great can be identified in improving sales performance.
Reps can standout by showing their true personalities, whether it’s through telling jokes, empathizing with their prospects, or sharing personal stories. This can really help to build rapport and be highly effective in improving sales performance. Whatever strategy they chose they should always personalize the conversation to standout.
So that’s tip numero uno on how to standout and improve sales rep performance. Read on to learn more tips to have great consistency in your reps’ sales performance.
Are you being predictable?
Well, I don’t think it's always advisable to crack a joke. And you don’t want to be accused of being boring and repetitive. Therefore you need a few more tricks up your sleeve to standout as a rep to improve performance.
Sales Coach, Founder and COO at Jiminny, Shelley Lavery talks about this in her blog. Research found on the Jiminny platform found that almost all discovery calls that take place today around the world will start in the same way. With a brief discussion about the weather.
From January to June 2019 - 79% of discovery calls held on the Jiminny platform mentioned the weather.
The learning from that is to prepare a different or more bespoke topic of conversation that will appeal to your customer to standout from the others.
Using the same old sales techniques can be boring for the customer and demotivating for your reps. Therefore coming up with new ideas in sales team meetings or brainstorming over remote lunches can encourage your reps to think outside the box.
How about having a little competition with a reward for the team member that comes up with the most creative new ways to generate more leads or close down deals. It doesn’t matter how good or bad they are but the more creative they can be in their approach, the more likely you will see rep performance go through the roof.
Standout from the competition
Finally, let's be real. Nobody can be the top performer forever. Even if they are superhuman! Ask any professional sportsmen, at some point their number of weeks/months/years at the top comes to an end.
But what makes a sales rep standout and perform well? I’d argue it's all about character. See the list below. Watch more about this from performance consultant Bret Ledbetter where he studies character traits in US top basketball coaches in his Ted Talk on Building your Inner Coach
Want to read more about how to improve sales rep performance? Then watch out next week for Part-2 in the series where I will be discussing key tips for the first-time sales rep.