What is the definition of ‘smart’? It usually depends on the time of your life and your circumstances. Sometimes it will be ACT scores but in business, we define smart as “the ability to solve problems and understand things quickly." You need to be able to hustle and think critically. In Jim Cathcart’s article, he introduces us to the Seven Multiple Intelligences. The Seven Multiple Intelligences are:
- Verbal – the ability to use words well
- wordsVisual – the ability to see things in your mind
- Physical – the ability to use your body well
- Musical – the ability to understand and use music
- Mathematical & Logical – the ability to apply logic to systems and numbers
- Introspective – the ability to understand thoughts and feelings in yourself
- Interspective – the ability to relate well to others, people smart
Everyone has all of these intelligences in different degrees. We’ll break them down and you can evaluate yourself.
Verbal people are good at explaining things. They enjoy reading and writing.
Visual people use charts and symbols, they can see things in their mind. They understand with pictures and demonstrations.
Physical people learn best by doing. They’re very hands-on and need to move while learning.
Musical people remember tunes easily. They have a natural sense of rhythm.
Mathematical & Logical people like to put things in an order and arrange things. They often look for patterns.
Introspective people enjoy alone time to think. They understand their own motives and are very reflective.
Interpersonal people are good with others, and can mediate arguments. They enjoy teams and committees.
What does this all have to do with sales? Let me tell you.
Cathcart writes, “Two things we need to know about all people we deal with are: How do they process information and how do they relate to people?” In order to be successful, it would be helpful to be able to understand how people think. This will help sales managers with their teams, sales reps with their customers, and employees with each other.
Go through the intelligences and gauge where you fall on each one, and have your team do the same. Practice recognizing them in the real world too.
In Tom Hopkins article, he writes of six reasons why people don’t buy. He writes that ‘seasoned’ sales pros may have many more reasons, but these six are the most common. They are:
- Most people don’t part with their money easily, and no matter how amazing your presentation might be, money is often a hard subject. Your job is to let them know that “they’ll be better off with the benefits of your product than they will be if they hold on to the money.”
- With indecision comes the feeling of being uncomfortable. Your job is to make them comfortable. “Keeping themselves in limbo by not making a decision is really a time waster for them (and you).
- Hopkins writes his definition of procrastinating, “Living yesterday. Avoiding today, and thus ruining tomorrow.”
- “Top sales pros, though, are experts at helping people get creative about coming up with the money when the product is truly beneficial for them.”
- They were never asked. So many salespeople talk to prospects but never officially ask them to buy. Make sure you do, in some way. And make it clear what you’re asking.
- All of these reasons could fall into this category, but it deserves it’s own. Remember that fear often comes from confusion, so if you are clear in your presentation there will be less fear.
In Steven A. Rosen’s article, Rosen asks if there’s a way to ensure you are on track for a successful year of sales. He writes, “Here are the top 10 questions you should ask yourself and your sales managers to gauge if you/they have set the foundation for success.”
- Have you identified your 2-3 Key Success Factors? It is important that you have identified two or three things that your team must do to be successful. “Keep your plan simple. Many times managers tend to complicate things because they really don’t know what key success factors are going to make a difference so they come up with too many of them.”
- Do all your sales reps have strong business plans? Are they keeping up with their annual business plan and adapting when needed?
- Have you built your coaching plan? “Sales coaching is the #1 sales management activity that drives sales performance.”
- Have you established a coaching plan for each rep? Keep in touch with each rep as they report to you their plan to continually develop.
- Do you have the right team in place? Reevaluate your team. Are there any people who should not be there?
- Have you been in the field this year? All sales managers should go out with each rep at least once a year. If not, how can you really know how they are doing?
- Do your reps know what their quotas are?
- Do your reps know and understand their compensation plan?
- Is your sales team engaged? Keep updated on your reps and see how they are feeling.
- Are you feeling energized? “As the leader of your team, it is very important that you are feeling good and that your energy levels are high. Your team feeds off you.”
How many of the questions did you have an answer to? Continuous improvement is a noble goal, so simply keep trying.
In Ron Karr’s article, Karr writes, “If you are a leader or a sales professional, consider that validation is an extremely powerful tool for getting your point of view accepted.” People are always looking to be accepted and understood. So validation that they are doing well coupled with constructive criticism is generally well taken.
“You want to position yourself as a trusted advisor, one that is confident enough to tell customers what they are doing well and what they can improve on.” Don’t be so busy or so focused on selling or correcting that you forget to be proud of where people are at TODAY. Validation builds trust (saves marriages) and creates sales.
Although validation may not make a sale, it will create long lasting bonds and trust. Learn to be patient and focus on the human instead of the business.
In Brian Farrell’s article, he introduces seven habits to make us as salespeople sound smarter. They are:
- Work on your posture. “Standing or sitting straight, but with a relaxed spine, presents a self-assured outward image and puts you in a comfortable, confident mental and physical state for speaking.”
- Avoid mindless language.
- Speak loudly, not forcefully. Never shout, but speak loud enough that everyone can easily hear you.
- Pay close attention to your voice. Try to have an engaging voice.
- Avoid vocal irritants. These include ‘uptalk’ (making everything sound like a question) and ‘vocal fry’ (ending words raspily).
- Don’t be afraid of silence. If you ask a question and are afraid of the stretching silence of waiting for an answer, you might keep talking. But if you let the silence come and stay, your audience can think and ponder on what you previously said.
- Don’t weigh in unless you have something to add. Add value to conversations.
For a deeper dive on the right way to do sales coaching, check out our ebook: Ultimate Guide To Sales Coaching.