No matter what profession you’re in, success skills are your foundational skills — the skills that drive your success. Whether you’re running an automotive agency, a farm, or a golf course, you have to keep track of what you do, you have to set clear goals on what you want to improve, and you have to be organized enough to make it happen.
In sales, you can have all of the other great skills we always talk about, like closing skills or prospecting skills, but until you master success skills, you can still find yourself stuck in the mud some months when it comes to improving your sales and income.
Track, Average, and Chart
Once you develop the “success skills” of tracking, averaging, and charting, you’ll control your future.
Everything that happens in every major company or sport is tracked, averaged and charted. Why? So they can identify the areas they can improve. To continually grow in sales, you need to do the same thing. First, track your basic sales opportunities and your core selling activities. Next, track your results from those opportunities and activities.
1. Track your opportunities by type, including incoming calls, emails and online leads, and floor traffic. Don’t forget walk-ins, be-backs, and repeats and referrals. Why? So you focus your time spent with your best types of opportunities.
2. Track your business development activities, including number of mail outs, prospecting calls, unsold follow up calls, emails sent, appointments set, and appointments that show. Why? To focus your time on the business development activities that produce the most results.
3. Track your selling activities: presentations, demos, committed writeups, and uncommitted writeups. Why? So you know the number of demonstrations, presentations, and write ups that it takes you to make a sale.
4. Track your results, including units, gross, commission per sale (by customer type), and total bonuses and spiffs each month. Average It. Keep a 90-day running average of all of your opportunities, activities, and results. Why? Because a good month or a bad month doesn’t make or break you, but a negative trend in almost any area could.
5. Now chart it to show month and average in each area, so you can see a clear picture of what you’re doing. Charts are easy; updating each takes just one dot and one line.
Do everything I just said for three months, and I guarantee you’ll become aware of what you’re doing, and you’ll improve. Is it too much trouble? Do you not have enough time? Nah, that excuse won’t work — all of this takes you just seconds per day, not hours.
Add to Your Toolbelt
Here is a short rundown on three other types of success skills you can work on to improve. Improving in any of these skills can help you increase your sales.
1. Goal-setting skills: You can accomplish anything, but success will not come to you just because you work hard. You have to be clear about what you want to accomplish, and then create an “action plan” to make it happen.
2. Organizational skills: There really is no such thing as “time management.” The only things you manage are the activities that use up your time each day. The highest achievers work smart, not long. They’ve learned to go-to-work-to-work and use every minute of their day. They stay busy all day either getting more prospects on the lot, selling a vehicle, or following up and prospecting to develop and retain their own customer base.
3. Computer skills: There is no excuse for not using contact management, follow up, or any other piece of software that will help you manage your career. Ask your 6-year-old to teach you.
4. Communication skills: Writing, spelling, grammar, talking, listening, body language, tone, and inflection are all actual skills you actually need now. When you’re with a dealer, there should be no cussin’, no crude or stupid jokes, and skip all opinions about sex, religion, politics, or famous people in jail. Just sell.