Breaking bad sales habits and making a habit of better sales behaviour is harder than you might think.
There are good and bad sales habits, those that help us win more business and those that sabotage our efforts.
Making or breaking a habit is notoriously difficult. “The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.” wrote Samuel Johnson
This is a short list of some good and bad sales habits. You can probably add some more to both columns: Which are your good and bad habits?
|Good Sales Behaviour||?||Bad Sales Behaviour||?|
|Monitoring contact to sale conversion ratio||Finding reasons to put off sales prospecting|
|Collecting favourable customer experiences||Getting distracted by interesting things|
|Collecting stories that include quantified evidence of value||Letting the customer dictate the sales process|
|Conducting regular prospecting sessions||Laying blame for poor sales performance|
|Developing and maintaining a professional network||Interrupting customers when they are speaking|
|Doing sufficient research before contacting a prospect||Tidying your CRM data or updating customer records|
|Leading with questions||Not listening properly|
|Asking for referrals||Talking too much|
If you want to adopt a good habit, or break a bad one, these suggestions will help:
- Scheduled new behaviours as a high priority action. It may help to attach the new action to something that you already do or substitute an unhelpful action with something more productive. For example, associate new tasks with an established habit such as updating your sales forecast. Replace a negative habit with a new action such as making the call you have been putting off.
- Make desired new sales behaviours very specific. Decide exactly what you must do and set some self-regulating rules about the way it must be done.
- Be kind to yourself. If do what you plan, reward yourself. Small rewards are effective. If you don’t do it, take the time to understand your reasons for not doing as you intended and then adjust the specifics to increase the likelihood of taking the right action next time.
- Start immediately. Do something towards establishing the new habit or eliminating a bad one now. Don’t wait. You may never get back to it.
- Accept that it may take some time. It is possible to establish some new habits very quickly. This can be especially effective when they replace bad habits. Some habitual behaviour can take months to establish or eliminate. Persevere.
Use this article as a prompt to examine your good and bad habits and then make a plan to improve what you do habitually. This is worthwhile use of time because it can only lead to better results.
Article by Clive Miller
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