Nothing frustrates me more than management by committee; trying to get a consensus agreement from everyone is a nightmare. Decisions are debated on long and hard and sometimes the decision is to delay the decision. I’ve been involved in debates on ‘who’ should do a particular task that have lasted longer than the task being discussed would have taken someone to actually do! I’d take a strong decisive leader over a committee every time!

I observe many sales people that have this type of debate over and over again, not with a committee, but with themselves! They spend ages thinking, arguing and counter arguing in their own heads over the best approach to a call or meeting. Then when THEY can’t make up their minds they get colleagues and managers involved. I am not talking junior staff or new starters here, these are ‘experienced’ people.

One of the key attributes of a ‘star sales person’ is the ability to make a decisive decision quickly and to ACT on it. People that take effective action quicker, by their very nature are more efficient workers.

I have also noticed that sales people with a high degree of authority think and act far quicker than sales people with low authority. When you have authority you can think for yourself, when you have little authority you must rely on other people to make decisions for you. The problem is when we don’t need to think for ourselves we don’t learn anything! A good example of this is satellite navigation; try NOT using it next time you do a long journey to somewhere you have been to just once before.

For the reasons detailed above (and many more) I spend a lot of time explaining to Sales Directors and Managers the benefits of giving their teams massive amounts of authority and levels of responsibility. Rather than causing chaos, it greatly improves their use of common sense and increases employee engagement.

Although we take action quickly, decisive sales people must always remember that the clients we are dealing with may not be as decisive or quick to make decisions as we are. Some clients want infinite detail and others will want to refer our offering to higher authorities in their own time. Whilst we will try, we may not get direct access to these people ourselves. Worst of all we find ourselves ‘selling to a committee’ where everyone has a different agenda!

Here are a dozen top observations from my work with exceptional sales people:

  • They can research and analyse data quickly to create a compelling and unique client approach or solution
  • They don’t ‘sweat the small stuff’
  • They take decisive action
  • They understand that NOT all people are like them!
  • They adapt ‘style’ without losing their own authenticity
  • They ‘truly’ listen
  • They ask great questions
  • They can diagnose a wide variety of business issues
  • They understand the prospects buying cycle and respect it
  • They are ‘smart’ but NEVER ‘flashy’
  • They understand the value of their solution and can articulate it with relevance to each client situation
  • They don’t chase the impossible deal at the expense of the probable!

So there you have it, my thoughts on effective sales people. This blog was written and posted in 45 minutes with no debate, no drama, no delay, just ‘Action’!

If you would like to learn more about the work I do to help sales people and teams take quick and effective action, give me a call on 07557 919039 or email me at stuart@thesalesperformance.co.uk for a free and confidential discussion.

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