There’s an easy way to identify a successful salesperson: Shadow them for a day and learn about their routine. Because what sets the most successful salespeople apart is the consistency of their daily routine.
Often, making just a few adjustments in daily habits can mean the difference between doing alright and doing ridiculously awesome.
If you were to take a close look at a day (or week) in the life of a successful salesperson, here’s what you’d see:
Monday – Prospecting and Following Up
7:45 a.m. Arrive at the office, grab a cup of joe, and get to work.
8:00 a.m. Make cold calls, contact prospects, and book appointments for the week.
12:00 p.m. Take a break for lunch.
1:00 p.m. Go out on sales calls, or conduct follow-up activities, such as emailing, generating proposals, thinking about strategies for sales meetings, gathering materials, and so forth.
Next Monday, repeat the same schedule.
Tuesday through Thursday – Going Out on Strategic Sales Calls
These three days are not just filled with random sales appointments. Successful salespeople have a strategy to their calls. They’re not going to make a call on the west side of town on Tuesday at 9 a.m., and the hit the road to high tail it to the east side of town by 10:30 a.m. A good salesperson will geographically group sales appointments together so as to not waste time driving about town.
Time spent in the car getting from one appointment to another is wasted time, and savvy salespeople figure out how to plan their sales calls to maximize their availability. If that means scheduling meetings into the evening hours for a packed-out Tuesday, that’s what a salesperson will do to be successful. Then, on Wednesday, he will group sales calls together in another geographic area of town.
Friday – Regrouping
8:00 a.m. Hit the road again to meet with prospects scheduled for the morning hours.
1:00 p.m. After lunch, head back to the office and start gathering up loose ends and notes from the week’s worth of face-to-face meetings.
A good salesperson knows that in Friday afternoon meetings, nothing gets done. People are already ready for the weekend, and aren’t in “meeting” mode. So instead, he spends energy putting thoughts together, taking notes of important events from the week, and so forth.
3 Characteristics of a Successful Salesman
Aside from consistency in scheduling, three factors characterize a successful salesperson:
- Adaptability. Going after sales appointments doesn’t necessarily make for great sales numbers. It’s going after the right audience at the right time that makes for a successful salesperson. Sure, you can pound the pavement trying to go after cold prospects, but if the audience doesn’t have time to hear you out, you won’t get far. Making slight adjustments, such as when you call the prospects or when to suggest sales calls, can go a long way toward improving your sales.
- Seizing unplanned opportunities. A great salesperson will be able to spot an unplanned opportunity when making sales calls. If you’re visiting a client, for example, consider whether their neighbor is also a good prospect. Then, ring the doorbell and strike up a conversation. You’re essentially seizing an opportunity to gain a lead with very little effort.
- The “leave behind.” The epitome of a wasted sales opportunity, failing to have a business card on your person is a missed opportunity. Successful salespeople always carry business cards and are able to offer prospects a valuable touch point to which the lead can refer.
If you’ve got your sights set on becoming the best salesperson in your company, take a few pointers from people who are already doing it. Create a consistent schedule and stick to it. Then, be adaptable, watch for unplanned opportunities, and always carry your business card.