Habit 1: Highly successful sales people have a genuine interest in the client.

This is important. People sense dishonesty and insincerity. I'm sure you've experienced (all too often) the pushy and artificial salesperson that is overly keen to sell their product or service, without any consideration for you or what you actually want. They pounce on you and launch straight into their sales pitch, often, without pausing for breath! Maybe a little dramatic, but I'm guessing we've all been on the other end of this at some point. It simply doesn't work.

Instead, you need to have - as well as demonstrate - a genuine desire to help your client. Do this, and you will be welcomed as the kind of person that they want to do business with. You are representing your company, but, your focus should always be on the client. After all, it is the client who is going to make sure you stay in business!

So, how do you measure up? Be honest, do you demonstrate and permeate all of your interactions with a have a sincere and genuine interest for the client...

Habit 2: Highly successful sales people have absolute belief in what they sell.

The more passionate and enthusiastic you are about your product or service, the greater the chance you will succeed. Why? Because your prospects will also sense this: enthusiasm is infectious! If you are (genuinely) passionate about what do you do, then the client will feel that you are not just delivering a sales pitch but that there really is something worthwhile in your product or service Similarly when you genuinely believe in what you do, you will make more effort and you will continue to press on, even during difficult times.

If you aren't genuinely excited about selling your product or service, give serious consideration to making a change. You are not doing yourself or your clients any favours by continuing to represent something you can't get excited about. Now it may be too difficult to 'make that change', so perhaps there might be an aspect of your product or service that will ignite your enthusiasm.

So again be honest, how do you measure up? Do you demonstrate and portray absolute belief in what you sell...

Habit 3: Highly successful sales people have knowledge about their sector, industry or niche.

Following on from Habit 2, it's important that you also clearly demonstrate your knowledge of the area you operate in. Again it portrays confidence and credibility. People buy people, and so your knowledge, your acumen and your expertise will engender trust.

I suspect most of you will already have this habit, but I think it's important to have a good grounding not just in your specific product or service, but also the sector your work in. You need to know your 'stuff' and more importantly exhibit this!

Habit 4: Highly successful sales people act with authority.

Notice I used the word 'act'. This is important because, well, when do you actually become an authority in your field. After 1 year, 3 years, 15 years..? No, it's when you decide - it's when you adopt a specific mindset. There are two parts to this habit as follows:

Firstly, if you're at the top (or want to at the very least demonstrate this), then the mindset you need to adopt is one of 'not trying'. Real experts don't need to sell nor do they need to convince. I'm sure you've met, seen or heard an expert in your field: did he or she have to push for the sale? My guess is that they didn't, in fact, they didn't need to.

The other part to acting with authority is your overall demeanour. In other words, the manner you use should be one of 'relaxed certainty' i.e. calm, collected and composed. Now, this is very far removed from being arrogant. Instead, there's just a real sense that you know what you're talking about. You're quietly confident.

So again, do take the time to reflect on the above. Do you 'act with authority'? If not, what can you do to improve upon this.

Habit 5: Highly successful sales people only ever speak to prospects not suspects.

All too often you can spend time with prospective clients that simply aren't in the market for your product or service. It can be very frustrating, especially when spending a great deal of time and effort talking to the wrong person!

Before you can sell anything, you must ensure that your prospect can fulfill these three criteria:

•They must have the means and the desire to purchase what you are selling;
•They must have the authority or ability to make the decision to buy, and;
•They must have a need for your product or service.

Or in other words, identify the M.A.N: someone with the money, authority and need.

So your first step in the sales process, is to not only qualify the prospect, but also to feel comfortable in taking control of the sales process from the very beginning. If your prospect isn't the right fit, then move on.

Try to initially discover and really tease out the emotional reasons why the prospect wants or needs your product or service. See Habit 1.

Here's a checklist to help you further differentiate between a prospect and a suspect - make sure any a prospective client 'ticks' the first five boxes:

The Prospect:

•Has a need and recognises this.
•Has the resources, ability and authority to satisfy the need.
•Has a sense of urgency.
•Has agreed to listen to you.
•Is open to communication and establishing rapport, even over the phone.

The Suspect:

•May have a need but doesn't know this.
•May or may not have the resources, ability and authority to satisfy the need.
•Does not have a sense of urgency.
•May or may not want to listen to you.
•Is resistant to open communication and establishing rapport.

Don't be afraid to walk away from a 'prospect'. In fact, the very best sales people qualify and move on, if indeed the prospect turns out to be a suspect.

Author's Bio: 

Andrew Ludlam is the owner of Maverick Marketing Consultancy, and is recognised as a leading expert on advanced marketing strategy and tactics. As a marketing consultant, trainer and author, he has advised many hundreds of business owners one-to-one, and many more have attended his private training programmes. Andrew also publishes a fortnightly newsletter which has some 2,000 subscribers.