Most sales reps are... average.
 
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Others know what it takes to gain a leg up, and consistently outperform the crowd. Which category do you fall into? And what makes the difference between a Master Sales Hunter and the rest of the pack?

According to our research and experience, the most successful sales hunters consistently master 7 skills

 
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Assertive sales reps give honest advice to their prospects about how to solve problems, avoid coddling or aggressively “selling” them, and are willing to step outside their comfort zone to serve their prospect's interests rather than their own.

 
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Assertiveness may conflict with sociability at times. If you concern yourself more with being liked than making sales, then asserting oneself may feel risky. Often, it is. However, it's important to note that assertive does not mean aggressive.

 
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Assertive individuals move beyond their comfort zone. They stay mindful of rapport-building with their prospects, even while using assertive behavior. Assertive reps love to win and usually do, but don't let their competitive urges overtake their desire to be professional and tactful. Avoid assertiveness at your own risk.

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When you’re a Prospect Pain Discoverer, you understand your prospect needs a reason to buy. When you help identify and quantify your prospect’s pain, your prospect is more likely to act—to spend money to address that pain. Pain that's acutely felt leads to action.

 
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It’s easy when your prospect’s pain is obvious. But when everything seems fine on the surface, the right questions can help you uncover unresolved pain and unmet priorities:

 
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Even in a soft economy, when the prospect believes he has a problem worth solving, “no” budget may become a “found” budget. And the tougher the economic climate, the greater the likelihood to uncover pain.

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While cold calling may not work for every business, sales hunters don't wait around for their prospects to find them. They know that cold calling works, when performed consistently and effectively.

 
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In addition, they use strategies to maximize efficiency, so they don't waste time (their's or their prospect's).

 
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And the reasons reps avoid cold calls seldom involve long-term effectiveness. Managers and practitioners need to work together to overcome call reluctance. Just like exercising, flossing, lawn-mowing, and vegetable-eating, cold calling needs to happen regularly.

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The outcome is up to your prospect—but the process is within your control. A strong process is win-win for both you and your prospect. If you focus on delivering value, you’ll earn trust, respect, and more sales.

 
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That’s why the most productive hunters are planners too. They focus a lot of effort on preparing for appointments. They determine the logical next step for each meeting. Then, working backwards, they think about what they need to do to make their desired outcome a reality.

Better prospect data is a critical first step toward a more focused, successful biz-dev process:

 
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Sometimes sales hunters need to act like farmers. Trusted relationships, like valuable crops, must be nurtured. You cannot cram prospecting work. A complete understanding of your clients’ needs will not simply bloom in your head overnight. Plan the process. Work the plan. Most of your competition won't, and you'll land the sale.

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Sales "professionals" dispute the perception that sales reps are untrustworthy! Just like a doctor or lawyer, you offer your clients and prospects a valuable service. Sales hunters take pride in their career as a trusted advisor.

 
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Unfortunately, it's an uphill battle. Sales has earned a spot among the least trustworthy professions. If sales people aren't fully committed to their jobs, they may never be able to overcome that obstacle.

High achievers believe that their expertise and wisdom enhance the value of their products and services. Elite high-income sellers exhibit pride and confidence without arrogance. They believe their clients receive a solution with added value unavailable from anyone else.

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To sell more, you need to become a full-time student of sales. The average business in America invests only 3% of gross sales in training. Successful sales organizations average close to 10%.

 
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Great sales people believe that the difference between winning and losing is often a very slim margin. So they invest heavily in technology, people, and themselves.

Check out these eye-opening statistics:

 
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Sales hunters consistently expand their horizons through training in a quest for whatever gives them the advantage. Your customers interpret consistency as credibility, longevity, and success.

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Why is it that for every three hours professional athletes spend on the field, they invest many more hours lifting weights, working with trainers, participating in drills, studying video, or practicing? Aren’t they good enough to simply hit the field and play?

Role playing for sales people is like the practice field for athletes.

 
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Here’s an idea for a role play exercise: practice responding to the 5 common prospect objections:

 
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When you're formulating role-playing exercises for yourself or your employees, keep these tips in mind:

  • Make it challenging, without being embarrassing.

  • Provide a safe environment.

  • Have some fun.

  • Vary scenarios with different titles and company types and sizes.

  • Engage both sellers and managers as players.

  • Record sessions occasionally.

  • Hold debrief sessions to go over what worked, as well as opportunities for improvement.

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 Now that you know the 7 skills of master sales hunters, all you need is some prospects to connect with! Want to know the exact number of good, local prospects you could call using the BWise prospecting database?

Use our free Prospect Finder: