Sale. Just do it.
Explore personal sales mastery that fits your personality by yourself.
I enjoy reading up on B2B sales matter, in particular B2B software sales books. After reading a handful of sales books and forum threads, here is what I learned. Many B2B sales coaches, authors, and practitioners prescribe their sales mastery practice (i.e. sales mindset, sales techniques, and sales processes) as the “one” that you need to get customers and close deals. But, is it true?
From my observation, there is no one sales mastery practice that suits everyone. Sales skill is a personal mastery. Sales skill is highly individual. I can imitate my admired salesman (i.e. imitating his tone, his choice of words, his gestures); but, I can never be 100% the same as my admired salesman (i.e. can’t imitate his charisma, his thinking, his linguistic intelligence, and etc…). This is because each person has their unique DNA, personal experience, that is just like a fingerprint is unique to an individual. So in learning sales skills from others, I ensure that I understand what is working for others and tweak it for my personal sales mastery.
‘FLAACI’ works for me. This is my personal B2B sales mastery practice:
1. [F]anatical prospecting
I like the book Fanatical Prospecting. It is a great reminder to keep prospecting; otherwise, you will fall into a stale and stalled pipeline. The author, of Fanatical Prospecting, coined it ‘The 30-Day Rule’.
2. [L]ead qualification
There are a number of “acronyms” commonly used for qualifying leads. In my opinion, the longer acronyms are the expanded version of the shorter acronyms. I like short to remember and easy to use “acronyms”.
BANT — Budget, Authority, Needs, and Timeline
MEDDIC — Metrics, Economic Buyer, Decision Criteria, Decision Process, Identify Pain, and Champion
CONSULT — Current process, Ongoing challenges & pain, Needs & product requirements, Success criteria, Leadership involved: decision makers, and Timelines & priority
3. [A]ctive listening
Talk less, listen more. This is an easy mistake for any inpatient and egoistic man. Also, don’t worry about filling up awkward silence because it is even more awkward to say something wrong or weird.
4. [A]lways be closing
This is known as the ABC of sales that needs no further explanation. But, remember that if you don’t close a sale, focus on building a long-term relationship.
5. [C]onsistent follow-up
Don’t make excuses for your prospects, pick up the phone to follow-up! Do remember that human beings are forgetful or indecisive. So help yourself and help them by following up. Especially with large ticket items, people don’t buy a large ticket item at first sight.
6. [I]mprove communication skills
Learn to communicate better in writing (e.g. clutter free and crystal clear message) and speaking (e.g. pace my speech and project my voice). This is evident in many accomplished business leaders who communicate well in interviews. So communicating better will enable you to stand out from mediocre salesmen.
I remember my sales mastery practice as ‘FLAACI’.
My criteria for good sales mastery routine are:
- Easy to remember, recall, and to use it daily
- Effective in getting more true ‘sales’ while reducing false ‘sales’
Nevertheless, all companies have their own sales steps/routine/mastery that they want their salespeople to follow. So it’s important to reference those steps because each industry is different. In addition, there are many sales books and related references for your consideration.
- Fanatical Prospecting: The Ultimate Guide for Starting Sales Conversations and Filling the Pipeline by Leveraging Social Selling, Telephone, E-Mail, and Cold Calling
- From Impossible To Inevitable: How Hyper-Growth Companies Create Predictable Revenue
- Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
- How to Win Friends and Influence People
- Sell with a Story: How to Capture Attention, Build Trust, and Close the Sale
- SPIN Selling
- The Big Book of Words That Sell: 1200 Words and Phrases That Every Salesperson and Marketer Should Know and Use
Ultimately, it is important to note that there is no one sales mastery course or book that works for everyone. Sales is a personal mastery that is a personalised practice, and to excel in sales will require your industry knowledge, hard work, and some luck.